Published: Tuesday, 07 August 2012

Fraser Yachts 1

Hein Velema, CEO of Fraser Yachts, gave his prognosis of the superyacht market in their latest newsletter:

“2012 is turning into a turbulent year with a dramatic decrease in the number of yachts sold in recent months. The charter market is still relatively slow for the peak season with lots of clients demanding discounts before they commit.”

After a good start to 2012, when yacht sales surpassed those of the same period in the previous two years, May saw the number of brokerage yachts (over 24 metres) sold fall to nearly half of last year’s amount, while a further slump was recorded in June.

In Italy the new VAT laws have had a severe impact on the charter market, putting off potential charterers fearful of tax issues and generating an increase in charter bookings in France and the Adriatic. Another factor that will have a significant knock-on effect is a new regulation reducing the limit of 10,000 Euros allowed to be carried onboard to just one-tenth of the amount. Any sum larger than 1,000 Euros in cash must be reported to a customs agent, an obstacle for the many vessels that operate using cash ashore.

Growth from other markets has been steady, with a notable increase in bookings from Brazil, driven by clients looking to book charters in the Mediterranean during their winter season. Demand in Asia has increased following renewed interest in regional boat shows such as the Hainan Rendezvous. Several orders for new builds have been placed in large European shipyards, no doubt a response to China’s import restrictions on yachts more than 12 months old.

On the whole, shipyards worldwide have recorded a slight increase in orders over the past few months. It’s a positive sign in the midst of an uncertain and unpredictable market.