Monday, 02 July 12 DRY BULK DEMAND TO RISE TO 3.6 BILLION TONNES IN 2012, BUT NEW BUILDING DELIVERIES ARE
In its latest analysis on the dry bulk market fundamentals, DVB Bank said that dry bulk cargo demand is forecast to rise to approximately 3.6 billion tonnes in 2012, but it just isn't enough to help offset the magnitude of the newbuilding orderbook and the pace of ship deliveries. In its research, DVB mentioned that so far this year (the fourth year of record breaking newbuilding deliveries) a total of 529 vessels, representing 44.4 million dwt have already been delivered. Another 1,148 vessels of 93.5 million dwt are scheduled for delivery until the end of 2012. This is about 58% of the current orderbook, which stands at 2,001 vessels of 161.3 million dwt, which in turns represents about 25.8% of the current fleet.
As a result, asset values as well as earnings are not expected to recover anytime soon. DVB stated that "we may see the markets bottom by the end of 2013 and remain flat thereafter. However, this is subject to owners not indulging in more newbuilding contracting if they see a seasonal spike in freight rates".
According to the research report, the fleet of dry bulk carriers now stands at 9,251 vessels with a total carrying capacity of 625.5 million dwt. The average age of the fleet is about 11 years and 61.8% of the fleet is less than 10 years of age. In addition, the average age of vessels less than 10 years of age is merely 3.1 years – an extremely young fleet. In dwt terms, Large Capes constitute the largest portion of current fleet while Panamax size vessels have the largest orderbook. The ULBC size range (280K+ dwt) is expanding rapidly and mainly consists of the 400k+ Vale vessels. Thus far, 11 of these behemoths have delivered. In its report, DVB mentioned that "these massive 400K+ dwt vessels will have a negative impact on asset values as well as freight rates not only for this Sub-Sector but for all smaller Sub-Sectors (VLBC, Large Capes and Small Capes) as well. Each of these Valemax vessels can replace about 2.3 three Large Capes from the market, all other things being equal" it mentioned.
In terms of slippage, in 2011 it was calculated by us at about 38%. Even with 40% delays, DVB expects to see more than 1,200 vessels added to the fleet this year. It justifies the oversupply issues by the fact with more than 2,000 different dry bulk ship owners, different strategies and circumstances exist, whether they are commercial or financial. Still, in any case 2010 saw the contracting of 1,259 vessels of 95 million dwt, while 2011 (when one would expect owners to refrain from more orders) saw the contracting of an additional 523 vessels of 38 million dwt, despite oversupply pressures already evident. Fortunately the pace of newbuilding ordering activity has contracted severely so far this year, as orders have been placed for only 68 vessels of 5 million dwt.
Much is to be decided in the demolition stage. Unfortunately, despite the record breaking numbers of tonnage removed from the market during 2011, it still represented just 3.7% of the existing fleet, according to DVB, when in 1986, which was the last peak scrapping year, demolitions represented 7% of the fleet. At the same time, in 2011 for every vessel scrapped, three new ones were added to the fleet as newbuildings. As a result for the market to balance, scrapping activity needs to at least triple from current numbers. DVB urges ship owners to scrap even if prices offered from scrapyards are lower. It said that "owners who cannot realistically survive another couple of years of low freights need to realise this and rise up to the challenge and scrap".
It added that after the negligible scrapping rates of 2007 and 2008, when the market was at its highest, 2009 saw the scrapping of 10.9 million dwt of dry bulk carriers (256 vessels were demolished). Unfortunately, the market's recovery in 2010 saw, once again, a decline in scrapping activity with just 5.3 million dwt of vessels scrapped (121 ships). Finally, in 2011 a total of 379 vessels were scrapped, removing a total of 23.2 million dwt. It was the biggest scrapping year since 1964, but again it wasn't enough for the market to balance, as an additional 97 million dwt of newbuildings were delivered. So far, during the first five months of 2012 a total of 225 vessels of 13.8 million dwt have been scrapped, which means that this year could be yet another record breaker, but it still isn't enough. Source: Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping
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