04-10-2021 Belships buys two more supramaxes and seals ultramax charter, By Holly Birkett and Trond Lillestolen, TradeWinds
Belships’ fleet expansion is continuing apace with the acquisition of two supramax bulk carriers in the second-hand market. The Oslo-listed shipowner has also taken delivery of an ultramax newbuilding from a shipyard in Japan and fixed the bulker on a short-term time-charter. Belships said it is paying $28m per vessel for two 58,000-dwt supramaxes which are being reported by brokers as the Japanese-built, 57,679-dwt Stove Tide and Stove Friend (both built 2016). The company, which specializes in supramax and ultramax bulkers, said it will take delivery of the acquisitions at the end of November but did not name the ships.
Chief executive Lars Christian Skarsgard said the transaction demonstrates Belships’ capabilities for putting deals together. “The vessel acquisitions add to the company’s increasingly compelling earnings prospects and display Belships’ ability to source accretive transactions with short lead time and efficient use of capital,” he said in a statement on Monday.
Belships intends to use bank financing for up to 60% of the purchase price for the second-hand vessels, which will have a daily cash breakeven of $9,000 per day including operational expenses. After the pair are delivered, Belships’ fleet will comprise 29 supramax and ultramax bulk carriers, with an average age of four years and average daily cash breakeven of about $10,500.
Meanwhile, Belships has taken delivery of the 63,500-dwt geared ultramax Belmar from Imabari Shipyard in Japan. The vessel has been chartered out to an unnamed counterparty for five to seven months at a gross rate of $41,000 per day, Belships said.
The last ultramax reported fixed on a period charter of the same duration was contracted at $42,000 per day. An unnamed charterer booked Blue Seas Shipping’s 63,339-dwt Florentia (built 2016) on 23 September, according to fixtures data.
Belships is also said to be circulating its oldest vessel for sale, the 58,000-dwt bulker Belstar (built 2009). Skarsgard declined to comment on the reports of a sale when contacted by TradeWinds.
Belships has acquired 17 bulkers and sold six of its oldest ships over the past couple of years, leveraging Skarsgard’s experience as a sale-and-purchase broker.