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Weekly Broker: Divergent Q4 fortunes

While all eyes were on the booming tanker spot markets this week, which hit decade highs, spare a thought for those in dry bulk who are having to contend with the real possibility of another deflating Q4.

The final quarter of 2018 was much hyped and proved a damp squib – and there is growing sentiment that history could be repeating this year. Certainly, the caution can be witnessed in the dry bulk S&P scene, where owners are waiting to see where the current rates correction leads.

“The dry bulk market has been witnessing further losses during the past week although the discounts recorded have been moderate this time round, a fact that has helped sentiment a bit as hopes have been building up that a floor will be reached sooner rather than later,” Intermodal said in its report.

“The slowdown in terms of activity resumed this past week on the dry bulk market, with the slide in freight rates curbing investor interest. However, a fair number of smaller units, mainly supramax and handysize vessels, changed hands this week, with buyers seemingly focusing on the less volatile segments. In the case that freight rates correction continues to push on, activity is expected to remain at moderate levels, while the reluctance amongst buyers may well push for some further price correction to be seen,” Allied Shipbroking said.

Multiple shipbroking houses all reported that Dutch owner Universal Marine sold its 2011 Chinese-built supramax bulker Universal Barcelona to Chinese buyers for a price of $10.2m. Splash understands the 56,700 dwt vessel has been sold to Ningbo Zrich Shipping, which also bought the sister vessel Universal Baltimore from the same owner last week.

Clarksons and Advanced Shipping & Trading reported an en bloc sale in which Hong Kong’s Wallem Group sold two 37,200 dwt handysize bulkers, Seas 5 and Seas 11. The two Chinese-built vessels are believed to have been sold to Dutch buyers for $11m each. Wallem, best known as a manager, bought the ships three years ago from Paragon Shipping.

Clarksons, Seasure Shipbroking and Advanced Shipping & Trading all reported that SwissMarine has taken over the 2007-built 76,525 dwt panamax bulker Dolce from Japanese owner Fukunaga Kaiun. The vessel has fetched a price of $11.5m.

Intermodal reported the en bloc sale of three 82,000 dwt Nisshin Shipping kamsarmax bulkers – the 2015-built Trustn Trader I, Trustn Trader II and and 2016-built Falcon Trader. The trio were bought by Chinese leasing house CDB Leasing for $75m in total.

“Softening in terms of activity was witnessed last week on the tankers side despite the improved momentum noted lately in the freight market. A rebound though is anticipated, especially on the oil products segment, as investors are looking keen to return to the SnP market as we approach the end of the year. In the crude oil space, things are a bit more quiet and are expected to remain so for the time being despite the sharp boost in freight rates being noted,” Allied Shipbroking said.

Splash has already reported a major tanker S&P deal in which Japanese owner Idemitsu acquired the 2010-built 300,000 dwt VLCC Nagaragawa from K Line for a price of $48m.

Clarkson reported the Hong Kong owner Vision Shipping sold its 2001-built 105,300 dwt aframax tanker Happy Century to Turkish interests. The Japanese-built vessel has fetched a price of $12.5m.

Advanced Shipping & Trading, Clarkson and Allied Shipbroking all reported the sale of the 2001-built 39,551 dwt handysize tanker Searambler. Greek owner Thenamaris sold it to Russian interests for $7.9m. The vessel has been renamed Primorye.

In the secondhand containership sale and purchase market, according to Braemar ACM Shipbroking, activity was muted in the past week amid a concentration of holidays in the Far East and Europe, but a number of transactions have come to light.

Braemar reported that Tufton Oceanic emerged as the buyer for two 2010-built Yangzijiang-built 2,500 teu Maria Katharina S and Johannes S. German owner H Schepers sold the two vessels for $8.6m each.

Additionally, BAL Container Lines of China has purchased the 2007-built 704 teu OM Autumni at a price of $2.7m. The vessel has been renamed Hao An.

Alphaliner reported that the 2006-built 6,541 teu Pucon has been sold by NASDAQ-listed Performance Shipping to German buyers linked to D. Oltmann Reederei for $20.2m. The vessel is currently under a time charter with Taiwanese carrier Wan Hai Lines.

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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