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Weekly Broker: Bullish sentiment buoys tanker prices

Tanker S&P deals continue to accrue at a very solid pace and prices are heading north.

Allied Shipbroking’s indicative tanker values show that the average price for a five-year-old VLCC increased by 2.9% in the past month while similarly aged aframaxes have appreciated by 2.8%.

“This year’s tanker S&P activity keeps edging higher compared to the same period in 2018. Year to date we have seen some 143 ships, ranging from MRs to VLs, changing hands, an increase of around 21% compared to the same period last year,” commented Ilias Lalaounis, an S&P broker with Intermodal.

Lalaounis stated in Intermodal’s latest weekly report that bullish buyers will remain active in the coming weeks and months.

“Overall sentiment remains bullish for the rest of the year, both in terms of freights as well as asset values. On the chartering side we see owners having high ideas for long term period charters and on the S&P front we see most ships being sold at a premium over last done,” Lalaounis noted.

“Regarding aframax and VLCCs, what depicts the bullish sentiment in today’s S&P market is the lack of 10-year-old or younger quality tonnage available for sale with several buyers waiting to compete over the next candidate,” Lalaounis added.

Financially troubled Brightoil Petroleum announced this week that another three vessels in its fleet have been sold by courts, including two VLCCs, Brightoil Grace and Brightoil Gravity, and an aframax tanker called Brightoil Lion.

Allied Shipbroking, Lorentzen & Stemoco and Advanced Shipping & Trading all reported the sale of the 2009-built 52,000 dwt MR tanker Kastav. Croatian owner Uljanik Plovidba sold the vessel to Turkish interests for $15.1m.

Advanced Shipping & Trading and Lorentzen & Stemoco both listed the sale of the 2007-built 105,000 dwt aframax Sakura Princess. The Japanese-built tanker was sold to Petrovietnam Transportation Corporation (PV Trans) by Greek owner Tsakos Energy Navigation for a price of $23m.

According to Intermodal, the capesize market remained positive last week with support coming again mainly from healthy demand in the west Australia/China route. The Atlantic panamax market witnessed softening sentiment despite a busy start to the week in South America, while despite holidays in the Pacific region, rates held overall well, with minerals trading providing most of the cargo volumes that supported rates and even saw premiums noted in some cases.

In the meantime, the markets for the smaller sizes were split. Handysize rates were positive overall, with small premiums over last done levels reported out of both basins. On the other hand supramxes came under pressure as the market started to see less activity.

“On the dry bulk side, the overall market took a huge step back in terms of volume of transactions. Notwithstanding this, given the general turbulent scene in this year so far, this can hardly be seen as a surprise. All-in-all, given that we are seemingly being set on a more stable trajectory for the time being, we can expect things to gear up again over the coming weeks,” Allied Shipbroking said.

Multiple shipbroking houses reported that Dutch owner Triton Navigation sold its 2009-built 55,000 dwt supramax bulker Lake Dynasty to Lebanese buyers for around $13.3m. Allied Shipbroking and Lorentzen & Stemoco identified the buyer as Samin Shipping, a Syrian shipping company which has shifted management of its whole fleet to Beirut.

More than eight shipbroking houses listed the sale of the 2010-built 93,000 dwt post-panamax bulker Royal Maybach. Splash identified German owner Oldendorff as the buyer. The Chinese-built vessel fetched a price of $13.8m.

Intermodal reported a resale of two 99,990 dwt newbuild post-panamax bulkers at Tsuneishi Zhoushan shipyard. The two vessels, AGTR Ambition and AGTR Blossom, were originally ordered by Singapore-based Safargo Shipping, a shipping unit of Chinese grain trader Shandong Bohi Industry Group, have been sold to Japanese buyers for $34m.

In the containership sale and purchase market, Braemar ACM Shipbroking reported that an Asian liner company purchased three 2014 Chinese-built 4,800 teu wide-beam sister-ships from German owner Hammonia Reederei, in a financier driven sale for $80m en bloc. In March, Ernst Russ and Peter Döhle sold Hammonia Reederei to Norwegian investment fund Ness Risan and Partners.

UK owner Borealis is said to have acquired the 2012 Chinese-built 4,250 teu panamax Balthasar Schulte from Thomas Schulte for $10.9m with a charter to Maersk Line attached.

Additionally in the larger size segment, Norwegy-based SinOceanic has disposed of its 2006-built 8,500 teu unit Parsifal to Danaos for $25m.

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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