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Home / Tag Archives Tops Tag Archives Tops Dry Bulk Market Freight Rate Prospects Looking Positive After Chinese Lunar New Year

Dry bulkers are hotting up price-wise, as the market’s prospects appear rosier than ever during these years of crisis. Shipbrokers are noting that, despite the Chinese New Year celebrations, which are typically negative for the freight market, the BDI (Baltic Dry Index) has managed to sustain a positive level, which means that heading up towards the spring wheat season of high demand, things can get even better. In turn, this has prompted more second hand acquisitions.

In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal said that “the second month of the year is traditionally a particularly interesting one for the shipping industry as a whole and even more importantly for the dry bulk market. The period starting from January and extends up until the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations is traditionally a quiet one for bulkers. Let us not forget that during February 2016 the BDI marked its record low, while the lowest level for the index in 2017 was also recorded during the month of February. Despite the fact that we’ve reached 2018’s Lunar New Year and the effects of the traditional slowdown are already visible, the BDI remains – at least for now – in excess of 1,100 points, signaling a rather positive period March onwards if the pattern of previous years repeats itself that is”.

According to Intermodal’s SnP broker, Mr. Nassos Soulakis, “taking a closer look to some SnP transactions that took place during the past couple of years, it is logical to see the BDI’s improvement reflected on asset prices as well. In the second-hand market for 28kdwt Japanese Handysize Bulkers the following sales are rather representative of this improvement. The “ex-DORIS” (28,352dwt-blt ‘08, Japan) was sold to Greeks buyers for $6.3m back in March 2016 and shortly after the BDI’s all-time low. Ten months later, in January 2017, the “ex-OCEAN BELLE” (28,418dwt-blt ‘09, Japan) was sold to Greeks buyers for $7.2m, which translates to a 14.3% increase. If someone would try to value an eight-year old 28kdwt Japanese Handysize bulker today, the figure would be something in excess of $ 9.0m, which represents an increase of over 40% in two years’ time”.

Soulakis also said that “the differentiation in eight-year old 56kdwt Japanese Supramaxes is even more impressive. The “ex-ASTON TRADER II” (55,496dwt-blt ‘08, Japan) was sold for $6.8m during the first month of 2016, while the price for similar tonnage nowadays is quoted well in excess of $ 15.0m, with the “MAPLE ISLAND” (55,610dwt-blt ‘10, Japan) only recently reported sold for a price in the region $15.4m, a price more than double compared to two years ago. As recently, we marked the two-year anniversary from the all-time low of the dry bulk index back in 2016, one can say that it is more than evident that fundamentals have since improved significantly and that there are currently no signs of similar lows being revisited – at least not any time soon. As market participants are now more relaxed – and rightfully so – they focus less on the direction of the market during the following months (most predictions agree on a positive course for earnings after all) and more on the degree of this improvement and of course its duration”.

Intermodal’s analyst added that “as far as asset prices are concerned, we logically expect these to keep improving for as long as the freight market remains positive and even doing so disproportionally to rates in some cases, as enthusiasm always tends to fuel a lot of excitement in the SnP market. Despite the fact that 2016 already feels much far in the past given today’s earnings and asset price levels, it is definitely a year that should always remind us of the negative potential of both rates and values. As such, it should reinforce the self-preservation instinct of owners for times when the market improves even further, with such development always shaping key market drivers like increased newbuilding ordering and restricted scrapping – these two having a severe impact on both the scale of a recovery and its duration”, Soulakis concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide


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