Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 53 - 2009


China tops Greece in secondhand sales

---Michelle Wiese Bockmann - Thursday 31 December 2009
CHINESE shipowners buying elderly handysize bulk carriers have pushed the country to the top of the list of secondhand sales in 2009, eclipsing Greece.
China spent $2.9bn to buy 211 of the 1093 vessels worth $15.7bn sold in 2009, according to Allied Shipbroking.
The Piraeus shipbroker measures annual sale and purchase activity alongside invested capital.
Chinese interests bought 100 more dry cargo vessels than 2008, up from 86, to 186 in 2009. Nearly half of these dry cargo sales were handysized vessels built in the 1980s with another 13 tankers among the sales.
Greek owners bought the second-highest number of vessels but spent the most, taking advantage of falling asset values to replenish their fleet. German interests bought just 20 vessels, reflecting the crisis enveloping KG-funded financing.
Greeks spent $3.2bn on 167 vessels, including 120 bulk carriers and 32 tankers, with Allied reporting that the age was evenly split between vessels built over the last three decades.
With finance restrictions killing off the syndicated loan market following the banking crisis, buying opportunities have largely been restricted to cash-rich owners who saved money when rates were at record levels in 2007 and 2008, or those with backing from Asian banks.
Turkish owners spent $491m on secondhand ships, South Koreans $257m and Germans $232.7m.
Of the 634 dry bulk vessels over 10,000 dwt sold, 42 were resales, or newbuildings that were under construction at shipyards at the time of sale and had yet to be delivered.
About 32 aframax or long range 2 tankers were sold. Most of the 28 very large crude carrier sales in 2009 were to conversion buyers, with for floating production storage and offloading units, or very large ore carriers.
Already China was the fourth-largest owner of tonnage and the fastest-growing. The percentage of Chinese-controlled vessels grew 1% from 2007 to 2008, to represent 8.2% of the global merchant fleet of.
China was the third-largest trading nation in 2007 after the US and Germany, the IMO statistics found.

Nine killed by bulker blaze
---28 Dec 2009. NINE seafarers have been killed in a fire on the Greek bulker Aegean Wind off Venezuela.
Six Filipinos and three Greek crew members were killed, and two Filipinos and three Greeks were injured; the crew totalled 24.
Greek shipping minister Louka Katseli issued a statement offering condolences and vowing that the accident would be fully investigated.
According to Sea-Web, the Greek-flagged, ABS-classed bulker is operated by Atlantic Bulk Carriers, a subsidiary of Southern Star Shipping. It had been en route from Brazil to Houston, reportedly carrying iron ore, when the casualty occurred.
It had been inspected by the US Coast Guard in October, before which it operated in Nigeria.
Source: Fairplay Daily News

It emerged yesterday that judicial officials on the island would not allow the bodies of any of the nine sailors (three Greeks and six Filipinos) to be flown or shipped home. Dutch Antilles officials said the bodies are decomposing and cannot be transported. They gave the families 48 hours to travel to the island to attend a cremation service.

Plane dispatched to retrieve bodies of seamen
---An aircraft dispatched to retrieve the bodies of three Greek and six foreign seamen, who died on board the bulk carrier "Aegean Wind", landed on Thursday in Curacao, the Dutch Antilles. The plane is scheduled to depart Curacao in the afternoon.
The freighter was towed to the port of Curacao on Monday, after the fire that broke out on the vessel on Christmas Day as it was sailing 90 miles off the coast of Venezuela.
Source: ANA - ?Dec 31, 2009?

Demolition men
---Tanker scrapping in 2009 has matched the level seen in the past two years combined, a top Greek broker says.
Some 159 tankers, including 11 VLCCs, have been sent to the torch this year as rates retreated, according to figures from Allied Shipbroking.
This compares with the removal of 122 tankers, of which six were VLCCs, in 2008, its latest report says.
In tonnage terms 9.33 million dwt was sent to be cut up, a huge rise from 5.89 million dwt the previous year.
Product tankers again accounted for the majority of the disposals in 2009, with 92 ships scrapped. This was up from 59 in the previous 12 months.
Allied notes eight suezmaxes sold for demolition in 2009, compared with just two in 2008, while the scrapping of aframaxes remained stable at 15, just one more than a year ago.
Dry-cargo scrapping increased over 200% as 404 bulkers left the market. The container sector saw a similar a pattern, with 172 vessels scrapped, up from 55 in 2008.
India again led the field as the favourite destination for scrapped ships, with its yards winning 393 vessels, ahead of the 177 heading for Bangladesh.
Its reputation for demolishing larger vessels meant Bangladesh topped the table in tonnage terms with 9.92 million dwt, compared with the 9.37 million dwt cut up in India.
By Andy Pierce and Geoff Garfield in London
Published: 15:58 GMT, 30 Dec 2009 | last updated: 16:42 GMT, 30 Dec 2009

Navios Bulker hijacked way out in Indian Ocean
---Wednesday, 30 December 2009. ---Suspected Somali pirates hijacked the Panama-flag,Greek-owned bulk carrier Navios Apollon on Monday evening, 28 December, about 200 miles East of the Seychelles, according to the EU Naval Force (EU Navfor)
The 52,073 dwt Navios Apollon has a crew of 19 comprising one Greek and 18 Philippine nationals. She was on passage Thailand when hijacked.
According to the Equasis website the 2000-built vessel is managed by Piraeus Navios Shipmanagement and entered with the UK P&I

--- A major American investment firm holds in its portfolio Greek shipping companies that are listed in NYSE.
Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, which oversees 7.7 bil. dolars, is still interested in Greek shipping despite the crisis.
Kayne Anderson said recently it increased its stake in Navios Partners.