Major Greek ship owners have turned their sights towards bulkers, making big moves of late. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal said that “the strategies of major/traditional owners usually have a knock-on effect on mid/small owners who tend to adopt them or at least seriously consider them in their own strategies. Having witnessed a resurgence in Dry NB orders placed by Greeks since the beginning of the year, led by owners such as Dynacom, Danaos, TMS, Sea Traders, Safe Bulkers, Meadway, Byzantine, Neda, Century Bulk Carrier, etc., it is not surprising that the Greeks are extending their vote of confidence in the so far sagging dry bulk freight market”.
“According to our records, big Greek names such as Capital, Costamare, Danaos, Eastmed have recently turned to second-hand dry bulk tonnage. Shipowner-on-shipowner moves have emerged in the stock market lately, with Danaos, Castor and Costamare acquiring notable percentages/stakes in listed dry bulk companies”, said Intermodal’s SnP Broker, Mr. Mohamed Rabie.
According to Rabi, “on the S&P side, putting down a fresh case, with the m/v HL Passion (179kdwt 2015 Dalian Shipbuilding, China) which invited for offers earlier today, it’s noteworthy that more than 10 Greek owners have shown their buying appetite for her over the past weeks, while it remains to be seen who finally bid for her, how the bidding will go and whether or not she will end-up with Greeks. When looking at the broader picture and the S&P transactions concluded since May 2023 -when the freight market started sharply receding again- more than 40 Bulk carriers are changing hands to Greek owners, out of around 135 sold during this period, or around a third. Similarly, if we look at the Bulk carriers NB orders placed since May 2023, at least 8 orders are linked to Greek owners, representing at least 28 vessels, out of a total of abt 30 Bulk Carrier NB orders placed during the same period, representing around 90 ships. In other words, since May 2023 to date, almost one in three Bulk Carriers NB signed has been linked to a Greek shipowner”.
“Seeing such big names betting on the dry market encourages others to follow, a fact that would help asset prices to hold on and not necessarily follow the relevant freight market which in several recent spot fixtures across all sub-segments appears to be at significantly reduced rates, at levels moderately above break-even or even below break-even for certain routes, bearing in mind that many also need to cover a rather expensive finance/CapEx cost”, Intermodal’s analyst said.
He added that “views differ as to whether the Dry bulk freight market is on the verge of a correction or whether a recovery is a little further away than many believe, especially given all the market trends we’re currently experiencing, which as I mentioned in my previous insight, I believe are more of the type of long-term factors that will continue to surround us for some time to come, rather than momentary spikes. Having said that, the math is not mathing when comparing the asset prices to the freight rates and it seems that this gap between the asset prices/freight rates in the Dry bulk segment will remain around, at least for the forthcoming short period”, Intermodal’s analyst concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide