2020 was the year that was “unprecedented”; however, 2021 seem to be following suit with unprecedented market activity. January & February which are historically quite times in the shipping S&P market due to the winter holidays and specifically the Chinese New Year, were uncharacteristically exceedingly active months this year. The second-hand market is high as owners are looking for tonnage to take advantage of the high freight rates to compensate for the decrease in new building activity. Sinotech Marine, a global independent third-party shipping consultancy firm, experienced an exponential increase in pre-purchase inspection orders in comparison to the previous year’s January & February orders. For Sinotech Marine, bulk carriers were the most ordered to no surprise as the market was ignited by the increase in freight earnings (BDI was down mainly due to Capsize market which declined however BSI and BHSI Index witnessed growth). The orders for the pre-purchase inspections of tankers did not lag far behind as low second-hand prices proved attractive to potential buyers looking for a “deal”. The interest was for Supermax, Ultramax and Handy size segments and furthermore for ships with 10-14 years of service.
However, as March, signifies a new season, Sinotech Marine is seeing the bullish sentiments of the previous two months start to fade with the change of the season. Due to the Sinotech Marine’s outlook not based as much on the actual sales of the market but on the demand of enquiries and orders of pre-purchase inspections, they are in a position to foresee the slowdown of the S&P market before the sales reflect it. Sinotech Marine is observing commercial discrepancies, in particular for the dry market, this is to be expected as the second hand-prices are reaching and surpassing the five-year average figures; thus, making buyers a bit hesitant to proceed. As well, the tanker market remains an unstable investment due to the consistent low freight rate levels. However, this market movement can change course if buyers and sellers have a sophisticated approach to agreements and if the market investment fundamentals remain firm. As the year started off on a high note, Sinotech Marine hopes that a robust trajectory remerges in the demand of pre-purchase inspections to propel a positive S&P market.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above is the independent opinion of the author and should not be taken as reference or factually.
Source- Sinotech Marine