Bulker owner DryDel has almost doubled its money by selling a Japanese-built ultramax it had owned for just 18 months.

Brokers report the Greek company, headed by president and chief executive Costas Delaportas, has sold the 61,645-dwt Luna Rossa (built 2010) to Chinese buyers for about $21m.

Market sources told TradeWinds the unidentified buyer is based in Hong Kong and did not inspect the ship.

DryDel bought the vessel in December 2020 for $11m.

The Luna Rossa was built at Oshima to the yard’s OS-Max 60K MK I design and is fitted with a ballast water treatment system.

VesselsValue estimates the ship’s market value at $19.48m, while Maritime Strategies International values it at between $18.2m and $22.1m.

Asset prices remain firm, despite a slight dip in period rates.

Clarksons estimates one-year period rates for supramaxes at $15,000 per day, which is $1,500 per day less than its estimate at the beginning of May.

The deal comes as several supramaxes and ultramaxes are being circulated for sale with an eye on making a profit while asset prices remain high.

“More and more owners are being enticed by the persistently firm prices. Modern kamsarmax [bulk carriers] as well as ultramaxes are appearing in the market,” Doric Shipbrokers said in a market report on Friday.

“Additionally, we are seeing sales candidates with time charters attached at moderate levels. And we are even seeing a few recently acquired vessels being marketed for sale anew, their owners looking to perhaps make profit only months after buying the assets.”

Being built at Oshima, the Luna Rossa is the kind of quality unit that is highly sought after in the current market, which could account for the fact that the buyer did not inspect the ship and moved to secure a quick sale.

Doric said: “Buyers continue to bid on/move on higher quality tonnage and/or ships under more reputable ownership while inferior, lower quality and poorly maintained vessels are left circling in the secondhand market’s rotating door — of course, everything has its price, so these less popular ships can find buyers if their sellers reduce their expectations.”

DryDel, formerly Meadway Shipping, has been active in the sale-and-purchase market this year as a buyer and seller.

In late June, it sold another Oshima-built ultramax — the 62,600-dwt, scrubber-fitted Velvet (built 2018) — to Chinese buyers for $36m.

DryDel’s ships range from handysize to kamsarmax and have all been built in Japan or are controlled by Japanese shipbuilders.

As well as its owned fleet, DryDel has chartered 17 bulkers for long-term periods.

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