Chinese On Worldwide Ship Buying Spree

The Chinese are on a worldwide buying spree for second-hand tonnage.

A survey in the issue of ShipStatS Weekly Report (September 2, 1977) notes that since the beginning of May, the Chinese have bought a total of 33 second-hand vessels, amounting to 572,631 deadweight tons, which have cost them a total of $127.44 million.

The Chinese have for a long time been steady buyers of second- hand tonnage, but in the last year or so have been inactive in the market.

Whether this has been due to internal political uncertainties, shortage of foreign exchange, or — as many market experts believe — they were waiting for the sale and purchase market to bottom out, is not known.

It is the general opinion of sale and purchase brokers, however, that the price of second-hand tonnage, depressed by the consistently poor performance of the freight market, has just about touched bottom.

The Chinese, at least, seem to be of this opinion, and for several months now have had several inspection teams looking at tonnage all over the world, but particularly in Europe.

The type of vessels the Chinese seem to be most interested in are good quality 'tween-deckers, generally above 10,000 dwt (although one British liner company has sold them five 7,000- tonners), and between 10 and 12 years old. They have also bought eight bulk carriers of between 20,000 and 40,000-dwt, two from Britain and six from Norway.

How much tonnage the Chinese are after is not known, but it is known that their shopping list is not yet complete, and that they are still looking at more vessels.

Other stories from October 1977 issue


Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.