testata inforMARE
30 settembre 2023 - Anno XXVII
Quotidiano indipendente di economia e politica dei trasporti
05:44 GMT+2
FORUM dello Shipping
e della Logistica

In our previous report, we anticipated that freight levels would hold for 2001 and 2002 before a probable dropping off in 2003 given the massive number of newbuildings then appearing.

With the world economic climate suddenly wavering between stagnation and depression, and an America unexpectedly facing the woes of unemployment, compounded by terrorist attacks putting at stake its supremacy, freight rates have got sucked into a downward spiral which is certainly overdone.

The question is to know whether this is a mechanical phenomenon which is justified and long lasting or, on the contrary, simply a strong reaction which will enable the market to recover a healthy balance quicker than expected. We think this second hypothesis to be more likely.

Many experts believe that the United-States will recover from the dramatic events of September 11th stronger than before, and that growth will pick up again after the second quarter of 2002. The role that the world's most important economic power plays in terms of energy consumption will be confirmed and it is likely in addition that we shall see a decline in the use of nuclear energy.

Despite efforts of producing countries to push up oil prices, the world producing capacity today is such that the oil price is unlikely to go over $25 per barrel. This is another factor in favour of a rapid economic recovery.

The high freight rates registered in 2000 and in the beginning of 2001 acted as a brake for any voluntary scrapping of the oldest vessels. However, faced with depressed rates such as we have currently, their employment should be increasingly dubious.

Given that today we have already witnessed a serious decline in the number of orders of newbuildings for the three main categories of tankers, we should see an increase in the number of vessels over 20 years heading for the scrapyard. The return of a better balance between supply and demand could therefore occur in a far shorter time than predicted by many.

The second-hand oil tanker market 
Last year's revue concluded by drawing the reader's attention to the trend towards a slowing down in world growth and the repercussions that this would have on the value of ships built in the 70's and 80's. This perception was revealed to be accurate, or more honestly partially so, as in fact all ages of ships suffered a drop in value even if older ships were the most affected.

The year 2001 saw an impressive number of transactions, at the end of the year we have listed about 140 second-hand sales of ships for navigation or transformation (and thus excluding demolition). In comparison, the total of ships transacted in 2000 was 126 and in 1999 only 98. This figure of 140 is however slightly misleading as a considerable number of transactions were done "en bloc" and it is primarily by this yardstick that one can measure the effects of mergers and regroupings within the shipowning world.

Values have declined due to a drop in ships' revenues for all sizes, the systematic compressing of construction costs offered by yards, and by charterers taking a control of the market at the expense of owners. Just as at the end of 1998 and during 1999, charterers can again pay themselves the luxury of deciding arbitrarily whether to reject older ships without risk of paying a heavy premium for a modern ship. It is for this reason that no matter what the size, ships of the 70's and 80's have seen their value drop by more than 45 % during the course of the year, whereas modern units and double-hulls have lost between 20 to 25 % of their value.

Prices remained firm at the beginning of the year but collapsed as the steady decline in daily revenues was being realised and slipped further after the events of September. We should like to point out certain tendencies which characterise this sector but which are also present in other types of tonnage:

  • The cyclical rise and fall of values are getting shorter not only because of the instability of our economies but also due to the shorter reaction time of the players be they owners, charterers, or builders.
  • If the concentration of tonnage in the various pools helps push the market on its way up, they do not seem capable of slowing it down on the falls.
  • Different types of owners exist and their varying time horizons contradict their objectives, which are equally different. Consequently, those who are under obligation to always produce profits in the short term, tend to amplify the movements of the market.
  • The sellers' ability to resist their counterparts when values are declining seems stronger than the resistance of buyers when values are rising.

The year 2002 appears to be starting out as difficult times for owners. The asset worth has fallen to levels of 1999 and a large number of ships are due to come into service for the Aframax and the Panamax fleets. The demolition of the oldest units is inevitable in the short-term, but the revenues of the old ships are often the means of financing the costs of their new ships.

Experience shows that the tonnage on offer has not and should not be the problem. The really essential factor is demand and it is this demand that we should try to determine as best as possible. Although we can not be categorical in our forecasts, we would nonetheless give some suggestions to potential investors:

  • with modern ships, to seriously look at the possibility of buying "resales" (with equivalent specification) rather than systematically ordering new ships,
  • with older ships, to keep in mind the comparative table of phasing-out given above.
  • phasing-out
     The second-hand market for VLCCs

    This sector of the market saw 37 units change hands, namely five times more than last year. The main player in this was Frontline (directly or via the Tankers International pool), since it seems that 13 ships out of the 37 involved this owner. The fluctuating values allowed certain to realise brilliant operations in terms of timing. For example Bergesen was able to sell for nearly $78 million per unit, several of his ships which he had bought for less than $65 million a year before. As mentioned above, a number of sales were done "en bloc", 17 ships out of the total 37 transactions changed hands in this manner. The most noteworthy without doubt being the sale of four ' m/t 'Hellespont Burnside', m/t 'Hellespont Elmere', m/t 'Hellespont Holly', m/t 'Hellespont Sheridan' of 305,000 dwt built by Samsung, for delivery in 2001 and 2002 to the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia for a price of $82.5 million per vessel.

    Out of 18 ships sold this year, built after 1990, all except four were double-hulled and were less than three years (newbuilding resales included). Among the four single-hulled, was the sale "en bloc" of the m/t 'Front Tarim' and the 'Front Tartar' of 306,902 dwt built in March 1993, for a combined price of $104 million with three years charter at $38,000 per day.

    Ten ships built between 1980 and 1989 changed hands and to illustrate the drop in prices, we can cite the sale of the single-hulls with the m/t 'Isuzugawa Maru' of 247,392 dwt built in 1987 for $28.5 million in February, whilst the m/t 'Cosmo Jupiter' of 248,965 dwt built in 1986 achieved $18.9 million in October. Owners of ships in good running order and built in the 70's have managed to survive with honours in the current skirmishing. Out of the nine ships sold from this decade, seven were converted into FSO or FPSO. Thus the t/t 'Stena Companion' allowed her owners to obtain over twice the price of her scrap value, achieving nearly $15 million in September.

    Although a final reckoning still remains to be done, it seems that at time of press, around 30 ULCC/VLCC have been sold for demolition. It is worth pointing out however that the rhythm of scrapping has been increasing in pace over the past months and that in the last two months of this year the activity was hectic. This tendency should continue even to accelerate right throughout 2002, and in any case to last at least as long as rates are under pressure. The price per light ton has also diminished and while it was possible to obtain about $170 per light ton at the beginning of the year, it finished at the end of the year at somewhere near $135 per ton.

    Vlcc scrapping

     The Suezmax second-hand market

    The volume of activity during these last years has remained extremely stable for this type of ship. We noted 23 transactions per year for 1999 as well as 2000, and this year the number changing hands has been 24. In the same way as with VLCCs, the number of ships sold "en bloc" was also significant, since a third of the 24 ships (namely eight) were subject to two grouped sales. The more important of the two was that which consisted of five resales, the 'Hyundai 1351', 'Hyundai 1350', 'Hyundai 1336', 'Hyundai 1335', 'Hyundai 1334', and 'Hyundai 1333' for delivery in 2002 / 2003 and sold during the summer for $330 million en bloc.

    We have seen however that activity is essentially concentrated on very modern ships. Ten resales, added to five ships built between 2000 and 2001, then a single unit built in 1993, represented two-thirds of the sale and purchase deals in this sector. Several of these units have changed hands with charter back attached, such as the m/t Four Smile' 160,573 dwt built in 2001, which was sold for a price of about $60 million with a five year charter back at $27,500 per day. To our knowledge the only ship sold from the 90's was the m/t 'Polysymphony' 150,038 dwt built in 1993, which went at the beginning of the year for $41 million.

    No ship built between 1980 and 1989 was sold and the remaining transactions were for units built in the 70's. As in the VLCC category, with freight rates collapsing during the year, buyers were especially active at the beginning of the year since five of the seven transactions were done in the first half of 2001. Thus the m/t 'Enalios Thetis' of 149,992 dwt built in 1979 was able to achieve a price of $6.5 million in February whereas in mid- November the m/t 'Elfwaihat' built in 1976 was sold at a level very close to its scrap value, of about $3.2 million.

    The demolition figures were impressive, as 28 ships were taken off to the Far East. This is a level comparable to that of 1999 in which 26 ships were withdrawn from the market. The attractive freight rates in 2000 only produced 16 demolitions. As with all size of tankers for this year, sales of Suezmax for scrapping became more numerous as the year progressed.

    The second-hand market for Aframax et Panamax

    In the Aframax market we have seen in 2001 a similar volume of activity to that of last year's, namely 34 sales as compared to 36, which pales against the figure of 50 achieved in 1999. This figure is relatively small if we take into account the total number of ships comprising the active fleet namely 540 units. As a matter of fact, the division by age which has been relatively stable and balanced since the 70's up till now, should allow greater movement and flexibility in this market, in contrast to the VLCC and Suezmax categories which suffer from a lack of tonnage built in the 80's.

    The sale of modern ships played a significant part as 16 of the 34 deals concerned ships under 10 years, all double-hulled bar one. Several sales "en bloc" were also achieved of which the m/t 'Astro Saturn' and the m/t 'Astro Maria' of 105,690 dwt, both built in 1999, went for a price of $45 million per ship in May. In comparison and to illustrate the progressive drop in the market all through the year, we can mention the sale of the 'resale' 'Samho S141' for delivery 2002, which changed hands in November for a price of $39.5 million.

    Fourteen units built between 1980 and 1991 were sold and once again those with SBT were able to extract a higher price. The value of these ships has nonetheless been badly hit. We have seen the sale of the m/t 'Magnolia', 84,656 dwt built in 1983, for a price in the region of $11.7 million in January, whereas a seller had to accept in November a price of $7 million for each of the m/t 'Winamac', m/t 'Wapello' and m/t 'Waneta', in addition to taking them back under charter for a three year period at a reported rate of $14,000 per day. Only five ships built between 1975 and 1979 changed hands to continue employment. The last to date as we write has been the m/t 'Orapin Ocean' of 81,269 dwt built in 1976 who had her classification renewed in January of this year and which achieved a price of $3 million in December.

    We have counted 19 Aframax which have been sent to the scrapyard. Unlike the VLCC and Suezmax, demolition figures show no noticeable change over 2000, which saw 18 and 1999 with 20. This is hardly surprising as this category of ship has been able to weather the lowering of freight rates better than others and even the older units give respectable daily returns East of Suez.

    As to the Panamax sector there is renewed life and vitality, but above all it is the favourite of second-hand buyers. We wish that this trend will last, as the orderbook for newbuildings has seen on its side a substantial increase with 42 ships in 2001 against only 13 last year. The volume of sales reached 27 ships of 50,000 to 75,000 dwt this year, some 11 more than in 2000. It should be pointed out that five of these 27 Panamax had a width over 32.2 metres. The breakdown of sales by age bracket was relatively balanced. Thus seven of less than ten years were sold, and the most noteworthy sale without doubt was that of the m/t 'Maya', m/t 'Aztec', and the m/t 'Inca' of 68,467 dwt built in 2001, for a price per ship of $42 million in July.

    Ten other units built between 1980 and 1989 changed hands. For example in May the m/t 'Minerva' and the m/t 'Andromeda' of 63,953 dwt built in 1984 were sold en bloc for a total price of $26 million. The other ten remaining sales related to ships built in the 70's, and the last to date was that of the m/t 'Sealion I' of 59,250 dwt built in 1977, which obtained a price in the order of $3.7 million, having passed her special survey. There were only seven ships sold for demolition in this category in 2001, as compared to eight last year and this was a satisfactory figure given that only four new units entered the fleet in 2001. The challenge is of another order for next year.

     The second-hand market for OBOs

    With 11 ships sold during the course of the year, the volume of sales in this category has remained stable since 10 ships changed hands last year. No less than seven of these, the 'SCF Spirit', 'SCF Trust', 'SCF Star', 'SCF Champion', 'SCF Endurance', 'SCF Challenger', and 'SCF Trader' of 95,000 dwt built between 1991 and 1992, were sold en bloc for a total sum of $210 million during the summer to the great satisfaction of the sellers (and that doubtless only possible) due to the thinness of the market. The four other ships sold, date all from 1981 or 1982, and we can give as example the sale of the 'OBO Panoil' of 70,637 dwt built in 1981, in June at a price of $5.5 million.

    Elsewhere, 11 OBO ships were demolished this year, their sizes ranging from 72,000 dwt to 172,000 dwt, having been built between 1974 and 1978. Currently some 140 ships of this type whose tonnage exceeds 50,000 dwt remain in service, even if not all have the ability to carry oil products in their present state.


    Shipping and Shipbuilding Markets in 2001

    I N D E X

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    In crescita il traffico dei passeggeri e dei veicoli trasportato dalla flotta
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    Nuovo record storico dei ricavi. Assai vicino al picco storico del 2019 il numero di passeggeri imbarcatisi sulle navi
    Lo scorso mese i volumi di merci movimentati dai porti di Genova e Savona-Vado sono calati del -9,3% e -15,5%
    Nei primi otto mesi del 2023 le flessioni sono state rispettivamente del -5,8% e -3,2%
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    Sono 36 i contributi inviati nell'ambito della consultazione lanciata dalla Commissione Europea
    Proposta emendativa del cluster marittimo-portuale italiano in tema di cold ironing
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    Nel secondo trimestre di quest'anno il traffico dei container nei terminal di Eurokai è calato del -5,8%
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    In Germania Eurogate ha movimentato 1,6 milioni di teu (-9,6%) e in Italia Contship 411mila teu (-9,6%). Negli altri terminal esteri il traffico è stato di 773mila teu (+0,8%)
    Nuovo record storico di traffico mensile dei container movimentato dai porti cinesi
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    Saranno lunghe 299,9 metri e larghe 45,6
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    Il rialzo atteso è decisamente inferiore al +7% registrato nei precedenti tre decenni. Quest'anno l'incremento atteso è del +1,2% dopo il calo del -3,7% nel 2022
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    Consultazione pubblica con gli stakeholder del settore
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    Nei primi sei mesi del 2023 sono stati movimentati 255.192 teu (+11,3%)
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    BLS Cargo compra dieci nuove locomotive per i servizi transalpini con l'Italia
    Verranno consegnate da Siemens Mobility nel 2026
    Medway/Medlog (gruppo MSC) scelta come partner industriale della spagnola Renfe Mercancías
    All'azienda del gruppo armatoriale andrà il controllo del ramo di trasporto ferroviario delle merci del gruppo iberico
    ITF denuncia che neppure il tentato suicidio di un marittimo smuove compagnie e autorità ad assistere equipaggi abbandonati
    L'incredibile e drammatica vicenda del personale di tre navi della turca Sea Lion Shipping
    Il valore del salario dei marittimi sarà aumentato del +6%
    Accordo tra ITF e il Joint Negotiating Group per il periodo 2024-2027
    La Romania vuole comprare il porto fluviale moldavo di Giurgiulesti
    In progetto anche un nuovo ponte stradale e ferroviario sul Danubio
    L'11 ottobre a Genova un workshop del Gruppo Giovani di Assagenti sul trend dei noli
    Si terrà a Palazzo San Giorgio
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    Flotta di dieci navi ro-pax e cinque navi ro-ro impiegate su sei rotte marittime
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    Cornetto lascerà gli incarichi di amministratore delegato in Vado Gateway e Reefer Terminal
    Vado Ligure
    Le società stanno cercando un nuovo CEO
    Interporto di Gorizia, inaugurata un'officina per la riparazione di carri ferroviari
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    La società opera i servizi di manovra ferroviaria nel porto di Genova
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    Convenzione tra Assarmatori, Confitarma e Ministero della Difesa
    È volta al sostegno alla ricollocazione professionale dei volontari congedati
    Visual Sailing List
    Porto di partenza
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    Fercam ha inaugurato il proprio nuovo magazzino ad Alessandria
    Ha una superficie di 1.950 metri quadri più 290 di uffici
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    Augusta Gioia Tauro Salerno
    Bari La Spezia Savona
    Brindisi Livorno Taranto
    Cagliari Napoli Trapani
    Carrara Palermo Trieste
    Civitavecchia Piombino Venezia
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    ››› Archivio
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    ››› Archivio
    FORUM dello Shipping
    e della Logistica
    Relazione del presidente Daniele Rossi
    Napoli, 30 settembre 2020
    ››› Archivio
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    Lanciata una gara internazionale che include anche una zona economica speciale
    Lo scorso mese il traffico delle merci nel porto di Taranto è aumentato del +6,9%
    Nei primi otto mesi del 2023 registrata una flessione del -4,0%
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    Il gruppo Messina ha preso in consegna la sua seconda nave full container
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    Scalo al container terminal di PSA Italy
    Primo incontro del tavolo tecnico sulla sicurezza del lavoro in ambito portuale
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    Successo dei test avviati a maggio
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    L'utile netto ha segnato una crescita del +23,2%
    Cooperazione di ICHCA e PEMA per migliorare la sicurezza della movimentazione delle merci
    Spediporto, necessario ridurre al minimo la burocrazia nei porti
    Botta: i documenti cartacei sono un'assurdità nell'era della digitalizzazione
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