Bulker newbuilding values at 15-year high

By Rebecca Galanopoulos Jones, senior content analyst, Veson Nautical

Bulker newbuilding values are currently at 15-year high, with increases across all sectors since the start of the year. This is due to a number of factors including strong market fundamentals and increased demand, high steel prices and shipyard costs. Capesizes have seen the most impressive gains with values for newbuild vessels of 180,000 DWT up by c.5.45% from US$66.09 million to US$69.63 million.

However, the majority of orders in 2024 to date have been split equally between the Panamax and Supramax sectors, each accounting for c.35% of orders placed. With a price difference of just under US$3 million apart in value, it is unsurprising that a number of owners have opted for the larger Panamax sector. Panamax Bulker newbuilding values for vessels of 82,000 DWT are currently at US$40 million compared to US$37.26 million for Supramaxes of 62,000 DWT.  

High values have been supported by firm earnings, which have been moving upwards consistently since January. Panamax rates for one-year are currently at around 16,300 US$/day, up by c.11%, year on year as disruption in both the Suez and Panama canals have increased ton mile demand for the Bulker sector, along with improving demand fundamentals from China. 

Greek buyers have led Panamax newbuildings in 2024, accounting for c.45% of orders.

Notable new orders include eight Panamax Bulkers of 82,000 DWT ordered by Laskaridis Maritime, scheduled to be built at Penglai Zhongbai Jinglu and Hengli Shipbuilding and delivered in 2026, VV value US$86 million.  

Whereas in the Supramax sector, it is the Chinese who have placed the majority of orders, with a share of c.35%. Notable new orders include eight Ultramax Bulkers of 64,000 DWT, ordered by HuaXia Financial Leasing, scheduled to be built at New Dayang Shipbuilding and delivered between 2026-27, sold for US$34 million each.

Bulker NB values (One year change). Credit: Veson Nautical.

Photo credit: iStock/ Iam Anupong

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