Trafigura confirms buy

Trafigura has confirmed reports it has placed an order for up to eight medium-range (MR) product tankers at China State Shipbuilding Corp affiliate Guangzhou Shipbuilding International.

In an email that put an end to talk that made TradeWinds headlines earlier in the day a spokesman said the contract includes four 50,000-dwt eco-type vessels and an equal number of options that don’t expire until later this year.

The commodities giant declined to pin a price tag on the ships, which are due for delivery in 2014, but newbuilding sources claim they will cost around $32m a piece.

“The modern hull design and energy efficiency of our fleet, combined with Trafigura’s financial security and experience in shipping and chartering will help build a highly competitive offering in the marketplace,” the spokesman added.

They also noted the group's newbuildings will be operated by desks in Athens, Geneva, Houston and Singapore, which was billed as a “service centre” for commodities traders and staffers who dabble in paper and physical freight.

While the MR order is a first for Trafigura back in January it acquired four from the second-hand market and says its fleet of chartered tonnage now includes between 50 and 60 tankers and 30 to 40 bulkers at any given point in time on average.