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Greek owners place record orders with Asian yards

Greek owners place record orders with Asian yards

Athens: Greek owners contracted a staggering 61 ships worth an estimated $4.12bn at shipyards of China, Japan and South Korea during September, believed to be a new monthly record.

Twenty-three different owners placed the orders for 53 energy carrying ships - including 15 suezmaxes (plus five options) - and eight bulk carriers, seemingly brushing aside warnings the freight market may not hold.

Contract values have had for the most part to be based on market information, says Piraeus-based newbuilding broker George Moundreas & Co, since in most cases neither the shipowner nor the shipbuilder has been willing to alert others to contract details. But what seems certain is that they are rising fact: with shipyards now nearing capacity into 2010, many of the Greek orders appear to be paying a premium as all but a handful of ships will deliver in 2008 and 2009. All but a handful of smaller orders, have come from established owners who have been renewing their fleets, many of them with an ongoing programme over the past five years.

Among the orders were two LPG carriers of 84,000cub mtr at Daewoo, South
Korea, for Vafias-controlled StealthGas. Worth a confirmed $93m, the
ships are deliver in 2009 and mark a major diversification for
Nasdaq-listed StealthGas which currently has a fleet of some 27 units,
all at the smaller end of the market.

Likewise, an order by product tanker specialist Eletson Corp for four
firm, two options, 35,000cub mtr LPG carriers at Hyundai Mipo, in South
Korea is a major diversification. Worth an estimated $62m each the ships
are set to deliver in 2009/2010 into an operation comprising 25 product
tankers of 1.63m dwt.  [06/10/06]