Tug sellers get close to asking prices

SEPTEMBER 29, 2016 — Sellers of tugs and barges are closer to getting their asking price than in previous years. That's one of the many interesting facts to emerge in the most recent Tug Market Report from brokerage Marcon International, Coupeville, WA.

Actual sale prices of all vessels and barges sold by Marcon thus far this year has averaged a healthy 95.49% of asking prices.

In 2015 actual sales prices averaged 84.95% of asking prices, compared to 2014's 85.65%, 2013's 87.07% and 2012's average 81.79%.

Five tugs were sold so far in 2016 with an average price per BHP of $291.94 and average age of 36 years. But Marcon says it continues to see updates about vessels scrapped or repossessed and believes that 2016's uptick in $/BHP is temporary due to the specific vessels and that prices, especially for older vessels, will continue to decline for the next few years.

Five tugs were sold in 2015 with an average price of $243.20 and average age of 34 years.

Seven tugs were sold in 2014 with an average price per BHP of $282.55 and average age of 41 years.

These are lower than 2013's average price per BHP for a "generic" 33 year old twin screw tug of $ 324.78.

In 2014, sales included both foreign and domestic tugs and actual ages covered a relatively narrow range from 32 to 47 years of age, whereas 2015's sales included one foreign and four U.S. sales with ages ranging from 8 to 50 years and 2016's to date include one foreign and four U.S. sales with ages ranging from 19 to 50 years.

Of the 13,121 vessels and 3,816 barges that Marcon currently tracks, 4,945 are tugs with 637 currently officially on the market for sale worldwide, up 2.25% since May and 0.32% from August 2015. Of the tugs for sale, 55.19% of foreign and 96.58% of U.S. tugboats are direct from owners. 217 or 34.07% of the tugs worldwide, primarily foreign flagged, were built within the last 10 years, are newbuilding re-sales or currently under construction – compared to 35.75% one year ago. 64 (10.05%) are over 50 years of age. Thirteen have no age listed.

The oldest tug Marcon currently has listed was built in 1912 and is very last of over 1,000 first generation steam trawlers and halibut fishers. This "old lady" is balanced by 25 newbuildings up to 8,076 HP scheduled for delivery in 2016.

Much more in the full Marcon Report. Read it HERE

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