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Weekly Broker: Tankers lead the way as markets light up

Three weeks later than we had predicted the S&P scene finally lit up in the past few days, led by bargain hunting tanker buyers looking to lock in deals as the price of oil continues to rebound.

According to Alibra’s weekly comment, oil prices have continued their upward trend, hitting a four-year high earlier this week and a price spike is looking increasingly possible.

“The spike in tanker SnP activity is more than just impressive, with a number of en-bloc deals revealing the faith some owners have in the positive reversal of the market in time to make an investment now a profitable one, while dry bulk buyers are also back with interest in modern vessels of all sizes,” Intermodal said in its weekly report.

“An interesting week was to be seen on the tanker side, with a fair amount of deals reported for a second consecutive week, helping support prices for fairly modern tonnage for now. Overall however it is important to note that much of the activity seen this past week was driven by, yet again, a handful of enbloc deals,” Allied Shipbroking said.

Splash reported two major en bloc deals this week. Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Maritime acquired six tanker newbuildings from the bankrupt Toisa fleet for $280m while the UK’s Union Maritime bought eight aframax tankers from BP Shipping for a price of $108m in total.

More than eight shipbroking houses reported the sale of the 2001-built 298,641dwt VLCC Seaways Sakura. The Japanese-built vessel was sold to Greek owner, Hellenic Tankers, for a price in the region of $18.40m.

Another deal Splash reported this week, according to a number of shipbroking sources, is the sale of the 2013-built 51,800 dwt MR tanker Great Manta. Robert Kuok’s PCL Shipping is said to have acquired the ship for a price of around $27m.

Additionally, Advanced Shipping & Trading and Intermodal linked the sale of the 2000-built 47,000 dwt MR tanker Torm Neches with undisclosed Indonesian interests. The Japanese-built tanker has fetched a price of $7.8m.

“On the dry side, reported activity levels were fairly stable, though focus seems to have switched over to the smaller size segments… At the same time it seems as though prices are holding at stable levels for the time being, though some downward pressure is being felt on older aged tonnage as buying interest remains limited,” Allied Shipbroking said.

Allied Shipbroking, Intermodal and Lorentzen & Stemoco all reported the sale of the 2011-built 38,500 dwt handysize bulker Unicorn Ocean. Dutch owner Orient Shipping acquired the Japanese-built vessel from Japanese owner Mitsubishi Group for a price of $12.9m.

More than five shipbroking houses listed the sale of the 2006-built 185,800 dwt capesize bulker Cape Dover. Japanese owner K Line has sold the vessel to Greek owner Bright Navigation. The Japanese-built vessel has fetched a price of $22.5m.

According to Banchero Costa, Chinese buyers are hunting Tier II tonnage, especially supramaxes and kamsarmaxes which are rather rare to find since most of the tonnage is fairly modern and on the expensive side.

Multiple shipbroking houses reported a deal in which UAE-based owner Tomini Group sold its 2010-built 56,000 dwt supramax bulker Tomini Infinity. The Chinese-built vessel is said to have been bought by Chinese interests for a price of $10.3m.

In the container segment, Andreas J. Zachariassen reported that Lomar Shipping has sold two German-built 2,500 teu vessels. The 2002-built Norfolk Trader will soon be delivered to German buyer MPC Container Ships for $7.8m while the 2000-built Devon Trader has been sold to undisclosed buyers for a price of $6.8m.

“A lack of transactions has been a feature of the market with sellers seemingly underwhelmed by the prices on offer,” Braemar ACM noted in its weekly container report. As an example, the broker reported how the Japan-based owners of the 1,100 teu Oriental Bright invited offers at the beginning of the week aiming for in excess of $9m. After three inspections, the highest offer was at a tick above $8m and owners have opted to remarket the vessel.

“In general terms, buyers have been reluctant to move as quickly as they had earlier in the year and the sales candidate list has built-up across the size and age spectrum,” Braemar ACM noted.

Two panamaxes, the Bahia and Benito, both 4,300 teu and built in 2009 at Hanjin Subic, have been sold to a US-based fund on private terms.

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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