Japan’s private shipowners are increasingly turning to the secondhand sale-and-purchase market to reinvest their cash as it offers better value after yard prices reached a record high.

The country’s owners have traditionally been almost exclusively sellers, rather than buyers, of secondhand tonnage and usually prefer to focus their investments on newbuildings.

But soaring yard prices, and concerns over future environmental regulations, are increasingly encouraging them to look for better value in the secondhand market, where they are specialising in sale and charter-back lease deals.