Photo: Illustration; Image courtesy; Norden

Norden orders Ultramax quartet at NACKS

Danish shipping company Norden has entered into a newbuilding contract with Chinese shipbuilder Nantong Cosco Khi Ship Engineering Co. (NACKS) for four 61,000 dwt dry cargo Ultramax ships, expected to deliver during 2022.

Norden’s CEO Jan Rindbo said that the contract was in line with the company’s strategy of ‘agile asset trading and active management’ of the company’s cyclical market exposure.

“Having sold 10 dry cargo vessels since 2018, we believe asset prices have now declined sufficiently to present a good trading opportunity to buy,” Rindbo added.

Once delivered, the ships are scheduled to join the core fleet of Norden owned and long-term leased tanker and dry cargo vessels managed by the Asset Management business unit.

“With a demand outlook gradually returning to normal and a low orderbook, we believe it’s a good time to buy assets and secure competitively priced tonnage” says Henrik Lykkegaard Madsen, Head of Asset Management.

Furthermore, the contracted vessels have been secured with the aim of trading the portfolio of bulk carriers within the prevailing market volatility to optimise our returns”.

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The order is being placed at a time when COVID-19 has reduced ordering activity at global yards considerably. Clarksons Platou Shipbroking reported only one order last week, involving Boreal Transport’s contracts for five 350pax electric ferries at Sefine Shipyard in Turkey, with delivery understood to be in 2022.

On the other hand, ship owners are staying away from ordering new ships due to regulatory concerns and uncertainties, especially with regard to the design features of ships, as they are concerned that ships ordered today might become obsolete in 10-15 years.

Norden has two more Ultramaxes on order set for delivery this year. The 62,000 dwt nebuildings are taking shape at the facilities of the Japanese shipbuilder Oshima, according to the data from VesselsValue.