The Handysize-up-to-Ultramax dry bulk fleet is expected to grow 7% in terms of capacity to 250 million dwt in 2016, up from just over 225 million mt in 2015, according to a report by Italian shipbroker Banchero Costa (Bancosta) released Thursday.

In terms of units, as of end-February 2016 the trading fleet falling within the 20,000-64,999 dwt dry bulk segment stood at 5,326 vessels, Bancosta said: 900, or 36% of the total, were Supramaxes (50,000-59,999 dwt), 456, or 8%, were Ultramaxes (60,000-64,999 dwt), while there rest were Handysize units (20,000-49,999 dwt), of which 1,418 vessels were sized 30,000-39,999 dwt.

The shipbroker recorded the delivery of 86 new vessels falling within the Handysize-up-to-Ultramax category, totaling 4.3 million dwt. This included two units falling within 20,000-29,000 dwt, 36 units between 30,000-39,999 dwt, eight units falling within the 50,000-59,999 dwt Supramax segment, and 40 Ultramaxes, falling within 60,000-64,999 dwt.

Of an expected 28.7 million dwt of Handysize, Supramax and Ultramax capacity scheduled for delivery in 2016, Bancosta said it expected 18.2 million dwt, or 63.4%, to fall within the 60,000-64,999 dwt Ultramax category.

As far as vessel demolitions were concerned, Bancosta recorded 45 vessels between 20,000-64,999 dwt scrapped in the first two months of 2016, totaling 1.5 million dwt.

Of these, 43 were Handysize vessels of under 49,999 dwt, two fell within the 60,000-64,999 dwt tonnage bracket, but no Supramax demolition was recorded.

Bancosta said that the two 60,000-64,999 dwt vessels scrapped were of the old Panamax design, as opposed to the new Ultramax design.

Meanwhile, a positive development for shipowners concerned by a dry bulk market of excess tonnage and insufficient cargoes, Bancosta said it recorded only one new order falling within the 20,000-64,999 dwt segment, a ship sized between 30,000-39,999 dwt.

Looking ahead, Bancosta said it expected the 20,000-64,999 dwt fleet to grow a further 3% in capacity in 2017, to just over 250 million dwt, before falling back, by 1%, in 2018.

By: www.platts.com

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