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Newbuilding prices start retreating on low demand




Newbuildings’ prices have started to come down, as demand has remained subdued for quite some time now. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking noted that “with the shortage of new orders continuing and another week of less then a handful of new tonnage reported to be ordered, prices have finally started to take a notable hit. What is more noteworthy, is that the recent drops in prices quoted by shipbuilders come at a point when commodity prices have started to show signs of picking up, although only slightly and with minimal evidence of sustaining an upward trajectory over the coming months. The drought in newbuilding orders has been long and continues to squeeze shipbuilders more and more, while the drop in price is part of an extensive effort to jump start the market, in order to be able to support these prices shipbuilders have to continually squeeze out every unnecessary cost while improving their efficiency and productivity to the max. It is somewhat doubtful that these price drops will be enough to generate sufficient interest from the side of buyers, as the squeeze in earnings in the dry bulk and containership sectors leaves few interest buyers there, while the oil tanker and gas carrier sectors are plagued with uncertainty”.

Meanwhile, in a separate newbuilding report, Clarkson Platou Hellas noted that “in tankers, HHI have received an order from Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Co. (AMPTC) for two firm 158,000 DWT coated Suezmax for delivery within end 2017 from the yard’s Samho facility. These will be the 3rd and 4th vessels in the series, following the original order in January 2015. Yeunsoo Heavy Industry (Korea) is reported to have signed contracts with Woolim Shipping for three firm 6,600 DWT IMO-2 Chemical Tankers. The trio are set to deliver throughout 2017 and 2018. In other sectors, Uljanik have announced signing contracts for two firm 5,500 lm ROROs with CLdN Cobelfret N.V. The firm units are due for delivery within 2018 – with the buyer understood to hold options for further vessels. Crystal Cruises have announced an order at Lloyd Werft for one 25,000 GT Cruise Ship, the ‘Crystal Endeavor’. Set for delivery in August 2018, the Ice class PC6 vessel will have capacity to carry 200 passengers and be fitted with dynamic positioning technology”.

In the S&P market, Allied Shipbroking said that “on the dry bulk side, good level of activity with slight softening still noted on the more modern units, something that is likely to continue for the time being as the drop in newbuilding prices will surely have and underlining effect here too. On the other end of the spectrum we have noted a slight improvement in price levels in the older aged tonnage as the increase in scrap steel prices has in turn meant an increase in the residual value of these assets, something that gives a higher residual value and prompts for an excess of this when the sale is made on further trading basis. On the tanker side, it was a relatively quiet week with lacking buyer interest causing a shortage of concluded deals, while seller’s price ideas are still considered too high given the forward sentiment of the freight market. The only segments which are a slight exception to the rule are Aframaxes and LRs which have been holding fairly hot”.

Finally, in the demolition market, Allied said that it was “another week of increases, with the increases noted in the commodities markets surely playing their part, while the improved confidence was also met by a stronger resistance by shipowners to take up the lower prices that were being offered one week back. As such the rise was quick and by early Friday offers were circulating with a more then US$ 10/ldt increase compared to what was seen one week prior. For the moment it looks as though these levels will be able to hold and the positive momentum could continue for a little while longer, though hesitance from the end buyers side has started to show face, with many possibly fearing of offering too high too soon and overshooting what the market can sustain for the time being. It looks as though the hard taught lessons of last summer are still in the memory of most and no one is willing to undergo a repeat of the past”, the shipbroker concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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