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Weekly Broker: Vintage VLCCs dominate

The sale and purchase market in general continues be gloomy this past week especially the dry bulk market with April proving to be the quietest month for bulker sales in nearly 30 years. As several major ports have implemented measures to facilitate crew change and trade activities, activities are expected to recover at a slow pace.

“On the dry bulk side, a further plunge in activity was witnessed during the past two weeks, with interest from buyers being lackluster. The uncertainty that dominates the global economy at the moment and the drop noted lately in freight rates are factors that have severe negative effect on buying appetite. However, in the case that requested prices from sellers start to decline in the following weeks, we may see a slight gear up in action,” Allied Shipbroking said.

Allied Shipbroking and Lorentzen & Stemoco listed an en bloc deal in which Taiwanese owner China Steel Express sold two 2002-built 175,000 dwt capesize bulkers – China Steel Growth and China Steel Excellence. The two CSBC-built vessels are believed to be acquired by compatriot Taiwanese buyers for $8m each.

Multiple shipbroking houses including Advanced Shipping & Trading, Allied Shipbroing, Intermodal, and Clarksons all reported that Greek owner Pleiades Shipping has offloaded two 2019-built 63,000 dwt ultramax bulkers – Kifissos and Ilissos – for $26.5m each. UAE owner ADNOC Logistics and Services is the buyer of the vessels. Following the sale, Pleiades has exited from the dry bulk business.

Several shipbroking houses reported the sale of the 2008-built 75,000 dwt panamax Paganini while Intermodal identified the buyer as Greek owner Modion Maritime. The vessel has fetched a price of $8.1m.

“On the tankers side, things have been more stable, as the freight market continues to fluctuate on an upward range for almost all segments. The COVID-19 situation may have curbed highly speculative buying appetite, but the healthy fundamentals, especially after the ramp up in oil trade noted of late, will have as a result the upkeep of buying appetite overall. Last week we mainly noted crude oil tankers changing hands, but this drift is expected to spread to oil product tankers in the coming weeks,” Allied Shipbroking added.

VesselsValue data shows that 70% of all ship sales this month have been for vintage VLCCs.

Splash already reported a couple of VLCC sale deals earlier this week. Greek owner Dynacom has purchased the 2005-built VLCC Takasaki from Japanese owner NYK for a price of $37.8m.

Greek owner Altomare acquired two VLCCs from separate owners. The company has bought the 2005-built TI Hellas from Euronav for $38.3m and the 2005-built Olympic Leader from Greek owner Olympic Shipping for $39m.

In the meantime, broker sources also reported that Altomare sold three VLCCs, the 2000-built Kelly and Marbella as well as 2002-built Rene, to unspecified Middle Eastern buyers en bloc for a total price of $92m.

Multiple shipbroking hosues including Allied Shipbroking, Intermodal, Lorentzen & Stemoco and Clarksons all reported that Meiji Shipping sold its 2006-built 75,000 dwt LR1 tanker, Eternal Diligence, to Greek owner Benetech. The Japanese-built vessel has been sold for $12m.

According to Braemar ACM Shipbroking, the secondhand containership market continued in much the same vein and offering relatively little to report in concluded sales.

“Whether the beginnings of world economies planning to re-open is sufficient to provide a boost to optimism remains to be seen. At least in the very short-term it is difficult to foresee this being sufficient to cause a dramatic rebound in the container market. So we expect that a number of ships under discussion will soon be transacted at significant discounts to their values only a few months ago,” Braemar said.

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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