By the end of the week, the notable decline of the BDI and dry bulk freight rates since late last year came to a stop with a marginal improvement on Thursday and Friday, mostly on relatively stronger recovery in the cape market; still, it was a down week for the index, with about 0.75% decline. Crude tankers have been the star of the week, with freight rates improving impressively on certain routes; some improvement is due to seasonality - still, winter season in the northern hemisphere, due to bad weather affecting vessel routing - heavy delays due to fogging in the Bosporus affecting Suezmax tonnage trading Black Sea, and due to lower tonnage availability in the AG - owners have been ballasting en masse VLCCs from AG to WAF for better prospects (probably an interesting point for further analysis, ballasting vessels around the Cape and incurring millions of dollars in bunker expenses in the hope of better prospects in another geography; 'herd mentality' possibly, but for now, AG tonnage faithful tonnage got the best of it, and their prospects look good for February, too.) The best markets have been Carribs - USG and cross-Med trading for aframaxes, where in the latter market have benefited by association due to Bosporus delays but mostly have benefited from Libya's crude exports coming to the market again (as a reminder, just last week, rebel forces had threatened to open fire at tankers approaching terminals for loading, but the economics got the better of the threats, since oil exports translate to hard currency in a desperate country.) One of the highest fixtures has been ExxonMobil's fixture of Thenamaris' „MT SEAOATH" at 260 WS, well in excess of $100,000 TCE for cross-Med voyage.
Activity in the sale & purchase market continues robustly, as hopes for a market recovery seem to be getting stronger hold. Late last week, it was reported athat Marmaras Navigation of Greece has acquired Hull No J0021 for 176,000 dwt capesize vessel with 2014 delivery at Jinhai Heavy Industries at approximately $47 million, and also Greek independent owner Transmed has acquired Qingdao Beihai BC180-26 and BC180-30 hulls for 180,000 dwt capesize vessels with 2014 delivery at about $48 million, each. These transactions stand out for a couple of reasons: despite the overall pessimism in the capesize market, still, these are acquisitions by 'real' independent, operating shipowners who put a lot of their own equity at risk (as opposed to 'OPM' investments) which indicates real conviction in the market; further to it, the pricing seems extremely competitive as compared to recent 'OPM', highly advertised acquisitions of comparable tonnage, and also compared to standard shipbroker tables with 'Cape Resales' markedly in the $50+ million territory.
The Kamsarmax vessel MV „MINERAL PEARL" (81,500 DWT, 2013, Guangzhou Longxue) has achieved $27 million, while almost comparable vessel MV „PRETTY MASTER" (82,000 DWT, 2013, Zhejiang Judger S.B.) was sold at the relatively weak $24 million. Possibly the confused identity name of the vessel may explain the price differential? Panamax bulker MV „TRAVE" (75,300 DWT, 2001, Hyundai Samho) was sold to Kassian Maritime in Greece at the rather strong $16.1 million, while MV „GRAND DIVA" (75,600 DWT, 2007, Imabari SB) was sold at $21.5 million to Italian buyers (Augustea.) Older panamax MV „GLOBAL TRIUMPH" (73,000 DWT, 1996, CSBC Kaohsiung) sold to a scrap related $8 million to Chinese buyers (Shandong Shagang.)
Ultramax vessels have been in high demand recently, and Greek buyers have acquired four SDARI 64 vessels under construction at Jinling Shipyard (Hull Nos: JLZ9120408-11) ordered by Asia Pacific Enterprises; all vessels are due to deliver in 2014 and price consideration has been at about $30.5 million per vessel. We understand also the Oldendorff Carriers has sold a Crown 63 deign ultramax vessel MV „DIETRICH OLDENDORFF' (63,500 DWT, 2013, C4x35T, Dayang S.B.) to Greek buyers at $31 million, with a market-indexed charter back to the sellers.
Supramax tonnage has also been active, with the MV „FAR EASTERN VENUS" (53,500 DWT, 2006, C4x30T, Imabari S.B.) fetching $21 million, while also Japanese built MV „IKAN SERONG" (56,000 DWT, 2006, C4x35T, Mitsui Ichihara) achieved excess $ 22 million. Chinese built and with survey due shortly MV „ORIENT RISE" (56,500 DWT, 2010, C4x30T, Qinghan Shipyard) achieved a rather weak $21.5 million from German buyers. Handymax vessels have also been active with sistership vessels MV „PACIFIC CHAMP" and MV „PACIFIC ROYAL" (43,000 DWT, 1996, C4x25T, H.H.I.) achieving $9 million each, while slightly older but comparable Japanese-built vessel MV „AZURE SKY" (45,750 DWT, 1995, C4x30T, Imabari S.B.) achieved a shade below $9 million. Slightly newer and larger, still Japanese built MV „EILHARD SCHULTE" (49,500 DWT, 1999, C4x25T, IHI) achieved $12.75 million from Greek buyers, while slightly older and smaller Japanese-built MV „TINA A" (42,500 DWT, 1999, C4x30T, I.H.I) achieved $10.5 million by Danish buyers.
In the pure handysize market, MV „DANIELA BOLTEN" (23,750, 2007, C4x30T, Shin Kochi H.I.) was sold at just below $15 million, while MV „CS SOLARIS" (28,500 DWT, 2001, C4x30T, Imabari S.B.) was sold at a shade less $13 million. Large handy MV „CARL OLDENDORFF" (31,500 DWT, 2002, C4x30, Saiki) was sold to undisclosed interests at $14.1 million.
Definitely lots of activity to report, and this is only in the dry bulk market. We understand that most of these sales, primarily of 'older' tonnage, are individual sales (as compared to en bloc 'corporate' sales reported in our previous report) by independent owners, signifying still strong activity in the market and expectations for a recovery. And, as not to be any doubts about the strong market recovery expected - sometime, somehow - about eighty-five (85) were ordered so far in 2014, about four (4) vessels per diem, which, surprisingly, is well below 2013 activity when on average, seven (7) vessels were getting ordered each and every single day of the year, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays included.
Long live the market recovery!
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