Greek shipowners placed the highest number of newbuilding orders so far this year, as these companies ordered a total of 35 new bulkers and tankers since the start of 2017, according to VesselsValue.
Globally only 119 orders have been placed. Greece leads the way, followed by the US with 14 new contracts and Singapore on the third place with 10 new ships on order. Additionally, Norway has contracted eight and the Netherlands six new ships.
Greek Chartworld Shipping placed the majority of orders with 14 newbuilding contracts, 12 of which are for bulk carriers and two for tankers. The country’s Enesel SA, TMS Tankers, Capital Maritime and Trading each ordered four tankers, followed by Maran Tankers which ordered three ships of the kind.
Additionally, Neda Maritime, and Metrostar Management Corp ordered two tankers each, while M Maritime Corp placed orders for two bulk carriers.
"Many in the shipping industry are worried that there is an imbalance of supply and demand between the number vessels currently on the water and the amount of cargoes. This situation does not look to improve in the near future as there is just under 66 million dwt of tankers and bulkers to be delivered during the rest of 2017, representing 47% of the current bulker and tanker order book," VesselsValue informed.
Over the last five years, a major source of finance and investment in the newbuilding market came from the private equity sector. Today the preference from the private equity sector is to invest in tonnage already delivered and on the water so that an immediate return on their investment can be realised, according to VesselsValue.
This led to a lack of newbuilding finance available and resulted in a gap in deliveries at the major shipyards and therefore increased appetite from them to take orders.
"As we progress through 2017, yard capacity has reduced but continued buying demand from the private sector remains. This is one of the major factors that has led to the increase in newbuilding prices over the past 5 months," VesselsValue said.