Nearly 100 tanker sale and purchase transactions were reported in August 2019. With Covid-19, the oil price slump and the general uncertainty over the oil trade, it is not surprising that less than 20 tankers changed hands in August 2020
Of the few tanker transactions that took place in August 2020, the most significant was undertaken by Stolt Tankers, which has strengthened its fleet with the purchase of five chemical carriers from US-based Chemical Transport. The five 26,000 dwt to 27,500 dwt chemical carriers were built at China Merchant Jinling (formerly Avic Dingheng) between 2016 and 2017 are CTG Argon, CTG Bismuth, CTG Cobalt, CTG Magnesium and CTG Mercury.
No price has been disclosed for the en bloc sale which is expected to close between December 2020 and February 2021.
Commenting on the purchase, Stolt Tankers president Lucas Vos said “This acquisition is an excellent opportunity for Stolt Tankers to replace ships being retired in the next few years, lowering our fleet age profile with competitively priced ships that can trade in any of our deepsea lanes. Newer, fuel-efficient ships help us reduce our carbon footprint while buying existing tonnage means capacity is not added to a market that does not need it. In a cyclical industry like ours, buying the right ships at the right price is the path to financial sustainability. In the end, Stolt Tankers’ customers are the real winners in this deal, as these ships will support our proven platform that provides a high quality, reliable and flexible service offering.”
August also saw two other chemical carrier sales with US owner Chembulk Tankers selling 2011-built, 12,500-dwt Chembulk Columbus to unknown Chinese interests for US$12.4M. The smaller 2001-built, 7,700-dwt Sichem Croisic was sold by Team Tankers International to an undisclosed buyer for an undisclosed sum. Team Tankers International has requested delisting from the Oslo stock exchange on 30 September 2020.
The MR2 chemical and products tanker sector was quiet in August with the sale of only one vessel. 2011-built, 50,000-dwt Nord Andes was sold by Norden for US$21M to undisclosed Chinese interests. Clarkson Research Services noted that price level seems high compared to recent sales such as 2011-built Eagle Melbourne which was sold US$15.7M but Nord Andes is equipped with deep-well pumps, has IMO III notation and is Tier II compliant. Norden purchased Nord Andes (ex-Andes) from Donnelly Tanker Management for US$21.5M in October 2019 as part of an en bloc deal.
The sole Aframax sale in August was accomplished by Eastern Mediterranean, which passed on 2000-built, 105,500-dwt Super Lady to undisclosed Middle East interests for US$11.0M. The vessel had been purchased as Young Lady in December 2007 for US$61M from Blenheim Shipping.
Of the Suezmax tanker sales in August, one was a distress sale at auction. A previous auction for 2010-built, 156,700-dwt Advantage Sky in April 2020 failed, and the Court of Durban had a successful sale for US$25.25M to undisclosed buyers in August. Ciner Ship Management of Turkey sold two Suezmax tankers, Ayse C and Zeynep, with bareboat charters to CSSC Shipping of China for a reported US$63.5M each. These are the only Suezmax tankers in the expanding fleet of tankers, which now numbers 12 vessels.
Sinokor sold four nearly new VLCCs to fellow South Korean shipping company SK Shipping for a reported US$89M – the firm price explained by charters attached to each VLCC: V Advance, V Glory, V Harmony and V Prosperity.
The sale of 2000-built VLCC Bag Meur illustrated the weakening of prices for older VLCCs. Having been reported as sold for US$23.5M in July 2020, shipbrokers Banchero Costa report the sale failed, and the VLCC was finally sold for Equatorial Marine for US$21.75M with its special survey due in December 2020.
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