Ship owners have returned to shipyards this past week, with more deals in the container and LNG/LPG shipping segments. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied said that “last week saw orders in line with the trends seen over the year so far. CMA CGM returned with an order for six methanol fueled 16,000 TEU container vessels, slightly larger than the twelve ordered at the end of last month. So far this year, CMA CGM has accounted for around half of container vessels contracted so far this year and around 55% of capacity in terms of TEU. Investment in gas carrier assets continued as expected, with orders placed by ABGC for three vessels at Japanese yards. Interest has been split roughly evenly between vessels sized around 87,000 cbm (LPG) and those at least 174,000 cbm (LNG), with these latest orders falling into the former category. The current pace of investment is lower than what we witnessed last year, but the outlook remains positive and there is no reason to expect a significant change in this ordering trend in the near term. Also noteworthy is the fact that French operator Socatra has entered the LOI stage for tankers with stainless steel tanks (which is reflected in the price)”. Allied said.
In a separate report this week, shipbroker Banchero Costa added that it was an “interesting week in the newbuilding market, which shows signs of revival after slow activity for a few months. Starting from tankers, Kyklades Maritime is reported to have signed a letter of intent with Cosco Yangzhou for the construction of 2 + 1 115,000 dwt Aframax for a price in the low $60s mln each. The delivery, if the order will be finalized, should be in 2025. Aframax tankers were also ordered by Vitol, which booked a pair of units at Shanghai Waigaoqiao for $63.5mln apiece, deliveriesin 2025. Swiss-based Owner Advantage Tankers was rumored to have signed a letter of intent with Korean yard DH Shipbuilding for 3 x 157,000 dwt Suezmax. The price reported is $79mln each, deliveries between 2025/2026; the first two vessels will be dual fuel LNG.
Latsco exercised the option for 2 x 88,000 cbm LPG carriers to be added to the two already booked at Hyundai for $98.8mln, deliveries between May and August 2026. Another deal in the LPG segment involves UAE based ABGC DMCC, a joint venture with by Al Seer and BGN International, which placed an order for one additional 86,000 cbm to the 2 already booked from Hyundai Samho, priced $90mln. An interesting deal also in the dry segment, where Oshima received an order from Greek Owner Sea Pioner Shipping for 3 x 81,000 dwt Kamsarmax. The price reported is $38mln for each vessel, deliveries between 2025 and 2026”.
Meanwhile, in the S&P market, Allied said that “activity in secondhand sales remained healthy last week, showing signs of stronger buying appetite than the first few weeks of 2023. In the dry bulk sector, transactions posted a minor drop, with buyers being mostly focused on smaller vessels, especially Handysizes which were the main protagonists of last week’s SnP activity. On the other hand, the tanker sector contracted again last week, with the number of transactions returning back to normal levels after a buying rally the week prior. Interestingly enough, there’s been a small uptick on gas carrier secondhand sales, supported by an en-bloc transaction. For the oil and oil products carriers, buying appetite was somewhat spread across all size segments, although the preference for smaller vessels still remains clear”.
Banchero Costa also said that “the Japanese controlled Ocean Caesar 180,000 dwt built 2008 Imabari (BWTS fitted SS due 2026 DD due 2024) was reported committed at $19.7mln to Singaporean buyers. Back in January Aquahope 177,000 dwt built 2007 Namura was sold at mid $18s mln to Turkish buyers. US based buyer Eagle Bulk is reported to be behind the purchase of Aston 64,000 dwt built 2020 COSCO (Scrubber/BWTS fitted SS due 2025 ) at $30mln.
In the Handysize segment Interlink Priority 38,000 dwt built 2015 Taizhou Kouan (SS due 2025 BWTS fitted ice class 1C ) has been committed at high $19s mln, back in December the same owners sold her sister vessel Interlink Sagacity $20mln. In the tanker sector COSCO controlled VLCC Cosglory Lake 300,000 dwt built 2003 Universal (SS/DD due Apr 2023) was reported sold at low $40s mln to C. of Lila Global. The MR tanker Johnny Trader MR 45,000 dwt built 2004 STX (SS DD due March 2024) was rumored sold at $18mln, back in January Challenge Passage 48,000 dwt built 2005 Iwagi was reported at low/mid $17mln”, the shipbroker concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide