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Weekly Broker: Dry bulk sales hit traditional January slowdown

The pallid state of the dry bulk market has managed to scare off some buyers in the sale and purchase market in the past few days. Heading in a different direction, however, the tanker S&P sector has seen a great comeback, showing very firm interest across all sizes and ages. Nevertheless, strong secondhand bulker prices suggest investors still have long term confidence in the market and it is expected that deals will resume following the Chinese New Year.

“Despite decent resistance put forth by the dry bulk chartering market during the week prior, it seems that downward pressure has eventually taken its toll on earnings in the past days, with significant discounts being witnessed in all sizes except capes,” Intermodal said in its weekly report, adding that it expects the dry bulk chartering market to remain wobbly up until after the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations, when traditionally momentum starts picking up again.

Despite the turbulence in the chartering market, secondhand bulker prices remained on a rising trend in the past week. Banchero Costa’s latest weekly report shows the secondhand values of capesize, panamax and supramax have seen an increase of 1.4%, 1.1% and 0.5% respectively week-on-week.

“On the dry bulk side, activity seems to have gained momentum with several deals being noted last week, with buyers’ focus being shifted towards more modern kamsarmax and supramax vessels. Activity is expected to remain at these levels for the time being, as sentiment and appetite seems to be still lurking around, despite what is being witnessed on the freight front. Prices have yet to show any real market direction though there are fears that we may well see some slight signs of softening take place over the coming weeks,” Allied Shipbroking said in its weekly report.

Advanced Shipping & Trading and Lion Shipbroking both identified Greek owner Fomentos Armadora as the buyer of the 2010-built 58,800 dwt supramax bulker Ocean Colossus. Japanese owner K Line sold the vessel for $15m.

Multiple shipbroking houses reported the en bloc sale of two 2011-built 56,000 dwt supramax bulkers, Paros Seas and Kavala Seas to Chinese interests, while Allied Shipbroking identified the buyer as Chinese leasing house AVIC Leasing. The two vessels were sold by Greek owner Allseas for $12.2m each.

Advanced Shipping & Trading and Lion Shipbroking listed a transaction in which the 2012-built 75,700 dwt panamax bulker Padmini was sold to an unnamed Greek buyer for a price of $12.5m. Splash understands the buyer is Greek owner Athanasios Samios’s Samios Shipping, which currently owns a fleet of three bulk carriers.

On the tanker side, Allied noted: “[P]roduct tankers seem to be attracting the most attention amongst buyers right now, with their market outlook looking to be the most promising at least for the short-run. At the same time, few new sales were noted in the crude oil tanker space, despite the trend that was being noted during the final part of 2018.”

Seasure Shipbroking, Advanced Shipping & Trading, and Lion Shipbroking all reported the sale of the 2002-built 106,000 dwt aframax tanker Blue River. Greek owner Stalwart Tanker is believed to have acquired the South Korean-built vessel for $11.5m.

According to the most recent weekly report from Braemar ACM Shipbroking, secondhand transactions in the feeder boxship sector picked up with German owner H Schepers’ two 2011-built 1,350 teu boxships Tammo and Arian on subs to Greek buyers at $17m en bloc. Following the sale, H Schepers’ fleet will be downsized to just two vessels.

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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