Newbuilding orders pick up again as summer nears end

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The fact that the summer is nearing its end has prompted more ship owners into securing more newbuilding orders. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal said that “stable newbuilding activity resumed last week as well, while the fact that the list of the latest newbuilding deals had a couple of dry bulk orders but no tanker ones is a first in a long time and of course indicative of the difference in momentum each sector is currently witnessing. The steady and rather unexpected improvement of dry bulk earnings during the traditionally quiet month of August has certainly given additional confidence to those owners who have been contemplating placing a newbuilding order. Indeed, with expectations for a particularly firm last quarter of the year building up quickly, the belief that asset prices will also firm during that time has revived healthy contracting activity in the sector, while oppositely we are seeing less and less tanker orders lately following the disappointing performance that earnings have been witnessing throughout the summer season and the consequent pressure on asset prices in the sector. In terms of recently reported deals, Hong Kong listed owner, SITC lines, placed an order for six firm feedermax containers (1,011 teu) at Dae Sun, in S. Korea for a price in the region of $18.6m each and delivery set in 2019.

In a separate newbuilding report, Clarkson Platou Hellas said that “there is one order to report in Dry this week. It has been reported that China Steel Express have placed an order for two firm 208,000 DWT Newcastlemaxes at CSBC. Set for delivery in 3Q 2019, the duo will be built at CSBC’s Kaohsiung facility. In the Container market, Dae Sun have signed a contract for six 1,011 TEU Container Carriers with SITC. The vessels will be delivered throughout 2018 and 2019 from Busan, Korea”, the shipbroker said.

Moving on to the S&P market, Intermodal said that “with activity in the second-hand market taking a very small break during the second week of August, it now seems that Buyers are back with healthy appetite, while modern dry bulk tonnage is once again gaining most of the interest. On the tanker side we had the sale of the “TORM FOX” (37,025dwt-blt ‘05, S. Korea), which was sold to Indonesian buyer, for a price in the region $10.7m. On the dry bulker side we had the sale of the “FORTUNE CLOVER” (77,430dwt-blt ‘06, Japan), which was sold to Greek buyers, for a price in the region of $11.7 million”.

In a separate note, ships’ valuations expert, VesselsValue noted that tanker values have remained stable this week. “Aframax DS Amba Bhavanee (107,100 DWT, Dec 2003, Koyo Dock) sold at auction for USD 4.5 mil having been laid up 4 years with class expired. The MR Torm Fox (37,000 DWT, May 2005, Hyundai Mipo) was sold for USD 11 mil vs VV USD 11.7 keeping values stable”. In the bulker segment, “it has been a quiet week in the Bulker market. The Panamax BC Harbour Hirose (83,500 DWT, Oct 2011, Sanoyas) sold for USD 19.3 mil vs VV USD 19.25 mil. The Panamax BC Fortune Clover (77,400 DWT, Aug 2006, Oshima) sold for USD 11.9 mil vs VV USD 12.06 million”, VV said. Finally, in the container segment, values firmed slightly this week. According to VV, the Sub Panamax Chief (2,672 TEU, Nov 2001, Stocznia Gdansk) sold for USD 6 mil vs VV USD 5.4 million.

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