The “mantra” of 2018 has been calling for prudence from the part of ship owners, if a freight market rebound is to materialize in the tanker market, not to mention the danger looming for the sustainability of the dry bulk segment as well. Still, newbuilding contracting activity has been quite firm. Over the course of the past week, Allied Shipbroking commented that “the newbuilding market felt an uptick in activity this past week, despite the continuing sluggish mode that has been noted in the market lately. This coincided with the rebound in volume noted from the tanker sector, which countered the overall feel this market has been giving off lately. Seeing once again movement, has helped build up positive sentiment, however, this boost is embraced with hesitation by many market participants. Given the volatility of the market, it is not surprising that many are questioning these latest orders, with fears mounting as to the added pressure these new vessels may well bring come their delivery date. On the other hand, new ordering in the dry bulk market continues to remain slow, indicating that flow from that side is losing stability and becoming subject to periodical pressure or to potential opportunities that may arise. Given their more robust fundamentals, it has been surprising to see that so few have flocked to take up this ordering option window, especially when noting the significant upward pressure being seen on prices right now”, said Allied.
In a separate shipbuilding report this week, Clarkson Platou Hellas said that “in Tankers, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) have announced signing a contract for three firm 300,000 DWT VLCCs with an unknown owner. The vessels are set for delivery within 1H 2020 from Okpo. DSME have announced winning a further order for two firm 300,000 DWT VLCCs from an unknown European owner. These two units will also deliver within 1H 2020. DSME have also announced a contract for two firm 174,000 CBM LNG Carriers for delivery in 3Q 2020 – similarly the buyer’s identity remains undisclosed. In the small sizes, Jinling Shipyard have received an order for one firm 6,500 CBM LPG/Ehylene Carrier from domestic owner Nanjing Yangyang Chemical Transport for delivery in 1Q 2020”, the shipbroker said.
Meanwhile, in the S&P market this past week, shipowners’ appetite for additional dry bulk tonnage was unabated. In its report, Allied said that “on the dry bulk side, the temporary pause came as quick as it appeared, with a exacerbated rush for deal conclusion being seen after the end of the Chinese New Year. It looks as though the situation in the freight market added significant confidence amongst buyers, while it now seems as though we may well see some increased competition emerging amongst buyers. With an extra boost from the freight market one could see how this could easily heat up the market relatively quickly, while we are likely to see most of this force focused on the more modern tonnage this time around. On the tanker side, things went back down to “quiet”, with a minimal level of vessels changing hand this week. It seems as though the recent trough in the freight market has caused many to take yet again a “wait and see” strategy, while there are still many that feel that sentiment is clouded in considerable uncertainty for now, giving mixed views amongst both buyers and sellers”, Allied Shipbroking said.
In a note this week, VesselsValue said that bulkers’ values have remained mostly stable, but with a slight firming in older panamax tonnage. “Panamax Sea Ace (81,800 DWT, Sept 2012, Longxue) sold for USD 18.5 mill, VV value USD 17.32 mill. Ultramax BW Durum (61,500 DWT, Sept 2016, Dalian COSCO) sold to Navigare for USD 25 mill, including a charter for 1 year at USD 12,000 pd. VV value 23.61 mill. Supramax Darya Vishnu (56,100 DWT, Jul 2006, Mitsui Tamano) sold to Polforce Shipping for USD 12.8 mill. VV value 12.23 mill. Supramax Polestar (53,500 DWT, Feb 2006, Imabari) sold at auction for USD 9.3 mill to Pingtan Minghui. VV value 11.36 million” said VV.