London: The positive sentiment surrounding tankers has seen owners rush to place more orders in the past quarter than at any time for the past eight years. British broker Gibson reports in terms of numbers, tanker newbuilding contracting achieved its highest first quarter total since the corresponding period in 2007. Confirmed orders above 25,000 dwt totalled 84 units amounting to 12.1m dwt.
Gibson noted that the majority of orders were placed in January, and the volume has since steadily decreased.
One of the key features of ordering activity during the first quarter was the number of capesize dry bulk carriers which have been converted into tanker contracts. A total of 15 cape contracts were converted in the first three months of the year, Gibson reported, adding: “We are also aware of other owners waiting in the wings to do similar deals to reduce their dry cargo exposure.”
The first quarter tanker orders have already reached 50% of the total orderbook achieved in 2014.