BIMCO: Greek Owners Invest Most in Newbuildings

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Greek ship owners are not only the most active nation when it comes to sales and purchases, they are also investing the most in newbuilding contracts, according to new data released today by the international shipping association BIMCO.

Since 2010, newbuild contracts made by owners in Greece have totaled USD 51 billion, consistently dwarfing the likes of Norway and China as buyers.

In 2013, ship owners in China signed 270 contracts, less than the 284 contracts entered into by Greek ship owners, according to BIMCO.

“The Greek ship owners’ interest in newbuilding contracts has continued into 2014, where 73 new contracts valued at USD 4.3 billion have been signed,” said Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO, Peter Sand. “Due to a focus on higher value ship segments, they consistently top China on value, despite losing out on the total number of contracts signed for all years but 2013.”

China has signed a total of 98 newbuilding contracts in 2014.

The single most significant year for Norwegian shipping investors was 2012. Offshore investments made that year were so outstanding that Norway topped both tables, with 133 new contracts valued at USD 17.8 billion. In comparison, China topped both tables in 2010 with a somewhat different focus as 643 contracts were signed at a value of USD 17.3 billion.

“2012 was a weak investment year for all, heavily impacted by very poor commercial market conditions for all main shipping segments,” adds Sand. “Improving conditions in 2013 meant that the appetite returned to investors across the board. 2014 is off to a much slower start, but the ranking remains unchanged.”

Additionally, data released earlier this week showed that the buying interest from Greek ship owners is focused on bulkers to an increasing extent. According to data from VesselsValue.com, Greek owners were at the buying end of 43% of all bulker sales completed so far in 2014.

“On the selling side, the same pattern is revealed as Greek ship owners sell fewer and fewer bulkers,” says Sand. “Greek owners have sold just 14 bulkers in 2014 as compared to 73 in 2013. They are clearly building on an already significant bulker fleet.”

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Graphs courtesy BIMCO