Dry CargoOperationsTankers

Weekly Broker: Buying appetite disappears

The sale and purchase market for both bulkers and tankers has seen a major scale-back in activities as freight markets weakened and owners declined to accept comparatively strong secondhand prices.

According to London brokers Alibra, the capesize period market softened again this week with very little Brazil-China trade and Vale absent from the market. The panamax and kamsarmax trades have further declined in both basins, while sentiment for the smaller sizes is also negative this week with very little period enquiry reported.

In the meantime, the crude tanker market has seen downward corrections with rates dropping. However, Intemodal noted that enquiry for secondhand tanker tonnage of all sizes remains steady.

“The constant flow of important news nowadays is also affecting the traditional and alternative sources of financing available to shipowners, with the later unable to move fast in purchasing a vessel during times that asset prices are moving down, which also explains the softer activity in the second hand market and the overall anaemic activity on the newbuilding front,” said Konstantinos Kontomichis, an S&P broker at Intermodal.

Kontomichis observed that shipowners are taking their strategic decisions very carefully these days and the majority of them focuses on vessels that are around 10 years old, while in a few cases they finance themselves with 100% cash on these investments.

“On the dry bulk side, we experience a rather volatile market at this point, with activity trends changing rapidly even on a weekly basis. During the past week, very few transactions came to light, a situation that put some sort of doubt in regards to the firm buying interest that was noted the weeks prior. Whether it is a temporary pause, given the recent correction in freight rates, or that the SnP market is moving towards shallower waters, will depend on how things unfolded during the next couple of weeks,” Allied Shipbroking said.

Several shipbroking houses including Advanced Shipping & Trading, Banchero Costa, Clarksons and Anchor Shipbroking all reported the sale of the 2007-built 52,500 dwt supramax bulker Mary Lina. The Japanese-built vessel has been sold to Vietnamese buyers for a price of $10.3m.

Both Clarkson and Banchero Costa reported that Greek owner Trade Fortune sold its 2002-built 52,500 dwt supramax bulker Mimosa to Chinese buyers. The Japanese-built vessel has fetched a price of around $7m.

“On the tanker side, volume was kept at relatively modest levels, given the current buying appetite. At this point, interest was narrowed down to almost exclusively for vintage units, especially in the MR size segment. Given the current sentiment and while we have just under two months to go before the close of the year, we can expect a further flow of deals to emerge,” Allied Shipbroking said.

Multiple shipbroking sources including Clarkson and Banchero Costa reported that Greek owner Pantheon Tankers Management sold its 2002-built VLCC Astro Challenge for a price of $32m. The DSME-built vessel is believed to have been sold to Singaporean interests.

Intermodal listed the sale of the 2000-built 75,700 dwt LR1 tanker Alyah. UAE-based owner Khor Al Zubair Shipping sold the South Korean-built vessel to compatriot buyers for around $7m.

There has been no secondhand containership sale and purchase activities to report this week.

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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