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Dry Bulk Market: Post-Panamaxes and Handies Have the Highest Orderbook-to-Fleet Ratio

In terms of number of ships, the orderbook to fleet ratio currently stands at 12% in terms of number of vessels and in terms of dwt this figure rises to 13%. If we break this down further to take in to account each individual sector of the dry bulk fleet, the Post Panamax sector accounts for the highest orderbook to in service vessels percentage, at 24% and in contrast the percentage for the Panamax fleet is just 2%, implying a trend towards the larger end of the scale for Panamax and Post Panamax newbuildings. This is followed by 21% for the handys, which in this instance is indicative of the renewal of an ageing sector with an average age of 17 years. The vessels in service to orderbook ratio for the Capes is 17% and for the supramaxes the percentage stands at 10%.

New built orders due to enter the fleet in 2019 are just under 50m dwt compared to around 25m dwt for 2018. For 2020 we estimate that there is around 45m dwt >due to enter the dry bulk fleet.

In terms of vessel numbers, the largest fleet is the Supramax fleet with over 2800 vessels trading and approximately 296 ships on order. Unsurprisingly, in terms of dwt the cape sector leads with over 325 million dwt both trading and on order.

If we take in to consideration the number of vessels on order by vessel type the most popular sector is the Panamax and Post Panamax range combined, they account for 35% of the dry bulk orderbook or 30 million dwt. In contrast, if we look at the orderbook in terms of dwt capacity, the capesize sector stands at just over 50 million dwt, however, in terms of the number of vessels on order, the capes rank below the supramaxes at 22% of the fleet.

Should vessel supply conditions remain constant i.e. should the orderbook remain relatively stable and should demolition continue at current levels then the outlook for the supply- demand balance is positive. However, with uncertainty surrounding macroeconomic factors, the future for demand is unclear due to ongoing trade tensions between the US and China which affects dry bulk trades along with the slowdown in the global economy which will have a negative effect on dry bulk demand over time.

Dean International, Inc.

2208 Routh Street

Dallas, TX 75201


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