A record volume of tonnage is reported to have changed hands in 2014 and reported secondhand sales rose by 29% year-on-year to total 51.0m GT in 2014, according to Clarksons.
The reported value of secondhand sales activity totalled USD 26.1bn, up 26% y-o-y.
There was interest in the larger sizes and the average size of ship sold reached a record level, London-based market research firm said.
Activity at the larger end of the oil tanker sector was particularly strong and 2014 saw a firm increase in the volume of containership tonnage sold year-on-year.
“A total of 1,320 vessels of 51.0m GT were reported sold market in 2014, a record in terms of GT. This was driven by strong interest in the oil tanker sector with a reported 309 tankers of 23.0m GT sold, 82% more tonnage y-o-y, and the sector accounted for the largest share of sales in GT terms (45%) for the first time on record,” Clarksons said.
In the general cargo sector, the volume of tonnage sold rose 48% y-o-y in 2014 and 275 units of 6.5m GT were reported to have changed hands.
Containerships accounted for 93% of the general cargo units reported sold in 2014 in terms of GT. Meanwhile, reported bulker sales fell 7% y-o-y to 16.9m GT in 2014 (411 ships) though the sector still accounted for 33% of total sales in terms of GT.
Whilst the number of units that changed hands fell 8% y-o-y in 2014, greater interest in the larger size segments saw the average size of ships sold rise 37% y-o-y to around 39,000 GT – the highest ever level.
In the tanker sector, a record 79 VLCCs of 12.7m GT were reported sold in 2014 (around a third of which were en-bloc deals) as well as 59 Aframaxes of 3.5m GT and 37 Suezmax tankers of 3.0m GT (up 118% y-o-y in terms of GT). Further, 60 Capesize units of 5.4m GT and 12 boxships above 8,000 TEU of 1.1m GT were reported sold in 2014.
Based on Clarksons data, Greek and Japanese owners were the ‘top’ buyers and sellers respectively whilst Chinese owners’ activity broke previous highs.
There has been 3.0m GT reported sold in 2015 so far, the firm concluded.