Following the purchase of five dry bulkers in August, Pacific Basin Shipping Limited is exploring more acquisitions of second-hand tonnage lured by attractive prices.
"We will continue to look at attractive secondhand ship acquisition opportunities if they can generate a reasonable payback at prevailing asset prices and freight earnings," Mok Kit Ting, Kitty, the company's Secretary, said in a third-quarter trading update.
Three of the five recently bought second-hand vessels have been delivered into Pacific Basin’s fleet during the quarter, with one more to follow later this year and another in the first quarter of 2018.
"These latest acquisitions will increase our owned fleet to 106 ships, grow the proportion of our owned versus chartered Supramax ships, and reduce our owned Supramax daily break-even levels," Ting said.
During the quarter, the company completed the sale of its final tug, concluding its exit from towage business.
Pacific Basin further added that during the third quarter of 2017 its daily TCE earnings for Handysize and Supramax ships stood at USD 8,130 and USD 9,350 respectively, representing an improvement of 15% and 27% compared to the same period in 2016.
The company added that its year-to-date average Handysize and Supramax daily net TCE earnings increased 25% and 41% year on year.
"The dry bulk freight market indices for most of 2017 have followed a similar pattern as last year, although at a significantly higher level. The typically weak start to the year was followed by a stronger second quarter, but a seasonal mid-year decline affected index rates in the third quarter," a company comment on the market reads.
"Stronger demand growth across most cargo categories drove a marked increase in rates over the last few weeks of the quarter. However, due to the lag between securing cargoes and performing voyages, and with most of our fourth quarter revenue days already covered, these stronger rates will have a marginal effect on our 2017 results."
Speaking of the outlook, Pacific Basin claims to be well positioned to benefit from the market rebound.
"Our healthy cash and net gearing positions, our competitive cost structure, and our increased proportion of owned ships all position us well for a recovering market," Ting added.