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Weekly Broker: Bulker binge back with a bang

Back with a bang was how brokers Intermodal described the sudden renewed appetite among owners for bulkers in the past week.

“Following only a couple of weeks of softer S&P activity, the love for bulkers is now resuming with owners focusing exclusively on tonnage built post 2000,” Intermodal said in its latest weekly report. However, the appetite for container and tanker tonnage remains weak.

Intermodal reported Taiwanese owner Eddie Steamship has acquired a resale bulker newbuilding Hongqiang 109 at China’s Jiangsu Hongqiang Heavy Industry. The 64,000 ultramax bulker was originally ordered by Greek owner Blue Planet Shipping in 2014. Eddie Steamship, the family run line led by CC Hsu, is thought to have paid $23.3m for the resale. In February, Titan Petrochemicals suspended financial support to its subsidiary yard Jiangsu Hongqiang, only three months after it took over the yard, leading to the yard’s suspension of operations.

Seasure Shipbroking, Allied Shipbroking and Optima all reported a deal in which Hong Kong owner Chellaram Shipping has sold the 2006-built supramax bulker Darya Vishnu to an undisclosed buyer for around $13m. VesselsValue has identified the buyer as Greek owner Polforce Shipping, which now runs a fleet of four supramax bulkers.

Allied Shipbroking has also identified Thai owner Thoresen Thai as the buyer of the 2008-built supramax bulker Maritime Unity. The 58,700 dwt vessel was sold by Japanese owner Okouchi Kaiun for $14m.

“On the tanker side, things went back down to quiet, with a minimal level of vessels changing hand this week. It seems as though the recent trough in the freight market has caused many to take yet again a ‘wait and see’ strategy, while there are still many that feel that sentiment is clouded in considerable uncertainty for now, giving mixed views amongst both buyers and sellers,” Allied Shipbrokers said in its latest report.

Multiple shipbrokers including Seasure Shipbroking, Advanced Shipping & Trading and Allied Shipbroking listed the sale of the 2008-built chemical tanker Chembulk Kings Point. Vietnamese state-run PetroVietnam has bought the 19,900 dwt vessel from Japan’s Hisamoto Kisen for $13.7m.

Meanwhile, the containership sale and purchase activities remained limited for the past week, with interests still focused on the feeder sector. Multiple shipbroking houses including Clarkson, Allied Shipbroking and Intermodal all listed a deal in which German containership operator MPC Container Ships have added another two 2010-built 3,414 teu boxships – Frisia Bruessel and Centaurus – to its fast growing fleet. Following its acquisition of a total of 14 boxships in late February. MPC acquired the two vessels from Greek owner Diana Containerships for a price of $24.6m in total.

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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