Newbuilding ordering activity rises by 78% in dwt tonnage over the first 4 months of the years, as owners invest$40.5 bn


Monday, 26 May 2014 | 00:00

Ship owners have plunged into newbuilding orders during the first four months of the year, as overall newbuilding business ended for the first four months of 2014 at 55% higher volume of activity, in terms of number of units and 78% higher, in terms of deadweight, based on figures compiled by shipbroker Golden Destiny. The total number of new orders is estimated to be 1054 vessels with an invested capital of more than $40.5bn, when last year the number of new orders was 681.

According to Golden Destiny, "Greek shipping players follow the overall investment strategy towards the construction of newbuilding vessels and emerge very aggressive during the first four months of 2013 by placing 148 new orders, from 56 in a similar period last year (up by 164% year-on-year, in terms of new orders and up by 186% in terms of deadweight). The invested capital of Greek owners in the secondhand market has increased to region $5,6bn from $2,3bn last year and they hold, during the year to date ,14% share of the total number of new orders reported".
It added that "in the secondhand market, Greek Shipping players appear also very dynamic but for the first time since 2009, the newbuilding business of Greek owners appears to be at the same levels of their secondhand purchasing appetite. The investment strategy of Greek shipping players during the year to date was the preference towards secondhand vessels with a serious firm interest in newbuilding units. This trend now seems that may be reversed and ordering activity from Greek players to surpass their secondhand purchasing appetite. It would be interesting to see if this trend will materialize as it’s very likely since Greek players show a hungry appetite for the construction of newbuilding units in all main vessel categories, bulk carriers, tankers, gas tankers and containers. Their ordering appetite in the bulker segment is up by 181% year-on-year, which is the main cause laying behind the massive upward momentum in the newbuilding business. Bulk carriers are also in their top preference of secondhand purchases with an increased interest in the tanker segment and weak appetite for containers. During the first four months of 2014, Greek secondhand purchasing appetite is estimated to be 25% share of the total S&P activity with 148 vessel purchases at an invested capital of more than $4,3bn. Their secondhand purchasing appetite shows 38% year-on-year increase and follows the overall increased shipping confidence".
According to Golden Destiny's analysis, globally "the surge of newbuilding appetite is due to the spectacular ordering activity reported for bulkers with ultramax vessel size being the new newbuilding trend after the kamsarmax size in year “2010”. The upturn of freight market performance from the end of secondhand half of 2013 led to a significant volume of business for Chinese shipyards that attract investors’ interest towards the ultramax newbuilding design. The freight market performance is now under serious threat from this record ordering appetite, but shipping players keep high confidence in the shipping market and do not forego their investment plans. The number of new orders for bulkers is estimated to be more than 400 vessels from less than 200 vessels in January-April 2013 (120% year-onyear increase), while strong investors’ interest is recorded in the tanker segment for 186 new orders, up 77% year-on-year with firm interest for VLCCs and MR product tankers".
Meanwhile, in the Union of Greek Shipowners' latest annual review, President Theodore E. Veniamis said that "despite recession, overtonnaging, an unstable freight market, reduced access to ship financing from banks, the Greek owned fleet increased in tonnage (dwt) and in number of vessels. The Greek register accounted for 802 vessels (over 1,000 gt) amounting to 41,829,594 gt . The Greek owned tonnage held first position internationally. The fleet accounted for 3,669 vessels (ships greater than 1,000 gt) of 261.63 million deadweight tons, representing 16.16% of total world dwt . The Greek flag fleet ranks seventh internationally (in terms of dwt) and second in the European Union (EU) (in terms of gt). The Greek owned fleet under EU flags accounts for 46.72% of the EU dwt tonnage. Moreover, Greek owners control 18 .51% of the world tanker fleet (crude oil tankers), 23.32% of the world bulk carrier fleet and 13 .81 % of the world chemical and products tankers fleet in terms of dwt (excluding ships currently on order) .
By the end of December 2013, newbuilding orders by Greek interests amounted to 371 vessels (over 1,000 gt), representing 32.60 million dwt. Of these vessels, 149 were tankers corresponding to 18 .32% of world tonnage (dwt), including 58 LNG / LPG tankers amounting to 25.94% of world tonnage (dwt) and 51 products tankers corresponding to 14.24% of world tonnage (dwt), 169 bulkers corresponding to 15% of world tonnage (dwt) on order in each type, 48 containerships corresponding to 7.08% of world tonnage (dwt) and 5 other vessels. The orderbook of Greek shipping in 2013 continues to indicate a diversification to specialised ships like LNG / LPG vessels, containerships as well as products tankers.The age profile of the Greek flag fleet in 2013 was 11 .5 years – over 50% of the fleet being younger than 10 years old – and of the Greek owned fleet 9.9 years, whilst the average age of the world fleet was 12.4 years. Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide