Greek shipowners buck declining newbuild ordering trend

As tanker and bulker newbuilding vessel orders begin to rise, there has still been an overall drop in newbuilding orders in first-half 2017 across shipping segments compared to the same period last year. This as it maybe, Greek shipowners have doubled their contracting in the first half, according to data from VesselsValue.

In all 245 vessels were ordered to end June, a slight decrease from 254 seen in the same period in 2016, and less than half of the 594 orders seen for first half 2015.

 Greek-run companies placed orders for 58 new ship orders in the first half of the year, more than twice the number of orders made in the same period last year, and 24% of all order placed, according to ship values specialist, VesselsValue.

VesselsValue data show that in January-June 2016 Greek shipowners ordered 28 vessels, a far cry from the 72 orders in the first half of 2015.

But, in July Greeks were reported to have inked orders for another 28 firm vessels and six options – 16 bulk carriers and 12 tankers firm. The dry ships range from capesize to kamsarmaxes (10) to handies, while the tankers comprise VLCCs, aframaxes and long and medium range units. Twelve different companies are seen to be behind the latest influx of new orders.

So, if the options are taken up, the new ship orderbook for Greek interests in the first seven months of 2017 will be 92 ships booked during a period when the international market was in decline.

Greek activity has restored Greek shipping on top of the shipbuilding orders, with China a distant second with 40 new ships ordered. There was a significant decline in demand from Japanese companies, to just 13 in the January-June 2017 period from 36 last year and 105 in the first half of 2015.

Data also point to Greeks sticking exclusively with the two main categories of ships: Greeks ordered 42 tankers and 16 dry-bulk carriers in the January / June period. Notably in the last three years the 151 Greek orders have included 104 tankers, given the crisis in the dry bulk sector.

Posted 03 August 2017

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David Glass

Greece Correspondent, Seatrade Maritime

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