2017 has seen US owners top the list of buyers of distressed tonnage, snapping up vessels sold at bank sales and at auction deals, VesselsValue said.
Asset values reached a 25-year low for bulkers, containers and offshore vessel types in 2016, with a spike in the number of bankruptcies and vessel seizures by banks. US owners have been buying these vessels, spending USD 624.1 million on 52 distressed vessels so far.
This comes in at just under double what Greece has spent, totaling USD 385.3 million. The next country on the list of top buyers is South Korea, having bought a total of 20 ships for USD 228 million.
Top three US companies which have purchased auction/bank sale vessels in 2017 include JP Morgan Global Maritime, Eagle Bulk Shipping and Navios Maritime Partners LP.
In 2016, US companies did not buy any vessels at bank sales or at auction, showing a marked shift in behavior, as explained by VesselsValue.
What is more, the type of vessels companies are buying is incredibly targeted. Specifically, companies have been only purchasing bulkers, containerships and offshore vessels. These asset types hit 25-year historical lows during 2016, with these values now rebounding.
Many in the markets are confident that continued scrapping and a reduction in ordering will balance out supply and demand, bringing asset values back in line. Savvy investors have been getting involved in the last 12 months in order to capitalize on the asset value increase, according to VV.