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Record prices for container newbuild vessels

Boxship newbuilding prices are hitting new all-time highs, as container freight levels show no sign of a substantial correction anytime soon.

VesselsValue shows that on 9 June, Japanese tonnage provider Doun Kisen ordered a pair of 23,000 TEU ships at compatriot Imabari Shipbuilding for US$255 million each.

It is not known who will be the charterer of the ships, although Doun Kisen has similar ships on charter to MSC, which has been expanding its fleet aggressively.

In comparison, a similar ship ordered at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in October 2019, by Shanghai Pudong Development Bank’s leasing unit SPDB Leasing for MSC, was priced at US$152 million. This suggests that newbuilding prices for such boxships have appreciated by more than US$100 million over the past three years, representing a 68% jump.

Italian broker Banchero Costa noted in its 3 June market report that although there are signs of the red-hot charter market cooling, particularly in the smaller sizes, and less inclination for long-term fixtures, reports indicate no immediate signs of major corrections in charter rates, as ships remain in short supply.

While Shanghai has returned to a partial lockdown on 9 June, a week after emerging from a two-month lockdown, many of Northern Europe’s container port hubs, remain congested as carriers blanked a third of their advertised sailings during the Shanghai lockdown.

Vespucci Maritime CEO, Lars Jensen told Container News, “So far, Shanghai appears to proceed with reopening as expected. However, given the Chinese zero-Covid tolerance, it’s very difficult to make firm predictions as to the level of reopening and lockdowns to be expected in the near future.”

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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