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Weekly Broker: Bulkers withdrawn from sale

Activities in the secondhand bulker S&P market scaled back this week with limited assets being put on the market for sale as the sellers are reviewing their ships’ profitability from both a sale and charter point of view with most vessel sizes – bar capes – now trading above opex.

“Activity on the dry bulk side has returned to subdued levels. The lack of interest from buyers, especially for the bigger sizes and the refusal by sellers to sell at a considerable discount have retained transactions at low levels. Last week, we witnessed just 4 units being sold, with the majority of them being handysize and handymax units. Given the negative global economic prospects being expressed right now and the resilient second-hand prices, it is likely buyers will remain distant in the coming weeks,” Allied Shipbroking said.

Costas Hardalis, an S&P broker at Intermodal, shared a similar view on why there’s been a slowdown in bulker sales.

“Instead of accepting offers below their expectations, most sellers were thinking that it would be better to keep the ship and fix on period instead. And it was a valid argument since fixing on period really made sense as rates back then could cover opex, bank repayments and still allow for a good profit,” Hardalis said.

“As appetite for second-hand tonnage was limited, it failed to ignite competition among prospective buyers and restricted asset values from appreciating as a result,” Hardalis added.

Both Banchero Costa and Advanced Shipping & Trading identified Turkish owner Marti Shipping as the buyer behind the purchase of 2007-built 50,200 dwt supramax bulker Pacific Light. Norwegian owner Belships sold the Indonesian-built vessel for $2.4m.

More than eight shipbroking houses reported the sale of 2002 Japanese-built 50,400 dwt supramax bulker Luzern. Swiss owner Massoel Meridian sold the vessel to Middle Eastern buyers for $5m.

“On the tankers side, it was a much more active week, with a fair number of deals being reported across the whole band of size classes. Despite the current slump in freight rates, the outlook remains positive, driving further keen interest amongst buyers. The fact that second-hand prices remain significantly discounted compared to newbuildings, gives the extra edge here and thus we expect activity to remain robust over the following weeks,” Allied Shipbroking said.

Allied Shipbroking, Advanced Shipping & Trading, Lorentzen & Stemoco all reported that US tanker owner Ridgebury Tankers sold its 2000-built VLCC Ridgebury Purpose to Greek buyers. The South Korean-built vessel has fetched a price of $21m.

Intermodal and Allied Shiprboking listed the sale of the 1998-built 160,000 dwt suezmax tanker Falcon Pride. Singapore owner ESL sold the South Korean-built vessel to Chinese buyers for $14.8m.

More than five shipbroking houses reported the sale of the 2006-built 51,200 dwt MR tanker PTI Orion. Hong Kong’s Parakou Tankers sold the South Korea-built vessel to Chinese buyers for about $12.8m.

In the secondhand containership S&P market, according to Braemar ACM Shipbroking, enquiries have been muted this week, and buyers are seeing real opportunities to secure newbuilding contracts at attractive pricing.

“We will likely see more opportunistic ordering in the coming months, especially at Chinese yards under pressure to fill berths,” Braemar said in its weekly report.

Lorentzen & Stemoco and Advanced Shipping & Trading reported that Japanese owner Nissen Kaiun sold a pair of 1,708 teu boxships Sinar Subang and Sinar Sangir en bloc to South Korean owner Sinokor for a price of $7.25m each.

Additionally, Intermodal, Banchero Costa and Advanced Shipping & Trading listed the sale of the 2009-built 1,015 teu Al Yasra. Qatari owner Milaha sold the South Korean-built vessel to South Korean owner Pan Ocean for $6.5m.

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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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