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Medium term looks good for boxships, bad for AHTS

Medium term looks good for boxships, bad for AHTS
Supply and demand balance looks good for panamax containerships over the next few years, but offshore AHTS vessels look set to become severely oversupplied.

These were some of the findings of Maritime Strategies International's (MSI) look at the current best value ships in the market today, as presented by director Adam Kent at Marine Money in London yesterday.

The company's study took into account forecast demand growth, including bilateral trade agreements, expected delays from port congestion and a range of other factors over the next few years.

Despite dry bulk vessels having the highest demand over the medium term, although the extensive orderbook is set to create a situation of oversupply. According to Kent's figures, the LPG market is 90% overexposed, LNG 75% overexposed and the dry bulk market is 89% overexposed when comparing vessels on order and demand growth.

The most favourable segments from MSI's figures are crude and chemical tankers, which both had a much healthier balance between demand and supply growth.

On top of this imbalance, there is already a situation of oversupply in many sectors, with utilisation rates for 2014 in most segments at 90% or below. AHTS utilisation was around 95% for last year, but a steep drop in demand and large orderbook will see utilisation and rates plummet.

Adding to woes in many sectors is the age profile of fleets. Recent high scrapping rates have lowered the average fleet age significantly, and so the usual "pressure relief valve" of scrapping is not likely to have any significant impact.

For predictions over the next few years, Kent sees panamax containerships increasing in value, with VLCCs likely to have a significant short term peak in 2015, then continue to do improve at more reasonable levels through to 2017.