Hong Kong’s Jinhui Shipping & Transportation is lowering the age of its operated fleet with a seven-year charter for a panamax newbuilding.

The 84,100-dwt Taho Circular will be delivered from Oshima Shipbuilding in Japan in June.

Jinhui said the owner is Panama’s THC International. Other vessels with the Taho prefix are operated by Ta Ho Maritime Corp of Taiwan.

The vessel will join the Oslo-listed charterer’s fleet for a minimum of 81 months, rising to 87 months at Jinhui’s option.

The rate will be based on the Baltic Exchange’s panamax route indices plus 20%, with the minimum amount set at $11,500 per day, but a ceiling of $14,500.

Jinhui will pay at least $24.6m in hire fees over the term.

VesselsValue assesses the new bulker as worth $44m.

Jinhui said management continuously reviews prevailing market conditions.

The company views the deal as a chance to boost its carrying capacity with a modern ship without having to buy.

The transaction improves the fleet profile with minimal capital expense, the operator said.

Jinhui added this is part of a process of “fine-tuning” the fleet to lower the average age.

The shipowner has not ruled out further acquisitions or disposals as it adjusts its capacity.

Jinhui controls 23 ships ranging from 93,000 dwt to 52,000 dwt.

The new addition will be its third-biggest vessel.

The company’s fleet dates from between 2004 and 2012.

In March, Jinhui added its first bulker of 2022, spending $25.5m on an unnamed secondhand supramax.

Brokers have linked the company to the 64,000-dwt ultramax Hanton Trader II (built 2014), however.

The vessel is controlled by Nisshin Shipping of Japan.