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            may 22, 2018

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Panamax ship values jump on rising charter rates


The value of 4,000-TEU panamax containerships is outstripping the prices for other size vessels, bumped up by the rebounding charter market.
The asking price for a 4,250-TEU classic panamax vessel built in 2011 jumped by 13.5 per cent through April, and a 2014-built ship's value increased by 10.1 per cent, while a 2017-built vessel is commanding 9.8 per cent more, according to vesselsvalue.com.
The post-panamax sector is also on a roll, with the value of a 7,000-TEU ship built in 2011 rallying by 10.8 per cent in April, and a 2017-built vessel rose by 7.2 per cent from the beginning of the month, the online ship valuer says, reported IHS Media.
Until recently, classic panamax vessels were facing rising unemployment and diving charter rates following last summer's opening of the widened Panama Canal, resulting in 8,000-TEU ships moving into the Asia-US east coast market.
The market hit bottom in December when Rickmers Maritime sold a 2009-built 4,250 TEU vessel for scrap, the youngest-ever ship to be demolished.
The Singapore-based shipowner, which piled up massive losses amid plunging charter rates, last month sold its fleet of eleven 4,250-TEU and three 3,450-TEU ships built between 2006 and 2009 for US$113 million to Navios Maritime Partners, a New York-listed Greek shipowner.
The revival of demand for panamax ships, "seemingly out of nowhere", according to Drewry Shipping Consultants, resulted from a surge in scrapping that shrank supply combined with the launch of new container alliances, which forced carriers to charter vessels to help fill gaps as their networks took shape.

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