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Hellas: Tankers and bulkers the main priorities among ship owners

Monday, 26 June 2017 | 00:00

Shipowners from Hellas have been very active in the S&P market since the start of the year, as cash-rich owners are looking to take advantage of the lower ship prices. During the month of May, as per Golden Destiny figures, Greek owners were responsible for 23% of the global S&P activity. They acquired a total of 34 ships, with a capacity of 3.57 million tons dwt, for an aggregate price of 712.5 million dollars. On a global scale, shipowners invested $2.175 billion, as 148 vessels of 10,615,888 million-dwt changed hands during the fifth month of the year.

Meanwhile, market sources have indicated that since the start of 2017 and up until the early part of June, Greek owners have poured a total of 2.42 billion euros, for the acquisition of 151 ships, the majority of which (100 vessels in particular) have been dry bulk carriers. An additional 33 tankers and 16 container ships were also bought by Greek shipping companies this year. In its monthly analysis, Golden Destiny's head of research, Ms. Sofia M. Kokkini, owners' appetite for dry bulk carriers, was quite strong during May, despite the fact that at the same period, freight rates for Capesizes retreated by 15% and those for smaller ship types, like Supramax and Handysize were down by 19%. “This can be viewed as a token of confidence in the dry bulk market's future prospects as well”, said Ms. Kokkini.

During May, owners from Hellas acquired 14 dry bulk carriers with a dwt of 1.57 million tons, while the amount invested was $307 million. It's worth noting, that prices for second hand bulkers went further down on the month, by a range of 2% – 4%. In any case though, most of the demand was directed towards Capesizes, as predictions regarding the exports of iron ore to China, remain in positive ground for the second half of 2017.

Additionally, demand for strong for tankers as well. Golden Destiny reports that 18 ships were bought by Greeks, for a total consideration of almost $400 million and a carrying capacity of 1.92 million tons. Kokkini said that “buying interest in the crude tanker segment is mainly driven from the low price environment, rather than the expectancy of a swift market rebound.

Meanwhile, in its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal noted that “SnP activity in the tanker sector has been firming during the past days, with Buyers showing an evident preference on the clean market, while Dry Bulk activity slightly picked up as well. Adding to that the main interest was for modern tonnage. On the tanker side we had the sale of the “MAERSK RAPIER” (34,985dwt-blt 00, China), which was sold to Greek buyer, for a price in the region of $6.75m. On the dry bulker side we had the sale of the “WREN” (53,348dwt-blt 08, China), which was sold to Greek owner, Starbulk, for a price in the region of $8.0million” the shipbroker concluded.

Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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