2017 has seen US Owners tops the list of buyers of distressed tonnage, snapping up vessels sold at bank sales and at auction deals.
Asset values reached a 25 year low for bulkers, containers and offshore vessel types in 2016, with a spike in the number of bankruptcies and vessel seizures by banks. US owners have been buying these vessels sold at auction or at bank sales, spending $624 million on 52 distressed vessels so far. This comes in at just under double what Greece has spent, totaling $385 million.
In 2016, US companies did not buy any vessels at bank sales or at auction, showing a marked shift in behavior.
Also the type of vessel they are buying is incredibly targeted, only buying bulkers, containers and offshore vessels. These asset types hit 25 year historical lows during 2016, with these values now rebounding.
Many in the markets are confident that continued scrapping and a reduction in ordering will balance out supply and demand, bringing asset values back in line. Savvy investors have been getting involved in the last 12 months in order to capitalise on the asset value increase.