Friday, September 4, 2015

Japanese and Chinese invest in VLCCs


Several Asian VLCC orders have been reported, during the past couple of weeks.
A large tranche of orders came from ‘Japan Inc’. These included three for MOSK placed at MES, two for Nissen Kaiun at the same yard, while JMU received orders for two from Meiji, one from K Line and another from Iino.

While the contracts were probably concluded in Yen, broking sources put the cost at $92 mill per ship.

Not to be left out, Chinese reports said that Dalian Ocean had ordered a VLCC at DISC and another at DACKS, also for $92 mill each.

Other tanker types also featured in newbuilding contracting lists. For example, Tai Chong Cheang was said to have ordered a third Aframax at Sasebo for 2018 delivery. The earlier two ordered are due for delivery next year.

Greek-based Delos was believed to have signed a letter of intent for four LR1s, plus four options, at STX for $46.5 mill per ship. If firmed up, they will be delivered in 2017-2018.

Elsewhere, Tokyo Marine was believed to have ordered two 35,000 dwt chemical tankers for $34.5 mill each for 2018 delivery. 

In the charter market, Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) said that it had negotiated a charter renewal of a Handysize product carrier to a major state oil company for 24 months at a 20% premium to the vessel’s previous rate.

This charter, commencing this month, is expected to generate about $13 mill in total gross revenues.

As a result, this latest fixture along with the five charters announced recently for a Suezmax and four MRs, increased the total minimum charter revenues of the fleet under secured employment to over $750 mill.

“This new charter extension with its associated rate increase together with the recent announcement of the five charters is a confirmation that the tanker markets’ prospects remain strong. The sustained pressure in oil prices continues to encourage a healthy activity in global oil imports and as a result offers incremental benefits to companies with strong spot exposure like TEN due to the material decrease in the cost of bunkers,” George Saroglou, TEN COO, said. “We remain confident on the continued strength in the tanker markets over the foreseeable future, as we enter the seasonally strong fourth quarter with market fundamentals well balanced and with most of our vessels optimally positioned to take advantage of upcoming charter opportunities.”

Other fixtures reported during the past few weeks included several longer VLCC period charters, which gave rise to the view that although rates have come off recently for the long term, charterers thought that rates will remain firm.

These included Shell reportedly taking the 2003-built ‘Nave Neutrino’ for two years at $43,000 per day and CSSA locking in a Lykiardopulo and a Maran Tankers newbuilding for five years at $39,000 per day.

Unipec was thought to have fixed the 2004-built VLCC ‘Taga’ for 12 months at $45,000 per day, while IOC was said to have taken the 2001-built ‘Formosa Challenger’ for eight months at $43,500 per day.

On the other side of the scale, Trafigura was said to have fixed the 1997-built VLCC ‘DS Vada’ for three months at $43,500 per day.

Tsakos was believed to have chartered out the 2011-2012-built Suezmaxes ‘Spyros K’ and ‘Euro’ to Chevron for two years at $34,000 per day (see above).

ST Shipping was also said to have taken the 2009-built Aframax ‘Haima’ for 18 months at $27,000 per day, while Scorpio was reported to have fixed the 2005-built LR1 ‘Hamburg Star’ for 20,000 per day and the 2010-built MR ‘Overseas Mykonos’for the same period at $17,250 per day.

Another MR, the 2011-built ‘Sunshine Express’ was reported as fixed to Koch for 12 months at $17,250 per day.

In the S&P market segment, Frontline’s 1995-built Suezmax ‘Front Splendour’ was said to have been committed to Doehle Nautic for $16 mill.

The SCF Group appears to be having a clear out of older tonnage shedding the 1998-built MR sisters ‘Bering Sea’ and ‘Azov Sea’ for about $8.5 mill each and the 2001-2002 built Suezmaxes ‘SCF Altai’, SCF Ural’ and ‘SCF Sayan’ in an en bloc deal worth $103 mill in total.

Newly revamped TORM was said to be behind the purchase of the 2010-built MR sisters ‘JPO Japan’ and ‘JPO Korea’ for an en bloc price of $56.25 mill.

Finally, the 1997-built Aframax ‘Varada Lalima’ was thought sold at auction to UAE-based Gulf Petrochem for $8.5 mill, while the 2003-built 34,528 dwt chemical tanker ‘Chemroad Vega’ was committed to undisclosed interests for $16.5 mill.

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