Dry CargoEurope

Star Bulk tops sale and purchase markets with close to $1bn of deals in 2018

Sale and purchase activity has been robust over the past year, and the makeup of the top buyers has shifted along with the underlying market, according to data sent exclusively to Splash from online pricing portal VesselsValue.

“Shipowners have regained their prominence as they acquired tonnage in attractive segments. Leasing companies, although still pervasive, have fallen out of their leading position as the most eager purchasers,” VesselsValue analyst Court Smith commented.

The strength of the dry bulk markets has attracted interest, in this case pushing New York-listed Star Bulk into the lead as the single largest acquirer of vessels. The company has taken on 37 vessels worth a little less than $1bn.

Star Bulk has been busy bolstering its fleet both via individual ship purchases as well as big fleet acquisitions this year such as the takeover of the Songa Bulk and Augustea fleets.

The best discounts on assets appeared to be in the offshore markets, according to VesselsValue data.

“Low sticker prices for asset values allowed buyers to take advantage of what could be generationally low prices. Oil prices remain volatile, but there is expected to be an oil supply crunch in the next several years, and onshore production is not expected to keep pace with the growing demand. This should create upwards pressure on asset values once oil production companies begin to loosen their purse strings,” Smith noted.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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