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Secondhand boxship prices are falling off a cliff.

After a very muted second half of 2022 in terms of sales, the opening 17 days of 2023 have registered some severe drops in prices for the previously buoyant sector.

Brokers Southport Atlantic note the sale of the 2007-built, 2,553 teu G. Ace as a good illustration of the fall in values. The ship, just sold to Chinese interests, managed to obtain $13.7m, a sister ship, ST Ever, going for as much as $46.5m 12 months prior. Similarly, the sector’s most aggressive buyer in recent years, Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC), has just picked up a comparative bargain, paying $9.75m for the 21-year-old, 2,478 teu BUXCONTACT A sister ship went for $23m 12 months ago.

“The candidate list continues to grow and pricing is under pressure. It will be interesting to note where new benchmarks land in the coming weeks,” the most recent container report from Braemar noted.

Boxship S&P volumes fell back last year from the record seen in 2021 with Clarksons Research tallying 0.6m teu sold in 2022 down from 1.6m teu. Secondhand prices fell notably in the second half as dropping markets and increased investor uncertainty took their toll with Clarksons’ secondhand boxship index falling 46% across the year. “S&P price prospects are unlikely to improve anytime soon, due to the looming overcapacity triggered by the monumental orderbook,” a recent report from Alphaliner noted, suggesting today’s market could hold “interesting opportunities” for buyers that have so far been excluded from the market due to the prohibitive cost of tonnage.

Source: Splash 247