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Weekly Broker: Resurgent tanker demand fills bulker pause

A slight correction seen in dry bulk freight rates did not see any noticeable weakening of prices in the S&P markets, leading to a more subdued week of deals. Nevertheless, brokers report inspections continue furiously and bulkers are set to be snapped up in record numbers through to the end of the year as owners rush to snare whatever bargains come up for sale. The slowing down in concluding bulker deals was, however, more than made up by a reinvigorated tanker scene.

“It has been a week of corrections for the dry bulk freight market as the general Baltic Dry Index started moving towards south despite the low temperatures that hit Athens giving a break from its upward rally course the past weeks. Despite the short-term decrease triggered in the market we saw an increased activity in both the secondhand and the newbuilding market over the last period. Although the secondhand prices seem to have reached a plateau, the newbulding ones are on an upward trend,” Advanced Shipping & Trading noted in its latest report.

Multiple shipbroking houses including Intermodal, Allied Shipbrokers, Lorentzen & Stemoco and Andreas J. Zachariassen all reported a deal in which Bangladeshi owner Akij Shipping acquired the 53,125 dwt supramax bulker New Era from Greek owner New Vision Shipping. The 2003-built vessel has fetched a price of $9.3m. Akij Shipping, the shipping unit of Bangladeshi industrial conglomerate Akij Group, has been expanding the its supramax fleet fast, having acquired four bulkers so far this year.

Zachariassen reports that UK owner British Marine has made a quick profit of $4.8m in 14 months by selling the 2002-built 53,146 dwt supramax bulker Grasshopper for $9m. The company acquired the vessel from Eagle Bulk in August 2016 for just $4.2m.

“On the tanker side, we had a notable rise in activity this week, with a fair amount of units changing hands even in the larger size segments. Despite limited information being reported in terms of pricing for these most recent concluded deals, it looks as though prices are still holding at their current levels and may well even have some slight price rises in stall as prospects start to perk up,” Allied Shipbrokers said in its latest weekly report.

Greek owner Polemis Spiros’s Polembros Shipping has acquired a resale suezmax tanker RS Kaystros from China’s Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding. According to Clarkson, the 159,962 dwt vessel attracted interest from around eight buyers and eventually fetched a price of $49m. Delivery of the vessel is scheduled next month. The vessel was originally ordered by RS Tankers in 2014 in an en bloc deal of five vessels.

Both Clarkson and Advanced Shipping & Trading reported the sale of 2011-built 6,020 dwt small tanker Coastal No.3 to a Singaporean owner for $5.5m while Allied Shipbrokers identified Ocean Tankers as the buyer behind the deal.

There have been limited activities in the container S&P market in the past week.

Intermodal linked the sale and acquisition of the 1,700 teu feeder containership Saigon Bridge with Wan Hai Lines. The Taiwanese owner acquired the 2008-built vessel from Japanese owner Sugahara Kisen for $9.5m. The ship had been trading with K Line since it was built.

Lion Shipbrokers, Clarkson and Advanced Shipping & Trading all reported that German owner MPC Container Ships acquired 2003-built 1,221 teu containership FSL Santos from Singapore’s struggling First Ship Lease Trust. With a target to develop a fleet of 100 ships, MPC Container Ships has been growing its fleet faster than just about anyone else in the box sector this year. It acquired two ships HS Puccini and HS Liszt from Hansa Treuhand and the Santa Francesca from Offen Claus-Peter in October.

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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