Capesize Orderbook down to 17% of the Fleet


The Capesize orderbook has shrunk from a high of 117% of the fleet in Q4 2008 to just 17% today. Of course, in the meantime the Capesize fleet has swollen from 141.84m dwt (817 ships) to 278.87m dwt (1505 ships), according to Clarkson Research data. Nonetheless, the slowdown in new orders brings the orderbook as a percentage of the fleet down to the level of Q3 2003. There is still another 36.4m dwt to be delivered in 2013, which is actually larger than the total Capesize fleet of thirty years ago.

Clarkson Research list three Capesize thirty year old or older as still live on their database. These include an Odense Lindo-built vessel, the 1982-built, 136,999 dwt “RAM PRASAD” operated by Essar Shipping. After launch she worked for the Danish electricity producer Elsam for twenty years. Clarksons report the vessel was bought by Goldenport Holdings in June 2002, when the Capesize fleet as a mere 88.9m dwt (orderbook 8.1% of the fleet) for $5m. In March 2008, when the Capesize orderbook stood at 93% of the then fleet, Goldenport sold the 25-year old ship to Chinese interests for $25m. Goldenport booked a $20m profit on the sale of the “SAMOS” as she was then called, and traded the ship through one of the best Capesize cycles ever. Seven months later the Capesize market crashed. Shipping, like comedy, is all in the timing.

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About Craig Jallal
A shipping analyst whose feels the need to comment on the industry.

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