Intermodal Weekly Market Report, Tuesday 7th March 2017, Week 9
Market insight By Timos Papadimitriou
So what's all the fuss about? During the past five months SnP activity has being surging exponentially in the dry bulk sector. Buyers are looking to get their hands on any size within a big range of modern tonnage varying from small Handies to Newcastlemaxes.
Even if prices are more than 25% higher now than what they were eight months ago, modern ships are still relatively cheap. A good example is the “Billion Trader I”(82kdwt blt 07 Tsuneishi, Japan) and the “Billion Trader II” (82kdwt blt 07 Tsuneishi, Japan), two sister ships reported sold eight months apart. The “Billion Trader I” was sold USD 9.5 million in June 2016 and the “Billion Trader II” was sold in February 2017, 3 million more. Still USD 12,5 million for a 10-year old Japanese Kamsarmax is a lot cheaper compared to the USD 21,5 million the ex- “Million Trader II” (76kdwt blt 04 Tsuneishi, Japan )was sold at three years ago in February 2014.
Yes, the freight market today provides much more confidence compared to last year, but the reason Principals are going after tonnage with such a huge appetite is because they are seeing the bigger picture, which is not ugly anymore. The signs that we are heading towards a healthier dry bulk market are clearly visible and improving fundamentals are in place. Actually they have been in place for some time now and we had been discussing them in the past but the rock- bottom hire rates of late-2015 and early-2016 made it impossible for most to take notice.
Now the diminishing order-book, the implementation of regulations and a steady demand for transportation of cargo provide the necessary confidence for buyers to invest. On top of these factors we have to add the scarcity of finance for NB orders. In the recent past a number of banks that were known for providing shipping finance have either reduced their portfolio or exited the industry all together. The financial institutions that took over these portfolios are very cautious and seem to have learnt by the past mistakes of their peers. So far they are demonstrating a selective resistance in backing new orders for bulk carriers.