Sales of second-hand ships reached a 10-year high on cautious optimism that one of the shipping industry's worst ever downturns is nearing an end.
An increase in cargo demand has helped revive confidence this year in a sector that is starting to emerge from a 10-year slump fueled by owners splurging on thousands of new ships.
"Second-hand purchases go up when optimism is thriving. 2017 has certainly been a year that has lent optimism a hand," said Peter Sand, chief analyst at shipping industry group Bimco.
Some 1,630 ships worth $19 billion were sold in the year up to Dec. 15, the highest since 2007 when sales hit a record 1,894, according to shipping services firm Clarkson. That compared with 1,276 ships sold in 2016 valued at $12.3 billion.
"The year is indeed ending with plenty of fizz," said Tim Huxley, managing director of Hong Kong's Mandarin Shipping.