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Weekly Broker: En bloc deals dominate

Activities in the secondhand bulker sale and purchase market kept up a steady trend this week after the market bounced back last week with interest most strong in the supramax sector, while things also started to pick up in the secondhand tanker sector with a few en bloc deals reported by shipbrokers. One name featuring repeatedly in the past few days is that of Emanuele Lauro of Scorpio fame.

“On the dry bulk side, there still seems to be a fair amount of activity taking place, with once again the mid-size segments taking the lion’s share. There was a fair amount of tonnage changing hands in the supramax size, even when taking out the en bloc sale of the four Yangzhou-built vessels. A fair amount of focus seems to have been placed on the close to ten year old assets out there, though we don’t seem to have had yet any significant shifts in terms of pricing, despite the increased level of buying interest,” Allied Shipbroking said in its latest weekly report.

Intermodal and Allied Shipbroking listed a deal in which German owner Briese Schiffahrt bought the 2011-built supramax Daxia. The 56,811 dwt vessel, which has fetched a price of $11.5m, has been fixed to Danish owner Weco Shipping under a time charter contract and a purchase option.

Allied Shipbroking also reported a transaction that has seen four supramaxes, the 2010-built E Transporter, the 2011-built E Traveller, the 2011-built E Tracer and the 2010-built E Trader, being sold by Emanuele Lauro’s Scorpio to undisclosed Chinese interests. The four vessels have fetched an en bloc price of $40m in total.

“On the tanker side, things were fairly more active this past week, though a large portion of the reported deals involved en bloc sales. The MR tanker range seems to have been the exclusive focus for buyers this past week, something of a switch compared to what we had been seeing a couple of weeks back. In most of the reported deals, prices were showing to be at relatively competitive levels, while we did see a fairly spread out range in terms of age,” said Allied Shipbroking.

Intermodal reported a sale deal in which UAE owner Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport sold its 2003-built aframax tanker Zirku to Chinese owner ZPMC Shipping, the shipping arm of Shanghai port machinery manufacturer ZMPC. The company plans to convert the vessel into a semi-submersible heavylift vessel.

Both Allied Shipbroking and Intermodal listed the sale deal of two 2013-built MR tankers, the STI Fontvieille and STI Ville. Singapore’s PCL, controlled by tycoon Robert Kuok, is said to have acquired the two vessels en bloc from Lauro’s Scorpio Tankers for a price of $26.5m each.

Additionally, multiple shipbroking houses reported the en bloc sale deal of two 2009-built MR tankers Silver Express and High Enterprise. Chinese state owned shipping company Shandong Shipping has taken over the two vessels from Japanese owner Doun Kisen for a price of $16.5m each.

In the secondhand containership sale and purchase market, this week has seen some smaller ships change hands.

Allied Shipbroking and Intermodal both revealed that UK shortsea containership operator A2B-online acquired the 1995-built 508 teu feedermax Gerda from German owner Rambow Wilfried Reederei for an undisclosed price. A2B-online has been expanding its fleet lately, having acquired its fifth ship, the 508 teu Nor Feeder from Norway’s Arriva Shipping at the end of February.

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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