BUSINESS

Greek ship order book is close to $21.5 bln

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Shipping

The total value of Greek shipowners’ investment in newbuilding amounts to over $21.46 billion, most of which concerns the construction of new tankers, according to data from VesselsValue.

The figures compiled by the surveying company, which also participated in the asset quality review of eurozone banks, were collected at the end of May and include all the ships ordered by Greek-owned companies at shipyards around the world that have not yet been delivered. This translates into all contracts for newbuilding signed in recent years without the vessels being launched.

They amount to 404 oceangoing ships, comprising 170 tankers, 140 dry-bulk carriers, 26 liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, 35 gas tankers and 27 container ships, among others. The sum of $9.2 billion has been invested in tankers to carry crude oil and refined oil products, and another $5.8 billion in LNG carriers.

This investment total of $21.461 billion amounts to 22 percent of the present value of the Greek-owned fleet, which is estimated by VesselsValue at $90.65 billion, the highest sum for national ownership in the world concerning oceangoing merchant vessels.

The lion’s share of the above investment was made in previous years, and particularly in 2014 and 2015, as, according to the data regarding the first five months of this year that shipbroking firm Intermodal compiled, Greek-owned companies have ordered just 10 ships, valued at $375 million. Notably all of the orders concern tankers.

Of course the Greek-owned shipping companies have not only invested the sum of $21.46 billion to expand their fleet, as they are the leading force in the Sell and Purchase (S&P) market too. This year to end-May, Greeks bought 107 used ships, spending $1.18 billion. Last year Greek shippers accounted for 259 ship purchases that cost them $5.1 billion euros, i.e. 22.3 percent of the world’s S&P market.

Eva Tzima, head of Research & Valuations at Intermodal, tells Kathimerini that this year there has been a 52 percent annual increase in purchases of used dry-bulkers, while the ships acquired in the January-May period were on average 18 months younger than last year.

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