“We are looking at fleet growth and, given current newbuilding prices, we think that it’s opportune to build new ships,” MANA correspondent reported.
IHS Markit’s Sea-web data shows that Pan Ocean owns 15 Handymax bulk carriers.
The dry bulk freight market has improved from all-time lows seen in 2015 and early 2016, due to strong coal and iron ore imports into China during the later part of 2016.
The source said, “The market for Handymax bulk carriers is more flexible as these vessels carry a wide range of cargoes. We think that the market is starting to feel positive again, especially when Indonesia has lifted a ban on the exports of raw ores.”
Shipbroking sources said that Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding, part of Singapore-listed Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, is favoured to win the orders.
South Korean shipowners have been ordering bulk carriers in China due to the significantly lower newbuilding prices for such vessels there. Pan Ocean recently released unaudited results that showed a 142% year-on-year surge in net profit to USD82.49 million.