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Weekly Broker: Buyers’ banquet

The 50th week of 2019 has proven a surprising buying banquet for shipowners with a huge volume of ships changing hands. The fact is rates are holding up better than many could have hoped for considering the time of year. This resilience has seen wallets open for considerable tonnage.

According to Alibra’s latest report, capesize period rates remained firm this week and panamax rates moved up for shorter periods while rates for the smaller sizes remained flat. In the tanker sector, the crude market enjoyed a positive week and the clean market has strengthened again this week.

VLCCs are back in $100,000 territory, MRs have strengthened by more than 25% and even aframaxes are closing in on unheard of six-digit territory.

“On the dry bulk side, things remained quite hot with several new transactions taking place this past week. It seems that the recent freight market improvement has enhanced buying sentiment once again, triggering more buying interest to search for any good opportunities out there. Given that a more stable freight market is now anticipated for 2020, it will be of little surprise if we start to see the current volume of transactions continue over the following weeks,” Allied Shipbroking said.

More than eight shipbroking houses reported the sale of the 2005 Japanese-built 31,000 dwt handysize bulker Lodestar Princess. The vessel is said to have been sold by Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) to acquisitive Vietnamese dry bulk operator Tan Binh for a price of $6m.

Several shipbroking houses reported that Japan’s Nisshin Shipping sold its 2015-built 57,000 dwt supramax bulker IVS Augusta. The Tsuneishi Cebu-built vessel was sold to Japanese buyers for $18.2m.

Allied Shipbroking, Banchero Costa, Intermodal and Lorentzen & Stemoco all reported an en bloc sale by Clipper. The Danish owner sold three Cochin-built 30,000 dwt handy bulkers – 2007-built Clipper Tenacious and Clipper Trust as well as 2006-built Clipper Target – to Vietnamese interests for an undisclosed price.

The four shipbroking houses also reported a deal in which German owner Peter Dohle sold the 2009-built 56,000 dwt supramax bulker Tatjana to Chinese interests for $8.9m.

“On the tankers side, it has been a very interesting year thus far, with buyers clearly showing their preference in the oil products segment, a trend that has followed through this past week as well. However, the positive outlook has now spilled over to the crude oil market as well, with increasing buying interest emerge here too. It is expected that this trend will hold for now, with a fair flow of units likely to be changing hands before the year comes to a close,” Allied Shipbroking noted.

Both Allied Shipbroking and Lorentzen & Stemoco reported that Teekay Tankers sold two of its 2003-built 165,000 dwt suezmax tankers Iskmati Spirit and Ashkini Spirit. Iskmati Spirit has been sold to Greek owner Paul Coronis’ Chemnav Shipmanagement for $19.3m while Ashkini Spirit has been sold to Mylonas Charalambos’ Transmed for $19.4m.

The two shipbroking houses also listed the sale of 2007-built 115,000 dwt aframax tanker Jupiter Sun. Zodiac Maritime sold the Sasebo-built vessel to Nasdaq-listed Greek owner Performance Shipping for $28.7m.

Additionally, Allied Shipbroking reported that US owner International Seaways sold two aframax tankers, Seaways Portland and Seaways Fran, en bloc to Greek company Monte Nero Maritime for $27.8m in total.

In the secondhand containership sale and purchase market, according to Braemar ACM Shipbroking, activity is slowing as expected with the majority of tramp owners content to adopt a passive approach for the rest of the year and to see what 2020 will bring.

Braemar reported that Taiwanese owner TS Lines is close to concluding a deal to acquired the 4,350 teu Robin Hunter from Belgian owner Delphis for $12.2m.

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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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