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Weekly Broker: S&P faces up to test of sentiment

Capes might have hit near decade highs at the start of the month and VLCC spot rates leapt more than 10% in the wake of the attacks on Saudi oil installations 12 days ago, yet market sentiment – as viewed from S&P numbers – remains palpably cautious. Indeed, the total spent on secondhand tonnage this month is among the lowest recorded in the past six years.

Once again MR tankers have led the sales parade this week.

According to Timos Papadimitriou, an S&P broker at Greece’s Intermodal, MR tankers built between 2008 and 2011 have been the “sweet spot” of vessel sales for the past few months with a total of 61 sales since May.

“With 12 sales having concluded so far in September, we can see the popularity of MR2s remains at full force. Expectations about the 2020 regulations have provided enough reason for buyers to look for ships in order to take advantage of the anticipated increase of cargoes next year. It remains to be seen if this bet will be won,” wrote Papadimitriou in a weekly report, adding that any ship even one year older sees a drop in the value of more than 10%, whereas candidates built post 2011 are asking for a significant premium above.

“On the tanker side, activity exploded this week, showing the strong buying appetite that has emerged in the market. Yet again the main driving size segment was the MR, which has nourished the S&P market repeatedly over the past year or so. Given that we are also seeing robust buying appetite for other size ranges, we can expect a strong secondhand market for the remainder of the year,” Allied Shipbroking noted in a weekly report.

More than seven shipbroking houses reported that Maersk Tankers sold two 2004-built 37,188 dwt sister MR tankers Maersk Edgar and Maersk Erin to undisclosed buyers for $9.35m each. The sale follows Maersk Tankers’ acquisition of seven MR tankers from AET for $93.5m in total in the previous week.

Lion Shipbrokers, Advanced Shipping & Trading and Allied Shipbroking listed a deal in which Hafnia Tankers sold its 2004-built 46,000 dwt MR tanker Hafnia Atlantic for a price of $10m. VesselsValue data shows the vessel has been sold to Chinese owner Zhejiang Changchang Shipping and renamed Win Sino.

“On the dry bulk side, a strong flow of transactions took place the last couple of days or so. Of course, this can been seen as a mere reflection of the much better earning levels currently being experienced. At this point, we see sound focus for the smaller size segments (handysize and supramax), which show higher stability against the recent corrections noted in the freight market the past couple of weeks. All-in-all, as we are approach the last quarter of the year, we can expect buying interest to remain relatively strong,” Allied Shipbroking said in its weekly report.

Intermodal and Allied Shipbroking both reported the sale of the 2004-built 203,000 dwt capesize bulker Azul Integra. Chinese state-run owner Shandong Shipping is said to have bought the Japanese-built vessel from Japan’s Shunzan Kaiun for a price of $15m.

Banchero Costa and Intermodal listed the sale of the 2002 South Korean-built capesize bulker Lowlands Brilliance. The 169,600 dwt vessel was sold by Cobelfret to South Korean interests for a price of $10m.

Several shipbroking houses including Seasure Shipbroking, Advanced Shipping & Trading, Lion Shipbrokers and Clarksons all reported that South Korean owner KD Ocean sold its 2005-built 91,400dwt post panamax bulker Duke Orsino to Chinese buyers. The Oshima-built vessel has fetched a price of $11.3m.

On the containership sale and purchase market, Braemar ACM Shipbroking believes several sectors will see new benchmarks set on pricing, firming in the larger vessels and a downward correction in the feeder sector in the coming weeks.

According to Braemar, Sea Consortium has acquired the 2013-built 4,957 teu Hammonia Istria from German owner Hammonia Reederei for a price of $28m after it acquired three sister ships from the same company back in June.

Intermodal reported that Danish owner Navigare has bought two 12,562 teu containerships, the 2011-built Southampton Express and the 2010-built Rome Express from German owner Peter Dohle for $160m in total.

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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