Piraeus - Ship owners are seemingly in the hunt for more newbuildings, after a mid-summer lull of activity brought ordering activity to a year-to-date low. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking noted that “despite the recent signs of clampdown during the summer period, the past couple of weeks has shown a more aggressive attitude once again emerging in the market. With the bulker sector taking the lead and tankers following closely, the overall market has been set on a bullish mode in terms of activity noted. The rather “surprising” fact is that we are seeing a fair volume of new contracting coming from the wet side, given that the prolonged slump in the freight market has weakened appetite for investing towards this direction. While, at the same time, the secondhand market is seemingly over spilling with a bargain hunting attitude, witnessing a fair interest for fresh projects, is clearly an indication of a positive outlook, as well as the strong dedication that current offered price levels are highly competitive right now. Notwithstanding this, given the volatile nature of the shipping industry as a whole, these competitive prices are not a driver on their own, especially given that things could turn sour relatively quickly if new ordering overshoots what the market can sustain”, said the shipbroker.
In a separate newbuilding report, Clarkson Platou Hellas said that there was “just one order to report in dry with Wuhu Shipyard contracting a single 64,000dwt bulk carrier with Shishi Dingxin Shipping for delivery in 2020. Whilst similar deadweight to an Ultramax, the vessel is actually a post-panamax beam vessel with LOA excess 200m – hence not a conventional design. Similarly to dry, there is a single domestic order to report in containers with CSC Jiangdong securing a contract for one 1,100 TEU feeder from Shanghai Changjiang Shipping, with delivery understood to be due in 2020. In Russia, Sovcomflot announced an order at domestic Zvezda Shipyard for two 114,000dwt ice-class Aframax for long term charter to Rosneft. The vessels will be LNG fuelled with delivery expected in 2021”.
Meanwhile, in the S&P market this week, Allied Shipbroking added that “on the dry side, things were quitter these past few days, with just a handful of transactions being reported. It seems as though the recent downward spiral noted from the side of earnings, as well as, the summer lull, which seemingly hasn’t faded away yet, can be seen as the main culprits of the current state in the market. However, given the robust market fundamentals and the general positive sentiment, we may well expect things to gear up once more, with a stable flow transactions and healthy appetite taking hold. On the wet side, a more active week on a w-o-w basis, with buying appetite seeming ample for the time being. As it has been mentioned already, the poor freight market performance leaves little room for further enthusiasm, so the main interest is solely focused on what seems as the “right” opportunity for the time being. Given though the existing interest levels, the sentiment being expressed by buyers is still pointing to an overall bullish view for the near term”.