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Wednesday, 17 October 18
SHIPPING MARKET INSIGHT - TIMOS PAPADIMITRIOU
IntermodalIn the last three months approximately 72 tankers changed hands involving ships larger than 33kdwt up to VLCC.  43 of those vessels had to do with traditionally crude carriers and 29 involving ships from 33kdwt up to 78kdwt. As brokers we can say that even if there were twice as many ships available for sale there would still be buyers left hungry for tonnage. The strategy of investing in a low market seems to be in full effect now. Shipowners are willing to purchase and subsidize a tanker for a period of time until better days are on the horizon.
 
So, are better days upon us soon?
 
The same question was asked back in 2016 when the dry market was in trouble and assets were being sold for almost 40% less compared to now. Many back then thought that the market would sink even further. Instead, improving fundamentals and a consequent change of mood resulted in an asset value rally that lasted all the way until the second quarter of 2018.
 
As far as the tanker market is now concerned, the reality is that better days have been anticipated during the past couple of years, with different milestones set for crude and product tankers respectively. The product story, the BWMS system story and the demolition story were some of them, with the last one being tight up mostly to crude carriers that saw an overwhelming increase in scrapping activity. Now the latest milestone is 2020 for the product segment and early 2019 for crude tankers.
 
The product market milestone has a lot to do with the low sulfur regulations and an anticipated need for low sulfur fuel that will render product carriers from - MRs to LR2 (LR3 are also being mentioned a lot also) - the vessels of choice.  On the crude side, things are already looking better every day for the past couple of weeks. Sentiment is positive and ships for sale are scarce, while depending on the resilience of the rates we might actually see a rise on values sooner rather than later.
 
On the other hand there is an abundance of MR candidates of 9 up to 14 years old, Japanese owned and built. Interesting enough we don’t see a lot of Korean built MRs for sale, but that has to do mostly with the profile of owners. Japanese owned ships are usually placed in the market just before their employment expires and with the frequency we see new ships being circulated we can assume that charterers are not very keen to extend employment. A plethora of ships usually leads to lower prices as buyers have the tendency to either wait or offer less than the last done reported deal when supply is ample. Either way the product segment is trailing its crude counterpart, at least for now when it comes to sentiment.
 
It seems that the market is bottoming out and depending on the respective strategy of each owner there is a variety of opportunities to invest. As it is always the case when a sector has suffered bad earnings for a prolonged period of time, resulting in diminishing asset prices, buyers can assess easier the market as when to invest, and now more than ever it is a buyers market.
By Timos Papadimitriou
SnP Broker
 
Compiled by:
Intermodal Research & Valuations


Analysts:
Ms Eva Tzima

George Panagopoulos


Disclaimer and legal disclosure: For any further queries please do not hesitate to contact our Research & Valuations Department. The information contained in this report has been obtained from various sources, as reported in the market. Intermodal Shipbrokers Co. believes such information to be factual and reliable without making guarantees regarding its accuracy or completeness. Whilst every care has been taken in the production of the above review, no liability can be accepted for any loss or damage incurred in any way whatsoever by any person who may seek to rely on the information and views contained in this material. This report is being produced for the internal use of the intended recipients only and no reproducing is allowed, without the prior written authorization of Intermodal Shipbrokers Co.

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