Vessel drought may bring new orders.
A ?BIG drought? of secondhand vessels for sale in its sectors may nudge dry bulk owner Star Bulk towards newbuildings as it seeks to renew and expand its fleet, writes Nigel Lowry in Athens.
Chief executive Akis Tsirigakis told a conference call: ?There is a definite lack of secondhand tonnage to be bought. People are not selling their secondhand vessels, especially capesizes.?
There was also a shortage of deals for supramaxes ? Star"s other fleet segment.
The fleet of Athens-based Star comprises eight supramaxes and three capesizes, including the 1993-built capesizeStar Beta , which has been sold and is due to be delivered to the buyer next month.
Mr Tsirigakis told analysts the company was seeking a replacement for Star Beta as well as vessels to expand the fleet.
?We have seen newbuildings or resales changing hands,? he said. ?We see quite a few opportunities on that front.?
Two 1991-built capesizes remain in the fleet, including Star Ypsilon , which has been switched to cover a contract of affreightment with Brazilian mining giant Vale.
But executives said the company was not thinking of disposing of the pair which were ?good performers?.
To a question on whether there had been any ?counterparty issues? related to some of the ships with high charter earnings, executives said: ?Not at all, none whatsoever?.
Star was able to report ?some positive developments? on previous disputes with charterers, although at present it was unable to comment further on ongoing confidential proceedings.