Difficulties in obtaining finance for shipping projects continue, though they appear to have done little to slow the expansion of many leading Greek shipowners who continue to grow while reducing the age of their fleets.

Euronav has sold a 13-year old VLCC for $45m for conversion to an FPSO.

Kolkata-based Apeejay Shipping has purchased a 74,107-dwt secondhand panamax bulk carrier, bringing its fleet size to a modest four vessels with a total capacity of 441,416 dwt.

Denmark is to abolish a fee for registering secondhand ships with international registry in an effort to make it more competitive.

Mumbai-based Great Eastern Shipping Company (GE Shipping) has inked a contract to purchase a secondhand LR2 product tanker of 105,000-dwt in capacity.

Pacific Basin is spending $104.6m on five bulk carriers to renew and expand its fleet, as the company looks to position itself for a recovery of the dry bulk market.

The dry bulk market had a great run from the fall of the last year until March this year when the BDI reached 1,338 points on 29 March. While freight rates still have been hovering at just above break-even levels, the improvement of the market has been impressive in relative terms; freight rates have quadrupled in the last year, admittedly from abysmally low levels.

Thoresen Shipping Singapore has purchased an 11-year-old supramax bulk carrier at a price of $7.9m as part of the shipowner’s ongoing fleet renewal plan.

Navios Maritime Partners has announced a $31.05m acquisition deal for a secondhand South Korea-built capesize bulk carrier that comes attached with a charter contract until 2018.

Singapore-based LPG specialist Epic Gas has entered into an agreement to purchase a secondhand 7,500-cu m LPG carrier.

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