Data provided exclusively by online pricing platform VesselsValue.com shows just how dramatically Japanese owners have been shedding dry bulk tonnage in 2016.
In the first seven months of the year, Japanese owners sold 83 vessels – equating to 6.82m dwt – for a total of US$886.46m. Greece was the second biggest seller in the same period with 71 ships, totalling 4.9m dwt, worth US$521.5m. Japan was also the top seller of bulk carriers in 2015.
The top three Japanese sellers in the year to date have been Sumitomo Corp, Daiichi Chuo and Nisshin Shipping.
Globally, dry bulk sales have accelerated in the first seven months of the year, according to VesselsValue.com with 323 ships equating to 24.4m dwt sold, whereas in the same period last year, 251 ships equating to 19.07m dwt were sold. However, despite the increased volume of sales, the total price for all the bulker sales this year is down on an annual basis.
The Vietnamese are getting more adept at shipping asset plays.
Tan Binh Shipping, which took the 10-year-old 33,000dwt Angel Jupiter bulker, from Sanko Steamship this March for US$5m, has just sold it on for US$7.2m to an unspecified European owner.
Brokers were unable to identify the buyer but the sale of the ship, since rechristened Tan Binh 234, marks a sign of new dexterity at the Vietnamese owner, which has been very active in the S&P markets for the past 18 months. It also reaffirms market sentiment that dry bulk prices have bottomed out.
In another rare example of a Vietnamese owner performing an asset play, Haiphong-based Viet Long JSC last month pocketed a tidy US$1m profit from a quick bulker turnaround.
The Southeast Asian owner bought the Bianco Venture handy bulker at the beginning of the year for US$5.2m. The Oshima-built ship, rechristened Great Pride, has now been bought by Hong Kong's Taylor Maritime for US$6.2m, according to brokers.
Danish shipping company J. Lauritzen has confirmed it opted to sell two Supramax bulk carrier newbuildings and cancel a part-owned handysize bulk carrier during the second quarter of 2016 as it executed further cash improving initiatives.
The company narrowed its quarterly loss to US$22.4m for the second quarter of 2016 from a loss of US$117.6m reported in the same period a year earlier. The company's revenues for the period dropped to US$68m from US$91m seen in the same quarter in 2015.
J. Lauritzen's loss for the first six months of 2016 amounted to US$30.6m, against a loss of US$144.5m in the first half of 2015, while its revenues for the period dropped to US$155.4m from US$180.6m seen a year earlier.
"Despite some improvements in Q2, dry cargo markets remained at historically depressed levels due to sustained weak trade growth and tonnage oversupply, which significantly impacted our EBITDA. Continuing cash building initiatives, including trimming of our owned dry cargo fleet caused additional write-downs negatively impacting the bottom-line," Jan Kastrup-Nielsen, President & CEO, said, adding that "our gas carriers performed largely as expected."
Total assets amounted to US$625.9m as at June 30, 2016, down from US$858.6m seen at year-end 2015, mainly due to the sale of assets and cancellation of newbuilding contracts.
Namely, the company's two 61,000dwt bulk carriers, currently under construction at China's Dalian Cosco Kawasaki Shipyard, were sold in May and August 2016, respectively.
According to data provided by VesselsValue, the newbuildings, which were sold for US$18.3m and US$18.4m to Danish BW Dry Cargo and US-based Raven Capital Management, are scheduled for delivery in 2016.
One of the year's most aggressive bulker buyers has concluded a deal with one of the most consistent sellers.
Bangladesh's SR Shipping has bought the six-year-old Ten Yu Maru supramax from Japan's Kambara Kisen for US$11.7m.
Sources describe the price as very firm, around US$1m than a sister ship recently sold.
SR Shipping is understood to be big fans of Tsuneishi-built supramaxes. Tsuneishi is the shipbuilder sister company of Kambara Kisen. SR Shipping has been one of the fastest growing dry bulk firms this year while Kambara Kisen, like many Japanese owners, has been shedding tonnage fast amid the downturn.
After it earlier reached deals to sell three of its bulkers, the owner and operator of Supramax dry bulk vessels Eagle Bulk Shipping has decided to dispose of another ship for net proceeds of US$4.2m.
The vessel in question is 2002-built MV Kittiwake, which features 53,146 dwt.
During the second quarter of the year, the company concluded the earlier announced sales of MV Peregrine and MV Falcon, raising a total of US$5.8m, and subsequently finalized the sale of MV Harrier for net proceeds of USD 3.2 million.
The company opted for the additional sale as it booked a net loss of US$22.5 million for the second quarter of 2016, compared to a net loss of US$27.5m seen in the same quarter a year earlier.
Net revenues for the quarter increased to US$25.6m from US$22.6m recorded in the second quarter of 2015, mainly due to an increased number of freight voyages as well as increased available days due to chartered in vessels.
In July, the company entered into an agreement to raise US$88m in gross proceeds through a sale of its common stock, which is scheduled to close on Aug. 10, 2016, with proceeds targeted for the acquisition of dry bulk vessels and general corporate purposes.
"In the midst of a historically weak drybulk market, Eagle Bulk's second quarter was bookended by two milestone achievements as we seek to re-position the company for future success. First, we entered the quarter having completed a comprehensive balance sheet recapitalization that significantly improved our long-term financial flexibility. Then, subsequent to the quarter's close, we raised nearly US$90m in growth capital through a common stock private placement," said Gary Vogel, Eagle Bulk's CEO.
He added that these moves are expected to enable the company to commence a fleet growth and renewal program while developing its commercial operating platform.
CarVal Investors, LLC, an investment arm of Cargill, has sold its newbuilding Capesize bulk carrier for a total consideration of US$32.5m, according to data released by VesselsValue.
The 180,000dwt ship, named Mustang, was purchased by Greece-based shipowner Chartworld Shipping Corporation.
Featuring 93,960 gross tons, the vessel is currently under construction at Chinese yard New Times Shipbuilding and it is scheduled for delivery during the year.
Mustang will join Chartworld's fleet of 64 vessels covering the dry bulk, tanker, reefer and container sectors.
Kambara Kisen, the Japanese owners who also control Tsuneishi Shipbuilding, are in a selling mood. The line has put many ships up for sale this year on the back of the dry bulk slump. The latest three to go are a newbuild pair due for delivery this year and an 11-year-old handymax.
Two kamsarmaxes due for delivery soon have been bought by compatriot owner Nisshin Shipping for US$22m each. Like many other Japanese owners.
Kambara Kisen also invited bids last week for the Tess 52 design handymax Triple Ever with Clarksons Research indicating an unspecified Singaporean owner as the buyer for US$7.5m.
Kambara Kisen has sold 10 ships this year.
German owner Schepers H Bereederungs has sold a six-year-old supramax bulker for $7m. Singapore's Wilmar International is behind the acquisition of the Chinese built Dolpin 57 design Kilian S ship, according to Clarksons Research.
Wilmar International is owned by tycoon Kuok Khoon Hong whose other interests include Raffles Ship Management.
Monaco-based Gestion Maritime has sold the oldest bulk carrier in its fleet. According to some information coming from broker sources, the 2002-built panamax named Matilde Corrado will be offloaded to the South Korean Sinokor Merchant Marine for US$4.8m. Sinokor has been very active of late eyeing secondhand tonnage.
The deal has been confirmed by Danilo Fumarola, CEO of Gestion Maritime, even if he did not disclose the identity of the buyer.
"I can confirm the Matilde Corrado has been sold to Korean buyers," he said, adding, "This sale is part of our ongoing project aiming at a fleet renewal based on selling older tonnage and buying new ones, either bulk carriers or tankers. We experienced a small recovery in dry bulk secondhand asset prices in the last few months."
Talking about possible new investments, Fumarola added, "On the newbuilding market the prices are historically low as many interesting opportunities are emerging. That's the best possible scenario for a company like Gestion Maritime interested in building up a long-term business in shipping."
China's shipping company Zhejiang Ocean Shipping Co (ZOSCO) has sold two of its Capesize bulkers to the South Korean shipping firm Sinokor Merchant Marine, show data provided by VesselsValue.
The vessels in question are Zosco Jiaxing and Zosco Shao Xing, each featuring 176,000 dwt.
Built in 2009, the bulkers were sold for US$14.9m each, slightly less than their market value of US$15.2m.
The two bulk carriers, with a length of 291.8 meters and a width of 45 meters, were built by Chinese shipyard Jinhai Heavy Industry.
With 91,971 gross tons, the vessels were a part of the company's fleet of 12 Capesizes.
Following the conclusion of the sale and the delivery of these two ships, Zhejiang Ocean Shipping will operate a fleet of ten Capesize bulk carriers ranging from 175,900 dwt to 180,400 dwt.
The company's fleet will now consist of 2010- and 2011-built vessels, all of which were built by Jinhai Heavy Industry.