Newbuilding Orders A Divisive Issue at the Moment

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Newbuilding Orders A Divisive Issue at the Moment

The choice to place an order for a newbuilding vessel, dry bulker or tanker, is dividing opinions at the moment, as ship owners appear to be unable to agree on the shipping markets’ future potential, especially at the current ships’ prices offered by yards. As a result, ordering activity is on a rollercoaster ride in the past few weeks, with high intensity weeks followed by scarcer activity. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking said that it was “a quiet week for the newbuilding market in terms of dry bulkers was observed last week, despite the improved sentiment that has been seen in the freight market of late. Meanwhile, some interesting movements were to be seen in the tanker segment, with a significant number of options being declared, despite the continued pressure being felt in terms of earnings right now. There was also an improved flow of fresh activity being seen in the more specialized segments, with a couple of new orders having been reported for gas units, and a cruise ship and offshore unit also coming to light. Given the overall picture being seen in the market, prices remain firm due to the slightly better interest levels now being expressed, but with considerable volatility in terms of activity levels still being seen due to limited confidence noted amongst buyers. Finally, as we approach the mid-summer period, the expectation is for a market to take shape over the next few weeks, with interest likely to resume in early autumn”, Allied noted.

Meanwhile, in a separate newbuilding report, Clarkson Platou Hellas commented that “in Tankers, clients of Central Shipping are reported to have declared their options to build a further 2 x 157,000dwt Suezmax Tankers at Hyundai Samho. These vessels will deliver in early 2020 and like the firm units will be scrubber fitted. In Dry, Klaveness have announced that they have further extended their series at YZJ in China by ordering one further 83,500dwt combination carrier. This vessel is now the fifth vessel in the series and is set to deliver in 2020. In Gas, DSME have announced two new deals to the market. The first with clients of Maran Gas, whom have declared their option for one 173,400 cbm LNG FSRU which will be delivered in 1H 2021. The second with Seatankers Management for a single 173,400 cbm LNG carrier with this ship set to be delivered in 2020. On the smaller end of the sector, it has been announced that Central LNG shipping (a JV between Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Chubu Electric Power, Toyota Tsusho and NYK) has placed an order for a 3,500cbm LNG Bunkering vessel to deliver late 2020, which will be the first of its kind operating in Japan”.

Meanwhile, in the S&P market, Allied added that “on the dry bulk side, activity slowed down even more this past week, with very few transactions coming to light. Buying interest varied between the different size segments, while in terms of age, the main focus stayed mostly on vintage units. Given the recent ship import restrictions announced from China, we are likely to continue to see an increase in activity being noted for vintage units over the coming weeks, though this increased buying is unlikely to help feed any boost in terms of price levels achieved. On the tanker side, we witnessed again a fair level of S&P deals take place this past few days. Moreover, once again the largest share of units were part of an enbloc transaction, reinforcing the fact that we are still seeing keen buying interest for bargain fleet deals. Given the speculative sentiment being expressed by most buyers with regards to the not so distant prospects of the market, it looks as though buying appetite will remain at relatively healthy levels for the time being”, the shipbroker concluded.


Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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