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Weekly Broker: Inspections increase but owners wait to see where markets are headed

A report carried on this site earlier this week posits that 15-year-old handysize bulkers are the best bet for investors this year, likely to see a near 10% increase in prices in the coming 12 months. Other sectors too have been tipped to appreciate in price in 2018, a rare hopeful year for shipping, and the first 10 days of January have seen a flurry of ship inspections across the world, albeit with limited deals to report.

“SnP activity is steadily picking up, with the recent rebound in dry bulk rates sustaining buying appetite, while interest for modern secondhand tanker tonnage is also vivid, evidenced also in the upside prices in the sector have been witnessing in the past couple of months,” Intermodal stated in its most recent weekly report.

Continued interest in secondhand bulk carriers is evident with owners now happy to inspect Chinese-built tonnage as Japanese options dry up. Nevertheless as German broker Zachariassen notes in its latest missive: “Japanese built units nearly always get a premium on the snp market”.

Reported deals are thin on the ground, with brokers suggesting this is down to owners waiting to see how firm the markets are – the traditional lull between Christmas and Chinese New Year will be dry bulk’s real acid test.

“Going forward, as the dry bulk market continues to grow at a faster clip, the fleet growth will be relatively moderate given the low orderbook for bulk carriers to be delivered into the market for the next two to three years. Consequently, shipowners have been able to secure time charter rates at strong levels even for longer durations, encouraging them to buy second-hand vessels at historically high S&P liquidity,” Lorentzen & Stemoco said in its latest S&P report.

“On the tanker side, activity continued to remain slow and pretty much inline with what we have been seen during the past 12 months. Given the poor earnings and the push back by most sellers, things have become a bit more tricky here and we may well be seeing a widening gap between buyers’ and sellers’ ideas, something that would surely hamper things further,” Allied Shipbroking said in its latest weekly report.

Multiple shipbroking houses including Clarkson, Allied Shipbroking and Intermodal all linked  Team Tankers International’s sale of 2008-built chemical tanker Team Houston with Thai owner AMA Marine. The 13,220 dwt vessel has fetched a price of $8.7m as reported by Splash earlier in the week.

Seasuring Shipbroking and Allied Shipbroking both reported that South Korean owner SM Line has snapped up chemical tanker Bonaire with a price of $8.6m reported for the 2007-built vessel. Splash, however, takes issue with this deal. It is likely that the buyer was in fact Korea Line Corporation, a sister firm of SM Line, controlled by Samra Midas Group. Korea Line’s diverse fleet includes product carriers while SM Line is just focused on containerships.

The containership S&P deals in the past week has also been limited. Allied Shipbroking reported that German owner Marten O Reederei have sold two 2,015 teu sub panamax containerships to two Norwegian firms separately. The OM Iridium (2008-built) is sold to Songa Container for $7.8m and the OM Agarum (2008-built) is sold to Atlantic Shipping for the same price.

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.


  1. I regret one element of your story is incorrect. The Bonaire Trader has not been sold and continues to be owned by Lomar Shipping. Our chemical tanker is not for sale. I believe you may be referring to the ‘Bonaire’ – an entirely different vessel.

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