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  • Writer's pictureGraeme Macleod

Newbuilding orders shift towards niche segments

With the matter of future tonnage supply ever so crucial for the long term rebound of the freight markets, ship owners are exhibiting some sort of prudence and restraint when it comes to piling up more newbuilding orders. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking said that “the newbuilding market has seemed to have kept part of its momentum for now, though the lion’s share seems to have been attributed to several passenger vessel orders that emerged this past week. We were seeing a small trickle of new orders emerge on the dry bulk front, with buying interest still looming under the surface though at levels considerably lower when taken against the level of improvement noted in the freight market these past months.

On the other hand, things went quiet on the tanker side, with no new orders having surfaced this past week, despite the relatively good flurry of orders having been noted in the year so far. At the same time, it looks as though price hikes amongst shipbuilders are now coming to light slowly, with in part most being driven by the changes in technical specifications and equipment, while the other part seems to be the increased pressure brought about by the higher construction costs still faced by most”, Allied said.

In a separate newbuilding note, Clarkson Platou Hellas said this week that “whilst there are no fresh orders to report in Tankers, there are a couple in the Gas sector. Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has announced signing a contract for two firm 174,000 CBM LNG Carriers with a unknown European owner. The duo are set for delivery within 2020. Samsung Heavy Industries have also won an order for one firm plus one optional 180,000 CBM LNG Carriers from a yet unknown owner. The firm unit is scheduled to be delivered in 2020 from Geoje, Korea.

In the Passenger / Cruise market, VARD have announced receiving an order for two firm 9,920 GT Cruise Ships from Ponant for delivery within 2Q 2020. These will be the 5th and 6th vessels in the series and will be able to accommodate 180 passengers. Austal have won an order for one firm approx. 5,000 GT Passenger Trimaran Ferry from JR Kyushu Jet Ferry. This single unit will be able to carry 502 passengers and be delivered within 2020. Finally, Fjord1 have placed an order for a series of Passenger/Car Ferries. Five firm approx. 400 GT vessels will be built at Havyard Leirvik being delivered throughout 3Q and 4Q 2019, whilst two firm approx. 700 GT vessel will be built and delivered from Cemre Shipyard in Turkey in 4Q 2019”, the shipbroker said.

Meanwhile, in the S&P market, while demand is there, fewer deals went through this past week. According to Allied Shipbroking, “on the dry bulk side, buying appetite seems to have followed through into this week, though with a lack of reflection of this being seen in terms of number of vessels changing hands. Buying interest seems to be relatively high right now, providing the backdrop for a firming up in price levels to take place. Things have become slightly murky in this regard on the older tonnage front, with rumours of a change in the age limit imposed on Chinese buyers likely to cause a price “step”. On the tanker side, we continued to see relatively few vessels changing hands again this week. Despite many pointing out the tanker market as one with great opportunities, it seems as though few buyers are willing to bite at the moment. Given the disconnect we have seen between asset price and freight market trends, such a sale will prove hard to make, while we will need to see much improved market fundamentals before any “rush” takes place”.

In a separate note this week, VesselsValue said that in bulkers, “values have firmed in the smaller tonnage, with larger tonnage remaining stable. Panamax Alam Penting (87,100 DWT blt Jun 2005 IHI) sold for USD 12.95 mill, VV value USD 12.79 mill. Panamax Eleftheria (76,100 DWT blt Aug 2001 Hyundai HI) sold for USD 9.4 mill, VV value USD 9.44 mill. Supramax Navios Herakles (52,100 DWT blt Jan 2001 Sanoyas) sold for USD 8.1 mill, VV value USD 8.76 mill. Handymax Amethyst (47,300 DWT blt Jun 2001 Minami Nipppon) sold for USD 8.5 mill to Chinese buyers”, VV said.

Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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