ContainersDry CargoOperationsTankers

Weekly Broker: Festive cheer closes out an otherwise quiet year

Owners are leaving for holiday later than normal this year, snapping up huge volumes of tonnage to bring some cheer to what has otherwise been a Scrooge-like year for sale and purchase brokers.

Data from VesselsValue shows that 2019 is likely to end as one of the quietest for the S&P sector this decade, but a solid December of freight rates has seen a healthy volume of ships change hands.

In its latest weekly report, Greek brokers Intermodal noted: “S&P activity has been quickly firming as we head closer to the end of the year, with buyers in the tanker sector encouraged by the sustained strength the freight market has been displaying, while on the dry bulk sector handysize candidates were the most popular.”

On the dry bulk side, Allied Shipbroking claimed despite the onset of the festive season this has been another “very firm week” in terms of the volume of transactions.

“With the focus varying between different sizes and positive skewed towards more modern units, it is safe to argue that buying appetite remains relatively robust. However, given the downward correction seen in freight rates as of late, while with skepticism prevailing as to the potential brought about by the upcoming regulatory changes of 2020, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if we were to see a significant step back in transactions in the short-run,” Allied said in its latest weekly report.

As reported in Splash, several shiproking houses reported the sale of the 2012-built 178,000 dwt capesize bulker Gotia. The vessel was sold by German owner Orion Bulkers to Greek owner Enterprises Shipping and Trading for a price of $23m.

Allied Shipbroking, Intermodal and Banchero Costa all reported an en bloc sale of three old 24,000 dwt handy bulkers. Japanese owner Inui Global Logistics sold the 1997-built Ken San, Ken Ten and the 1999-built Ken Yu to Chinese buyers for a price of $8.5m in total.

Seasure Shipbroking and Advanced Shipping & Trading reported that Chinese owner Luhai, the shipping unit of China National Building Material, sold its 2013-built 57,000 dwt supramax bulker Baoji to Greek buyers for a price of $11.4m. Following the sale, the company will clear out its owned fleet.

“On the tankers side, it was another interesting week, especially for the medium size segments, while its fair to point out that we have seen a fair flow of activity in relatively more vintage units take place recently. All-in-all, given the upward momentum from the side of earnings and the better sentiment that comes with it, we can expect a good SnP market to take shape over the upcoming months at least,” Allied Shipbroking pointed out.

Both Allied Shipbroking and Intermodal identified US-owner International Seaways as the buyer of the 2009-built 75,000 dwt LR1 tanker Gulf Castle. The Hyundai-built tanker was sold by UAE owner GEM for a price of $18m.

Seasure Shipbroking, Allied Shipbroking and Intermodal all reported the sale of the 2004-built 105,800 dwt aframax tanker Cabo Tamar. Argentinian owner Antares Naviera sold the Sumitomo-built vessel to Greek owner Chandris for a price of $17.5m.

Multiple shipbroking houses including Allied Shipbroking, Intermodal, Clarksons, Banchero Costa and Anchor Shipbroking all listed the sale of the 2007-built 75,000 dwt LR1 tanker Grace Victoria. Japanese owner MOL sold the vessel to Greek buyers for a price of $14.9m.

In the secondhand containership sale and purchase market, activity has unsurprisingly been muted as Christmas approaches. Santa has not been kind to the valuation of boxships all year long. A good example of this malaise is the 11-year-old, 2,546 teu Johannes-S, which has just found a buyer at the second time of asking with Foroohari Reederi paying what VesselsValue described as a “phenomenally low” $7.45m for the Yangzijiang-built vessel.

Alphaliner reported that Asia-based TS Lines has purchased the 4,380 teu panamax ship Robin Hunter from Delphis Hunter, a shipping fund in which Belgian shipowner CMB holds a 20% stake. The purchase price is believed to be around $12m, which would allow the Belgian owner to make a substantial profit with the transaction, having purchased the vessel back in 2017 for $6.9m. The vessel is currently on charter to MSC and deployed in Asia.

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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