Shipowners are increasingly optimistic about the dry bulk market’s future prospects, as the balance between demand and supply looks set to even out by the end of 2018, even as demolition activity is expected to be slower than usual. Additionally, in the tanker segment, aggressive pricing by shipyards has prompted more orders “while supplies last”, as one could say, borrowing a catch phrase from retail.

In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking noted that “with Baltic Dry Index taking yet another step further, hitting new highs this past week, the positive attitude in the dry sector is in abundance for the time being. With much of this optimism over spilling onto the newbuilding market, it is no surprise the sharp rise in new orders being placed for a third consecutive week. Moreover, we continue to see many new orders being placed in the Tanker segment, as well as many options being declared, even though earnings aren’t exactly in tip top shape so as to help things heat up in terms of new demand. This clearly points out the strong belief in the currently quoted prices, with buyers in the pursuit of finalizing as many favorable deals as they can, possibly under the influence that these prices may well not be available in the future. All-in-all, as we are getting closer and closer to the end of the year and having already seen so many new orders take place over the past couple of months, things are now expected to quieten down during the following weeks, as the New-Year festivities will surely take many potential buyers out of action, while leaving most to push back their investment decisions for 1Q2018”, Allied said.

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In a separate weekly newbuilding note, Clarkson Platou Hellas said that “in Tankers, Clients of Aeolos Management have placed an order for one firm 318,000 DWT VLCC at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). This single unit will be delivered within 2020. Clients of Olympic Shipping have also added one 319,000 DWT VLCC at Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) by declaring an option. Delivering in 3Q 2019, this will be the 3rd vessel in their series at HHI. Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) have won an order for three firm 50,000 DWT MR Tankers from Clients of Eastern Mediterranean Maritime for delivery in 2019. There are more MR orders to report, with CSSC Offshore Marine (GSI) receiving an order for three firm 52,000 DWT MR Tankers from Formosa Plastics. The trio are set for delivery throughout 2019 and 2020. For the smaller sizes, Fujian Mawei have signed a contract for one firm plus one optional 24,000 DWT Product / Chemical Tankers with domestic owner Heng Tong Fuels. The delivery for the firm unit will be within 2019. There is one order to report in Gas. DSME have announced an order for one firm 173,400 CBM LNG Carrier and one firm 173,400 CBM LNG-FSRU from Clients of Maran Gas Maritime. Both vessels will deliver within 1H 2020 from Okpo, Korea. Finally, in the Container market, Clients of Cosmoship Management have ordered four firm 1,500 TEU Container Carriers at Huangpu Wenchong in China. It is understood that the delivery for the four vessels will be within 2H 2019”, Clarkson Platou Hellas concluded.

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Meanwhile, in the S&P market, Allied Shipbroking said that “on the dry bulk side, activity continued firm, likely driven by the improved figures being seen in the freight market. Activity seemed to have been fairly well split amongst the different size segments, though with prices still holding a relatively stable face. The expectation now is to see little in the market to indicate further price hikes during the next couple of weeks, with 1Q2018 now expected to be the feeding ground for any further increases to be seen. On the tanker side, there was a sudden re-emergence of interest and activity to be noted, with transactions being noted in all the different size segments and even in the larger crude oil carriers which had been in a state of limbo of late. It looks as though buyers have come back with a considerable improvement in their price ideas, willing looking to match the indications that are being expressed by sellers as they come to terms with the idea that this may well be as low as we get for the time being”, the shipbroker concluded.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News.