Summer Lull Not Over Yet for Newbuilds

The summer lull that took over the newbuilding market is not over yet, as prices for new ships are forecast to continue to soften, according to London-based shipbroker Gibson.

The dowturn has stricken the tanker product orderbook the strongest, as explained by Gibson, with Tsakos Energy’s order for two +two LR1s announced earlier this month being the first contract placed for clean product tonnage since June.

” Orders for product tankers have been considerablly more subdued since January and well below last year’s levels. In complete contrast July orders for crude tonnage amounted to the 3.6 million, the highest monthly total since the 4.9 million dwt ordered last November when earnings spiked,” shows the latest report from Gibson.

The report further said that, contracts announced this July included 7 VLCCs and 8 Suezmaxes, with a further 2 Suezmaxes placed this month.

This takes the orderbook to 26 Suezmaxes in the first 8 months of this year which represents 56% of the total orderbook, following just 19 Suezmaax orders placed between 2011 and 2013.

124 tanker orders

recorded so far this year

“Shipyard resale values for the clean products carriers have fallen below newbuilding prices in all the clean size ranges, indicating that some owners may be looking for an exit strategy as their nerve gets seriously tested. In contrast, VLCC and Suezmax resales continue to ‘flag up’ higher than newbuilding prices despite the recent fall in asset values across all sectors”, Gibson added.

Based on the report,  of the 124 tanker orders (25,000dwt+) recorded so far this year, 39% (49 orders) have been placed by Greek interests accounting for 42% of the tonnage.  US investors account for 11 orders or 2.7 million dwt (14%) of this year’s placing, which consisted of 8 VLCCs, 2 Suezmaxes and a single Jones Act product carrier. Norwegian ‘listed’ companies account for another 8 VLLC orders.

A slowdown of ordering in any of the tanker sectors will be very welcome, particularly with such a high delivery profile projected for next year. However, the lure of lower newbuilding prices and the anticipated winter spike may once again entice more speculative ordering, putting at risk the prospect of higher earnings going forward,” the report said.

Press Release, August 25, 2014




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