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Weekly Broker: Korean handy tonnage enjoys an uptick

The dry bulk S&P market saw plenty of ships changing hands for yet another week as rates for supra and handies hit decade highs.

“This surge in rates naturally attracts buying interest which subsequently continues to push asset values higher. This, in turn, attracts more owners to consider becoming sellers, thus keeping the stream of available candidates,” Greek brokers EastGate noted in a new report.

Notably, EastGate also observed that fresh tonnage is entering the market with forward delivery prospects, which will be challenging for buyers who are prepared to maintain the prices being paid for vessels with a prompt delivery. Whether buyers’ appetite is such that in order to secure tonnage will buckle to forward delivery prospects, is something that remains to be seen.

Prices in some boxship segments are now double those seen a year ago

Allied Shipbroking, Seasure Shipbroking, Lorentzen & Stemoco and Anchor Shipbroking all reported a transaction that Cido Shipping sold its 2009-built 82,400 dwt kamsarmax bulker Fortune Iris to Chinese buyers. The Japanese-built vessel has fetched a price of $14.85m.

More than six shipbroking houses reported the en bloc sale of three Chinese-built 79,200 dwt kamsarmax bulkers. UAE-based Bhatia Shipping sold all three vessels in its fleet, the 2010-built Tharkey and 2011-built Sher E Punjab and Veenus. The vessels were sold to Greek buyers for $10.1m each.

Ample supply of sales candidates is not the case in the soaring handy sector.

Prized large and in particular the Japanese constructed units are being fought over, thus pulling the values for Korean units as well. The fresh sale of the BWTS-fitted 10-year-old 36,826 dwt Cielo Di San Francisco serves as a good example of this trend. EastGate reports the Korean-built ship was committed at a strong price of $13m, a substantial jump when compared with sistership Cielo di Dublino which was committed for $10.75m in early February.

The tanker S&P sales volume remain low this week, however according to brokers Alibra there is an undercurrent of increased interest as sentiment turns towards an improvement in demand.

Both Allied Shipbroking and Banchero Costa reported that International Seaways sold its 2002-built VLCC Seaways Tanabe. The Japanese-built crude tanker is believed to have been sold to Thai buyers for $25m.

Allied Shipbroking, Seasure Shipbroking and Advanced Shipping & Trading all listed the sale of the 2007-built 158,700 dwt suezmax tanker SKS Segura SKS Tankers sold the LR3 tanker to Vietnamese buyers for $23.9m.

The secondhand containership S&P market continued to see large ships transacted.

“Sale and purchase transactions have surged to the highest levels in four years, with prices in some segments now double those seen a year ago,” Alphaliner said in a report out this week.

Braemar ACM Shipbroking reported that RCL has agreed to purchase the 2011-built 8,600 teu Mediterranean Bridge from Chinese leasing house Bocomm Leasing for $50m. This is the largest ship RCL has ever controlled.

UAE-based Simatech is reported to have acquired the 2009-built 6,069 teu Crete I from Monaco’s International Maritime Enterprises (IME) for $11.2m.

Additionally, Hapag-Lloyd bought the 2009-built 4,298 teu Hobby Hunter for $23.5m.

“Despite the rise in prices across the board, it is true to say they still have not caught up with the rate and period commitments that are required on the charter market today. So we expect continued progression on values for the foreseeable future,” Braemar said in its latest weekly report.

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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