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Weekly Broker: Cape sales dominate the news

The dry bulk sale and purchase market has seen another periodic slowdown this past week as sentiment remains soft in the dry bulk market. Buyer’s interest remain firm as expectations of a future growth in the market have increased given the increasing scrapping activity seen in the first quarter. The big news of the week however has been the first confirmed cape sales of the year with many more now close to done deals.

“Increasing scrapping activity is a visible solution that could give a future boost in the dry bulk market. To put things into perspective, the first signs with regards to scrapping for the Q1 2019 are positive, together with a small decline in dry newbuilding orders, when comparing in both markets with the Q1 2018,” said Giannis Andritsopoulos, an S&P broker at Intermodal.

“The correction on values in the dry bulk market has created some expectations that we might witness the same levels in asset values as in 2016. However, the freight market is not at the same levels like 2016 and with the new regulations coming into force, this specific scenario does not look like it will be easily materialised, as the variables are vastly different,” Andritsopoulos added.

According to Alibra’s weekly report, it has been a busier week for capes in the run up to Easter. Although rates have remained stable the underlying sentiment remains cautious as vessels continue to operate below opex. In the meantime, more activity has been reported in the period market for panamaxes and kamsarmaxes with a number of fixtures reported in the Pacific, and limited activity for the smaller sizes.

“On the dry bulk side, we witnessed a slight easing in terms of secondhand transactions these past couple of days. This can be seen somehow as a disconnection in respect to the slight improvement noted of late in the freight market. Notwithstanding this, buying appetite is holding at rather healthy levels, while we can expect a gear up in activity in the short run, especially for the medium size units, which have shown the most potential as of late,” Allied Shipbroking said in its latest report.

This week, Splash reported that Fred Cheng’s Shinyo International has sold one capesize bulker, the 2002-built Shinyo Challenger to Chinese interests for $12m, while a second cape Shinyo Endeavour, is also on its way out, marking the first cape sales of 2019, the ships done at a discount of almost 13% compared to the last cape sales completed in 2018.

Advanced Shipping & Trading, Banchero Costa and Lorentzen & Stemoco all reported that Norwegian owner Belships have bought two bulkers. The company has acquired the 2010-built 58,000 dwt supramax bulker Amis Leader from Taiwanese company Wisdom Marine for $13m and took over the 2016-built 63,000 dwt ultramax bulker Sofie Victory from compatriot company EGD Holding for $24.15m.

Belships has been an active buyer in the sale and purchase market lately, having acquired supramax bulker Viola from Wenaasgruppen this month. The company secured a $140m loan facility in March and earmarked $30m for fleet expansion.

Intermodal, Lorentzen & Stemoco, Banchero Costa and Advanced Shipping & Trading all listed the sale of the 2016-built 37,000 dwt handy bulker Glorious Sunrise. Belgian owner Pola Marine has taken over the Japanese-built vessel from Singapore’s Pacific Carriers for $18.7m.

“On the tanker side, a fair amount of activity was noted during the past week, holding on track with the average volume noted of late. Interest here seems to be constantly shifting between the different size segments, as well as, different age groups. However, once again, it was the MRs that took up the lion share of reported activity, with buying appetite for these smaller product tankers having returned and apparently in force,” Allied Shipbroking said.

This week, Splash has already reported a deal in which Cyprus-headquartered M Sea Capital paid $13m each for two 2009-built handysize tankers, Nord Nightingale and Nord Snow Queen.

Multiple shipbroking houses reported the en bloc sale of three 46,000 dwt sister MR tankers, the 2010-built Alpine Loyalty, 2009-built Alpine Eternity and 2010-built Alpine Venture. Danish owner Jeppe Jensen’s Celsius Shipping has taken over the three South Korean-built tankers from TransPetrol for a price of $54m in total.

Intermodal and Andreas J. Zachariassen both reported a deal in which Russian owner Sovcomlot sold two 47,000 dwt MR tankers, the 2003-built Anichkov Bridge and the 2004-built Okhta Bridge. The two vessel are believed to have been bought by Taiwanese interests for $10.8m each.

Intermodal listed another en bloc transaction of two 1999-built MR tankers, Vera Cruz and Kriti Rock. The vessels are said to have been sold by Greek owner Avin International to Lebanese interests for $6.2m each.

According to Andreas J. Zachariassen’s report, in the containership sale and purchase market the prices remain under pressure despite the somewhat firmer charter rates and clearly decreasing idle tonnage.

“Reason being the limited number of active buyers on the one hand and, more importantly, the amount of sales candidates in the market and almost on a daily basis a new one is being added to the list. Under these circumstances it will be hard for sellers to increase or even maintain the current price levels,” Zachariassen said.

This week Cyprus Maritime is connected to the purchase of two 2003-built 6,500 teu vessels, NYK Aquarius and NYK Athena, for about $15m each.

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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