Major increase in used-ship buys


The Greek-owned fleet expanded last month as, despite the heightening of Greece’s debt crisis and the general financial uncertainty in the country, their activity in the used-ships market increased in June.

In a clear sign of the minimal impact that developments in the local economy have had on shipping, Greek shippers acquired 34 secondhand vessels last month, according to shipbrokers Golden Destiny. Greek companies invested some 1.15 billion euros in those ships, which have a total capacity of 4 million deadweight tons (dwt). Compared to May, when Greeks acquired 20 vessels, there was an increase of 70 percent.

Tankers and dry-bulk carriers were the most popular ship categories among buyers: They acquired 15 tankers worth 564 million euros and 14 dry-bulkers costing 151 million.

Tankers are growing rapidly in popularity among Greek shippers, as in comparison with May there was an increase of 88 percent in ships bought, while the monthly growth in dry-bulkers amounted to 56 percent.

In total, the Greeks’ share in the global market of used-ship acquisitions came to 23 percent in June. Globally, 150 ships changed hands at a total cost of 3.15 billion euros last month.

Over the course of the first half of the year Greek-American owner Peter Georgiopoulos was at the top of the list with the biggest investments in the secondhand ship market. Data compiled by VesselsValue ship surveyors showed that Georgiopoulos’s Gener8 Maritime acquired a total of 14 ships, representing an investment of 1.27 billion euros. The company’s objective was its biggest possible expansion ahead of listing on the New York Stock Exchange a few weeks ago.

In terms of shipbuilding, Greeks accounted for 12 percent of the market in May, ordering 15 vessels with a total capacity of over 2 million dwt at a cost of near 1 billion euros. There was an increase of 86 percent compared to the same month last year.