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Weekly Broker: Bargain hunters in search of January sales

The sale and purchase activities for secondhand dry bulk vessels have picked up in the second week of 2020 with bargain hunters out for January sales while tanker S&P volumes remain firm.

According to the latest Alibra report, the dry bulk market has faced additional pressure this week and rates have continued to fall in almost all segments, with little signs of recovery in the coming weeks due to impending Chinese New Year celebrations. The Baltic Dry Index, which always sags between Christmas and the Lunar New Year, is now in perilous triple-digit territory. Buyers of bulk tonnage in the first days of the decade are clearly planning longer term.

“On the dry bulk side, a considerable boost in SnP volume was noted during the past week or so, with the medium size segments leading the way for the time being. This came to confirm once again that buying appetite exists, amidst a bearish freight market. Notwithstanding this, given the overall uncertainty and poor sentiment that is dominating the market at this point, it would take some time before any sort of balance is restored,” Allied Shipbroking said in its latest report.

Several shipbroking houses reported that Japanese owner Onward Marine Service sold its 2013-built supramax bulker Easter N to Greek buyers while Allied Shipbroking identified the buyer as AM Nomikos. The Japanese-built vessel has fetched a price of around $15m.

Intermodal reported that Danish owner Norden sold its 2016 Japanese-built 60,400 dwt ultramax bulker Nord Everest to Japanese buyers for $23m. The vessel has been chartered back to Norden for three years.

Advanced Shipping & Trading, Banchero Costa, Lorentzen & Stemoco and Seasure Shipbroking all reported that Greek owner Chandris sold four 57,300 dwt supramax bulkers built in 2010 and 2011 by STX Dalian – Serene Lydia, Serene Jessica, Serene Susannah and Serene Juniper to Chinese buyers for an en bloc price of $40m.

“On the tankers side, a good flow of transactions took place for yet another week. So far, we have witnessed a very active VLCC market, with buying eagerness being on a bullish track. This is mere reflection of the better sentiment shared now in terms of the prospective future earnings. All-in-all, given the overall turmoil nature of this specific market, it would be of little surprise if we witnessed further spikes in SnP activity take shape in the coming months,” said Allied Shipbroking.

Multiple shipbroking houses including Lorentzen & Stemoco, Intermodal and Seasure Shipbroking identified Greek owner Capital Maritime and Trading as the buyer of the 2005-built VLCC Jin Ei. The Japanese-built tanker was sold by NYK’s Kyoei Tankers for a price of $35m.

Banchero Costa and Intermodal both reported that Greek owner New Shipping has snapped up the 2003-built 159,200 dwt suezmax tanker Narmada Spirit from Teekay Tankers. The South Korean-built vessel has fetched a price of $19.4m.

Lorentzen & Stemoco listed an en bloc deal in which Greek owner Andreas Marinos’ Minerva Marine acquired two 2019-built 112,000 dwt aframax tankers Aquafreedom and Aquabliss from compatriot owner Unisea Shipping for $55m each.

Intermodal also listed a deal in which UAE-based Marshal Shipping has acquired the 2004-built 46,800dwt MR tanker Jal Sunayna from Singapore owner Jaldhi for $9.9m. The vessel has been renamed Brizo.

In the secondhand containership sale and purchase market, according to Braemar ACM Shipbroking, there has been little to report in the past week although activity has certainly stepped up.

“It must be noted that a sizeable gap remains between most sellers and buyers fixing levels but with chartering starting to hot up again and the demo market increasing ever further we expect some vessels to change hands in the near future,” Braemar said in the report.

Jason Jiang

Jason is one of the most prolific writers on the diverse China shipping & logistics industry and his access to the major maritime players with business in China has proved an invaluable source of exclusives. Having been working at Asia Shipping Media since inception, Jason is the chief correspondent of Splash and associate editor of Maritime CEO magazine. Previously he had written for a host of titles including Supply Chain Asia, Cargo Facts and Air Cargo Week.
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