Ship owners are contracting newbuilding vessels left and right over the past week, as 2018 and the Holiday Season are just a couple of weeks away. In its latest weekly report, Allied Shipbroking said that it was “another week with plenty of activity being reported in the Newbuilding market, after many weeks of high volatility and sluggish fresh interest noted. At this point, both of the main sectors driving the market, namely the Dry Bulks and Tankers showed a fairly healthy appetite in placing new orders. It is true that the new high reached in the overall Dry Bulk freight index has helped further boost the interest for new orders, changing the mind of many who had second thoughts as to the robustness of the market from the downward correction that was noted in previous weeks. Beyond this however, the surprising aspect to this market has been the activity which came from the Tanker side, where the state of the market with its bearish mode, would seemingly be uninspiring for many potential investors. As things stand down, the trend in the Newbuilding market indicates that we can expect many more interesting projects coming to light before the close of the year, as most will be trying hard to secure both the favorable price levels that are still being quoted as well as the growing options in terms of financing made available from a number of major Chinese shipbuilders”.
In a separate report, Clarkson Platou Hellas said that "in Tankers, Teekay Shuttle Tankers have extended their series of 129,220 DWT DP2 Shuttle Tankers at Samsung Heavy Industries by declaring an option for two additional units. Being the 3rd and 4th vessels in the series, this duo will be delivered in 2Q 2020 and built to be LNG dual fuelled. A couple of orders to report in Dry, starting with Jiangsu New YZJ signing a contract with China Development Bank Leasing for five firm plus five optional 208,000 DWT Newcastlemaxes. The firm vessels are set to deliver throughout 2019 and 2020 and will go on charter to Cargill. On the smaller sizes, Fujian Southeast Shipbuilding have won an order for two firm 20,500 DWT from domestic owners Fujian Anda Shipping and Fujian Shengda Shipping. Delivery is due in 2019", the shipbroker said.
Meanwhile, in the S&P market this week, Allied Shipbroking said that "on the dry bulk side, things lit up this past week, as interest started to re-emerge, especially on the Handysize segment. A fair amount of transactions with a strong focus on the older tonnage helped show that the is still some positive momentum to be had. With overall freight earnings having improved this past week and with the General Index having reached an almost 4 year high point, it may well be the case that competition amongst buyers may well start to intensify once more. On the tanker side, activity dropped back down to the average levels we have become accustomed to during this past year. Prices are still looking to have stabilized, although there is still a fair amount of debate in the market as to how much these price levels reflect reality as there are hardly any "willing" sellers out there that would be moved by such sort of price offers. Given the ongoing lack of transactions, this gap between buyers and sellers is pointed out fairly well".
Similarly, VesselsValue said this week that in the tanker market there is a softening in MR values. "MR2 Tanker Seaways Ariadmar (46,200 DWT, Jul 2004, STX Offshore) sold for USD 11.2 mil, VV value USD 12.22 mil. MR2 Tanker Caletta (51,700 DWT, Apr 2011, Hyundai Mipo) sold to Pallonji Shipping for USD 21.8 mil, VV value USD 23.29 million". In the dry bulk segment, "there has been a softening in Capesize values. Slight firming of Supramax values. Capesize CPO Asia (180,000 DWT, Mar 2011, Daewoo-Mangalia) sold to Seanergy Maritime Corp for USD 25.5 mil, VV value USD 27.66 million. Ultramax Equinox Melida (61,300 DWT, Jun 2016, Dalian COSCO KHI) sold to Vrontados Shipping for USD 25.5 mil, VV value USD 23.63 mil. Supramax vessels Orient Orchid & Orient Jasmine (55,600 and 56,100 DWT, Feb 2012, Mitsui Tamano) sold en bloc to DryLog for USD 35.0 mil, VV value USD 33.86 mil. Handymax Sunroad Mitoya (23,200 DWT, Apr 2011, Kurinoura Dock) sold for USD 8.5 mil, VV value USD 8.49 million", the ships' valuations expert concluded.