Containership sales double in first half while feeder prices quadruple

Posted by Dynasty

SECONDHAND deals for containerships have jumped more than doubled in the first half of the year, according to BIMCO data, reports Singapore’s Splash 247.

Carriers have been scrambling for tonnage as charter and freight rates hit record highs. Charter prices are increasingly onerous. Charter rates are currently 27 per cent above the 2005 peak with three-year periods now the norm for vessels down to 2,500 TEU.

Profits on ships being sold can cover the losses made by the ship over its lifetime

“From the seller’s perspective, the current prices offer a great incentive to sell, highlighting the role of asset play in some shipowners’ models, as profits on ships being sold these days can potentially cover the losses made by the ship over its lifetime,” said BIMCO analyst Peter Sand.

During the first half of 2021, a total 277 containerships have changed hands, a 103.7 per cent jump from 136 ships bought and sold in the same period of 2020, according to VesselsValue. A total of 922,203 TEU found new owners, with an average ship size of 3,403 TEU.

By far the most traded ship so far this year has been feeder ships, of which 167 have been sold, a 165.1 per cent increase from the first half of 2020. Of the feeder ships which have disclosed prices, the average paid in June was $17.6 million. This is more than four times the US$4 million average for deals going through in June 2020.

“Carriers’ options for getting hold of extra tonnage in the short term to meet current demand is limited to the charter and secondhand market. The former is getting progressively more expensive and harder to come by as available tonnage is quickly snapped up, leaving the option of buying in existing tonnage. Currently, both options come at a premium,” Mr Sand said.

Noticeably for both charter and secondhand acquisitions buyers are taking tonnage further and further out. Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC has been the most aggressive buyer, buying an unprecedented 70 ships since last August, including the recent eye-catching deal for the 19-year-old 4,839-TEU Mexico.