Panamax prices plunge

Asset prices in certain segments of the dry-bulk market appear to be sliding, a leading Greek sale-and-purchase broker told clients Friday.

In a weekly market briefing Lion Shipbrokers said the price tags tied to the 76,000-dwt Yusho Spica (built 2006) and Mishima (built 2002) illustrate “a significant softening” of asset values.

The firm claims the former fetched between $20.2 and $20.5m, which is nearly $3.5m less than what the 76,000-dwt Ocean Lily (built 2006), a vessel with identical specifications, commanded in April.

Lion pointed out that the Mishima went for $16m, which is almost $6m lower than price paid for the 74,000-dwt Aspendos (built 2003). While the ship that changed hands in March is slightly younger the firm said both were built in Japan and boast similar specifications.

“These two sales illustrate a significant softening of the asset values and if the charter rates continue to deteriorate, we expect many of the recently reported deals to fall through,” it told clients in today’s sale-and-purchase report.

Compass Maritime Services highlighted the sale of the Yusho Spica in its weekly report as well. The US brokerage noted the 76,500-dwt Glory (built 2005) and 76,300-dwt Top Eternity (built 2005) sold for $23.3m and $23m, respectively, just a few months ago.

“Charter rates in the dry market remain dismal and bulk carrier prices remain under pressure and appear to be softening,” it said, adding:

“For illustration, this week's sale of the Japanese controlled ‘YUSHO SPICA’ for about $20m (or possibly a shade below), which is considerably below ‘last done’, especially when it is noted that the vessel had freshly passed its intermediate/drydocking surveys.”

According to Compass Maritime, five and ten-year-old panamaxes are currently commanding approximately $26m and $20m, respectively, in the second-hand market and claims prompt newbuildings are going for roughly $32m.

On Friday it told clients that panamaxes fixed for a year are seeing day rates of around $10,250 on average in today’s period market while tonnage trading spot watched levels fall by nearly 14% week-on-week to $5,000, which is below what most owners need to cover operating costs