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Weekly Broker: Greeks step up to fill gap left by the Chinese

The Chinese have been the most aggressive buyers of bulkers so far this year with the holiday season fast approaching their eyes have seemingly gone off the ball, leaving the ever acquisitive Greeks to pick up some of the slack. Dry bulk sales were down this week, while interest in tankers focused on smaller tonnage.

“On the dry bulk side, the market seems to have taken a pause this past week, as activity dropped considerably below the average we have been noting during the past 12 months if not more. That’s not to say that this is an accurate reflection of what has been going on, as we are still seeing a fair amount of interest amongst buyers, with many still actively looking to take action now that the freight market is correcting slightly, rather than wait for after the Chinese New Year and face a much more bullish and competitive market. At the same time however, sellers seem to be taking a counter strategy, willing to wait a little longer, feeling that further price gains could be achieved,” Allied Shipbroking said in its latest broker report.

Clarkson, Advanced Shipping & Trading and Allied Shipbroking all reported a deal that Japanese owner K Line sold the 2000-built post panamax bulker Corona Frontier to Chinese interest Hai Chang Maritime, a subsidiary of Chinese bulker owner Ocean Longevity, which is said to have paid a very firm $14.5m for the 88,291 dwt vessel.

Both Seasure Shipbroking and Clarkson listed a deal in which Greek owner Andreas Hadjiyiannis’ Cyprus Sea Lines acquiring the 2000-built capesize bulker Certoux from SwissMarine Services. The 169,100 dwt vessel has fetched a price of $11m.

Andreas J. Zachariassen and Seasure Shipbroking reported the sale of 2011-built supramax bulker DN Vatan. Greek owner Blue Seas Shipping is said to have taken the 58,400 dwt vessel from Turkish owner Deniz Nakliyati for $14.75m. In January, Deniz Nakliyati attempted to sell its last two vessels DN Vatan and DN Millet en bloc to Greek owner Newport, however, the deal eventually fell through.

Additionally, Clarkson and Advanced Shipping & Trading have identified Greek owner Bright Navigation as the buyer of 2003-built capesize bulker Aquabeauty. The Greek owner paid compatriot GoodBulk a price of $15m for the 171,014 dwt vessel, a deal which saw GoodBulk make $5m in under a year.

“In line with the sparse activity seen this month in the tanker sale and purchase market, another week has passed by with very little to report by way of concluded business, and the fundamental issues hampering transaction volumes remain. The spot and period markets continue to simmer along the bottom and this has dragged asset prices with it to near historical low levels,” Clarkson said in its latest weekly report.

Allied Shipbroking have linked the sale of 2004-built VLCC Kai Ei with Indonesian energy firm Pertamina, which has acquired the vessel from Japanese owner Kyoei Tanker for $27m.

Another Indonesia owner Waruna Group is listed by Intermodal as the buyer of 2003-built chemical tanker Yellow Ray. Waruna bought the vessel from Singapore’s Eastern Pacific Shipping for a price of $10.7m. Last week, Waruna was also reported to have acquired another tanker Green Ray from Eastern Pacific Shipping for the same price.

Following the surge in feeder boxship S&P activities in the previous week, container sales have been scant this week, led once again by smaller tonnage.

Both Intermodal and Advanced Shipping & Trading reported a deal in which Greek owner Costamare Shipping has taken over the 2005-built 2,556 teu boxship CMA CGM L’Etoile from German owner F.A. Vinnen for an undisclosed price.

Lastly, multiple shipbroking houses have the details of a deal whereby German owner MPC Container Ships acquired three 2006-built, 2,800 teu containerships Violet, Dahlia and Camellia from Cypriot owner Armania Shipping for a total of $32.3m. As Splash reported last week, the three vessels will be renamed AS Carolina, AS Camellia and AS Clementina.

Brokers are anticipating a severe slump in sales next week with the Year of the Dog festivities taking centre stage.

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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