Nigel Lowry of Lloyd’s List writes:
Crystal Seas fetches US$14m as it makes way for Paragon’s incoming handysize newbuildings
DRY bulk carrier owner Paragon Shipping has clinched a deal to sell a 16-year-old handymax as the company awaits delivery of a quartet of handysize newbuildings under construction in China.
The Greece-based company said the 43, 222 dwt Crystal Seas would go to an unaffiliated third party for a price of US$14m, with delivery by end-November.
The owner has already taken a US$5m writedown on the bulker’s value in its second-quarter accounting.
Chairman and chief executive Michael Bodouroglou said the sale was “in line with our strategy of renewing our fleet aimed at providing our customers with modern vessels”.
The sale of Crystal Seas will leave the average age of Paragon’s fleet at 7.6 years, compared with a current 8.3 years.
“This number will continue to decline further over the next year as we take delivery of our four handysize newbuildings in 2012, ” said Mr Bodouroglou.
The four new 37, 200 dwt handysizes are expected to be delivered by Zhejiang Ouhua Shipbuilding from the first quarter of 2012.
The first two units have already been chartered for two years to Cargill International at a gross daily rate of US$12, 125, with a charterer’s option for a third year at $15, 500.
Mr Bodouroglou said the company is in further discussions with charterers “to enter into new period employment for vessels with charters expiring during the fourth quarter, as freight markets continue to improve.”