Secondhand ship sales set a new record in 2021, according to data from Clarkson Research, with 2,507 assets changing hands and S&P spending of $47bn edging past the existing record of $46bn set in 2007.

More than a third of the capital was invested in bulk carriers, according to the research firm, with more than $16.2bn spent across the sector. Containerships came second with a spend of $13.1bn, with tankers at $11.5bn and other vessel sectors accounting for $5.9bn.

Spending was consistently strong throughout the year, with $10bn invested during the first quarter, $13bn in Q2, $11bn in Q3, and $12bn in Q4.

In terms of buyers and sellers, Clarkson noted Greek owners were the most active, spending an estimated $7.2bn, followed by the Chinese ($5.3bn) and the Norwegians ($2.7bn).

Greeks also clocked up the most disposals, with $9.9bn of sales. They were followed by the Japanese ($5.9bn) and the Chinese ($4.2bn).

The figures show that Chinese owners were the leading ‘net buyers’, spending over a billion more on acquiring ships than from selling them. However, Clarkson notes that overall, European owners spent more on buying ships than those in Asia – $25bn versus $16bn.

The analysts note that the first six weeks of this year have seen no slackening in spending despite further increases in ship prices. So far, sales worth $6.2bn have been recorded in 2022 which, if sustained over the rest of the year, would set yet another annual record of around $53bn.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News