There is intense activity in the LPG carrier market as strong charters motivate shipping companies to invest in modern tonnage.
More specifically, Benelux Overseas has reportedly ordered two medium-sized vessels, each with a capacity of 48,000 cubic meters, at China’s Huangpu Wenchong shipyard. Shipbrokers told “Naftemporiki” that the cost of building such a ship is currently between 65 and 70 million dollars.
According to Greek shipping reports, a Japanese company ordered two LPG carriers, with a capacity of 45,000 cubic meters each, at the most expensive shipyards in South Korea, at a price of 71 million dollars per unit.
Also, the delivery of the two ships to the Benelux will be completed, based on the same sources, by 2027.
According to the Equasis shipping data platform, the company’s fleet has a total of eight vessels, seven LPG carriers and one chemical/product tanker, including two newbuilt vessels, ‘Gas Ammon’ and ‘Gas Anax’.
Significant investments in new-built and second-hand LPG carriers have been made over the last months by, among others, Latsco Shipping, Evalend Shipping, Naftomar and Toro Corp.
The market for LPG carriers has been “hot” for several months, with rates, in fact, for large vessels of the VLGC type held in the third quarter of this year at five-year highs, a result of tight supply/demand conditions and disruptions causing congestion in the Panama Canal.
According to freighter Fearnleys’ latest weekly report (22 November), VLGCs fetched an average of 145,000 dollars a day on the spot market, while mid-sized MGCs fetched 51,666 dollars a day.
The “bullish” conditions prevailing in the market for LPG carriers brought particularly high profits to the Greek shipping companies with fleets of LPG carriers that are listed on Wall Street, as reflected in the financial results of the third quarter of this year, while there was a jump in both trading prices and and their capitalizations.
For example, the price of Dorian LPG is up more than 38% in the last month, 74% in the quarter and 125.4% in the year, according to specialist website marketwatch (based on the stock’s closing price on November 27).
Finally, StealthGas stock is also moving steadily upward, close to a 52-week high.