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Weekly Broker: Slim pickings for available tankers

Tanker prices have leapt across the board this week due to the hot chartering market and a shortage of available tonnage on the market.

Data from Braemar ACM shows that one in five VLCCs in operation today face restrictions from US sanctions, and research carried out by the shipbroking house also shows that just over a sixth of the world’s suezmax fleet and 10% of the aframax/LR2 fleet face similar trading restrictions from Washington.

Nassos Soulakis, an S&P broker at Intermodal, observed two trends for vessels built post-2000.

“On the one side are the crude carriers where the supply side of available sale candidates is limited…. On the other side are product tankers, MR candidates, which are available for sale in larger numbers, and with regards to age are older than 10 years. In contrast with LR1 and LR2, which have limited available candidates for sale,” Soulakis said, adding that any further increase on freight rates in product carriers, will definitively lead to many vessels off the market.

According to Soulakis, currently there are only 20 to 30 crude carriers in total available across all sizes in the S&P market, with the majority of them being aframaxes and less being suezmaxes or VLCCs.

Earlier this week, Splash already reported a deal in which Nicholas G Moundreas’s NGM Energy has acquired 2000-built VLCC DS Commodore from German owner DS Tankers at a price of $22m. The company has requested prompt delivery in order to deploy it into the hot crude shipping market.

Several shipbroking houses reported that UK-based Zodiac Maritime has acquired the 2012-built VLCC Brightoil Galaxy via auction for a price of $61.5m. So far most of Brightoil’s VLCCs have been sold in court-led auctions. The last VLCC of the company, Brightoil Gem, is listed for auction in China on November 19.

Banchero Costa, Lorentzen & Stemoco and Optima all listed the sale of the 2000-built VLCC N Topaz. The Hyundai Heavy-built vessel was sold by South Korea’s Honam Oil Refinery to Chinese interests for a price of $25m.

In the product segment, Banchero Costa, Intermodal, Lorentzen & Stemoco and Clarksons all reported Victor Restis-controlled Enterprises Shipping and Trading sold two 2008-built 47,000 dwt MR2 tankers Energy Puma and Energy Progress en bloc to Chinese buyers at $17m each.

“On the dry bulk side, for yet another week the flow of transactions being concluded was at relatively mediocre levels. Overall, at this point, we have seen a slight slowdown in the aggressive appetite and buying spree of previous weeks. Notwithstanding this, activity noted in the supramax and especially kamsarmax size segments have held at firm levels for the time being, given also the slight softening noted in asset prices,” Allied Shipbroking said.

Multiple shipbroking houses all reported the sale of the 2009-built 82,000 dwt kamsarmax bulker Mangarella. The Tsuneishi-built vessel was sold by Japanese owner Misugan Kaiun to Greek buyers for a price of $15.6m.

Lorentzen & Stemoco and Anchor Shipbroking reported that Greek owner George Economou’s Cardiff Marine sold the 2002-built panamax bulker Oregon. The Oshima-built vessel is believed to have been sold to Indonesian interests for a price of $7.9m.

Lorentzen & Stemoco, Banchero Costa and Anchor Shipbroking all listed a deal in which Japanese owner Mitsubishi Corporation sold its 2012-built 55,800 dwt supramax bulker Eternal Triumph to Greek buyers. The IHI-built vessel has fetched a price of $14m.

There has been no secondhand containership sale and purchase deals to report this week.

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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