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HANSA 08-2020

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MÄrkte | Markets Stampede for big boxships continues Liner operators kept adding larger charter ships to their fleet at a rapid pace. Their service capacities are trending back to pre-Covid levels now. By Michael Hollmann The container vessel charter market is working its way out of the doldrums perhaps faster than expected. While the classic post-panamax segments had already seen some positive momentum back in June, the firmer trend grew broader during July, filtering through to the sub-5,000 TEU classes. This is borne out by an almost 6.0% increase in the New ConTex since end of June. The rate barometer for the feeder-to-panamax sectors posted rising consecutive gains over the past weeks, driven mainly by improving fixtures of 4,250 TEU baby-panamax vessels. These saw average hire rates for 6-12 month durations in Asia pick up from low/flat 7,000’s $/day to around 9,000 $/day as tonnage availability tightened. According to Alphaliner, the number of spot vessels was more than halved to just 12 units worldwide between mid-June and mid-July. Tonnage demand for transpacific and intra-Asia deployments appeared to be the major drivers of activity in the panamax sector, complemented by requirements for a new Asia-Africa service by CMA CGM. Activity remained very strong Further up, in the post-panamax classes, chartering activity has remained very strong as well. Although the 8,500 TEU class did not produce any fresh fixtures due to non-availability of ships, London broker Clarksons Platou lifted its period assessment for this type by around 19% to 19,000 $/day. Lack of spot/prompt supply in this segment saw liner operators shifting their focus to the 6,500/7,000 TEU class, with activity culminating in a dozen fixtures for ships of this size on a weekly basis in mid-July. Rate levels quickly picked up from around 10,000 to 13,000-14,000 $/day for 6,000-6,500 TEU types as spot supply dwindled to just »a handful of units«, as one major broker explained. Maersk and MSC were among the most active charterers. »The upward trend is obvious now. There are more uncovered requirements In unserem Portal HANSA+ vereinen wir eine Übersicht wichtiger Kennzahlen der Märkte. Sichern Sie sich den Zugriff auf Fracht- und Charterraten in der Container-, Bulk- und Tank schifffahrt, Bunkerpreise, MPP-, Shortsea- und Umschlagindizes, Ölpreise und vieles mehr … Erfahren Sie mehr über alle Optionen jederzeit unter out there, therefore we expect the positive momentum to carry on for a while,« another market source pointed out. Notable fixtures included an outright 12 month period at 13,500 $/day for the Samsung 6000 type »NYK Libra« (6,178 TEU, built 2020) for Far East delivery with MSC. Further, US owner Seamax Capital managed to conclude a 12 month period at 16,000 $/day with SCI for its Hyundai 7500 type »Seamax Norwalk« (7,455 TEU, built 2005). Maersk Line took several vessels including the 7,240 TEU »Anton Schulte« (built 2009) for 2-3 months at 16,250 $/day for delivery in the Mediterranean. The increased tonnage demand from liner operators suggests that cargo volumes continued to recover over the past weeks and that the near-term expectations are quite upbeat. The global idle container ship fleet is reported to have shrunk from 2.61 mill. TEU (11.2% of world fleet capacity) to 1.84 mill. TEU (7.9%) within a month. So far, the reactivation of capacity appears to be in line with demand recovery, otherwise container freight rates would have weArne Kühnened. However, the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) even went up by nearly 5% to an average of 1,035 $/TEU between mid- June and mid-July. The increases are mainly driven by rate hikes in the transpacific eastbound (Far East/North America) trade where cargo volumes are currently recovering faster than expected due to inventory rebuilding. Latest data from Danish research firm Sea-Intelligence shows that liner carriers have restored most of the capacity which they had »blanked« in the east/ west trades due to Covid-19. Capacity adjustments work Average weekly sailing capacity over the next 12 weeks is down by just -3% yearon-year in the Asia-Europe and the transatlantic trades, it reported. How ever, for transpacific eastbound sailings, liner capacity will even be 7.2% higher over the coming weeks than it was during the same time last year, according to Sea-Intelligence. The capacity reinstatements have had only very limited effects on the smaller container ship classes below 2,000 TEU, though. The tonnage oversupply in the charter market could not be reduced enough for charter rates to pick up significantly. Generally, brokers are reporting major imbalances between the Pacific and the Atlantic. While market conditions in Europa and the Mediterranean continue to be subdued with lots of idle ships, typhoons and port congestion in the Far East are creating plenty of short-term demand for feeder ships there. Even so, market rate increases for vessels in Asia have been modest, with standard Wenchong 1700 types (1,740 TEU, geared) fixing at just above 6,000 $/day and modern economic Bangkokmax types with similar TEU intArne Kühnes (Topaz 1700 etc.) at high ,000’s – up by 500-1,000 $/day from the lows of June. n 8 HANSA – International Maritime Journal 07 | 2020

MÄrkte | Markets Orders & Sales New Orders Container While container ship orders have been very slow in the wake of COVID-19, a limited number of contracts for container tonnage have been signed in recent weeks. A fresh order has been placed by Namsung Shipping, who has apppointed Dae Sun to construct two 1,000 TEU feeder vessels with delivery slated for end 2021 and early 2022. It is said that the cost is around $ 17-18 mill. each. Yang Ming has extended its pipeline with Shoei Kisen and Imabari by another three 11,850 TEU ships for 2022 delivery, adding to a series of similar ships that Yang Ming is to receive from the same shipyard from 2020-2022. Secondhand Sales It has been quiet on the container sale & purchase market in terms of transactions, but with a number of inspections in the nearterm, there should some sales emerge in the coming weeks. Most recently, Seaspan has purchased a pair of 13,000 TEU vessels for an enbloc price of $ 146 mill. Demolition Sales Demolition vessels are mostly flocking for green recycling in Turkey, where a majority of older cruise vessels as well as some liner owned container tonnage is being moved to. Poland built »CMA CGM Okapi« (1,728 TEU) was sold for a price of 190 $/ldt. KF Container ship t / c market 450 400 350 300 23.01.20 Container freight market WCI Shanghai-Rotterdam 1,804 $/FEU - 1.40 % WCI Shanghai-Los Angeles 2,934 $/FEU + 18.9 % Dry cargo / Bulk 23.07.20 Month on Month 326 • +5.8 % Baltic Dry Index 1,388 - 20.1 % Time charter averages / spot: $/d Capesize 5TC average 18,542 - 37.0 % Panamax 4TC average (82k) 11,363 + 0.8 % Supramax 10TC average (58k) 10,174 + 36.4 % Handysize 7TC average (38k 8,465 + 22.1 % Forward / ffa front month Aug 20 ($/day) Capesize 180k 16,378 - 30.5 % Panamax 74k 10,961 - 11.6 % MPP July ’19 $ 7,476 TMI Toepfer’s Multipurpose Index July ’20 $ 6,391 12,500 tdw MPP/HL »F-Type« vessel for a 6-12 months TC Tankers Shortsea / Coaster Norbroker 3,500 dwt earnings est. 2,000 0.0 % HC Shortsea Index 12.86 - 2.4 % ISTFIX Shortsea Index 455 + 12.2 % Norbroker: spot t/c equivalent assessment basis round voyage North Sea/Baltic; HC Shipping & Chartering index tracking spot freights on 5 intra-European routes; Istfix Istanbul Freight Index covering spot freight ex Black Sea Bunkers COMPASS Baltic Dirty Tanker Index 539 + 17.4 % Baltic Clean Tanker Index 355 - 13.0 % VLSFO 0.5 Rotterdam $/t 331 + 15.7 % MGO Rotterdam $/t 375 + 11.6 % Forward / Swap price Q4 / 20 VLSFO 0.5 Rotterdam $/t 323 + 10.6 % Data per 23.04.2020, Alterations within four weeks »MPP market propped up by renewables« Tonnage demand in the multipurpose/ heavy lift sector has rebounded. However, the recovery remains patchy, says Arne Kühn, Managing Director of the Hamburg office of BRS and one of its leading mpp shipbrokers.. Has the MPP time charter market bottomed out after its steep fall? How do you assess the current situation? Arne Kühn: Shipping activity in the mpp segment has returned to some extent. Hire rates have stabilized well above OPEX and all tramp vessels are trading again with only a small number of spot positions. Charterers are busy trying to develop and execute cargo business which wasn’t possible for some time. However, they remain cautious as illustrated by increased period flexibility. They take ships for 3-7 or 4-8 months to make sure they can rid themselves of tonnage should trades get disrupted again. Is the cargo trend showing up, or will volumes be hit again with a delay? Arne Kühn: Throughout the last two months we saw a rash of fixing of wind energy equipment ex Far East and India which sent Arne Kühn, Managing Director of the Hamburg office of BRS charter rates back up. More recently the market has cooled down again as freight budgets at wind energy clients came under pressure. There appears to be a standoff right now. The other problem is that other project and general breakbulk volumes are still lacking and that competition with handysize bulkers for smaller parcel stems remains fierce. © Hollmann What’s going to be the »shape« and time frame of the recovery? Arne Kühn: I am afraid the prospects for the rest of the year aren’t rosy. Still, as long as Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Australia don’t end up in lockdown again, there should be enough market activity to keep the mpp fleet relatively busy. Will the market structure look much different a few years ahead? Arne Kühn: It was encouraging to see that all ships that got redelivered due to the retreat of a major charterer were able to find new cover in a short span of time. It showed that there is still enough liquidity and potential in the mpp market. However, the renewal of the mpp fleet will get more and more urgent in the coming years to make sure it stays that way. Operators today are not in the condition to offer long-term charter cover of 5 years or more as backing for newbuilding projects.mph HANSA – International Maritime Journal 07 | 2020 9

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