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Strong interest in used super-tankers (VLCCs)

The lack of available modern tonnage due to the under-investment of the past years and the “jump” in the charter market, have significantly increased the interest in used super-tankers (VLCCs).

Shipbrokers reported that the Norwegian-owned Eco Seas (299,998 dwt, built in 2016 for South Korea’s Daewoo) changed hands for 98-98.5 million US dollars, while the buyer remains unknown. This is a remarkable price, since it concerns a vessel close to 10 years old.

It is indicative that a ten-year-old ship is valued today at an average of around 79 million US dollars, according to Xclusiv Shipbrokers.

“Even taking into account the difference in yard and design, the sale of Eco Seas represents a significant improvement compared to the deal for Miltiades Junior (320,926 dwt and built 2014 at China’s SWS), which changed hands for 80 million US dollars about a month ago, ” shipping brokerage Hartland Shipping Services noted.

However, 2024 is expected to mark the return of shipowners to the shipyards, even if some still remain cautious. Based on a recent analysis by “Naftemporiki”, orders for 15 VLCCs have been placed from the beginning of the year to the first ten days of February compared to 18 such vessels in 2023 and only three a year before.

From February 1 to February 20, the average income of VLCCs in the spot market reached an average of 48,300 US dollars per day, a figure which increased by 16% from January, based on the British house Maritime Strategies International.

On February 20, on the Middle East Gulf – China route spot fares reached 68,000 US dollars per day, more than double compared to the first days of the month.