Qatar Shipping Company (Q-Ship) could expand its fleet by buying new ships due to a sharp fall in global ship prices, the company has announced.

The company said it expects the price of vessels to fall further and will choose the right time for buying ships.

The global financial downturn has led to 50% fall in ship prices since 2008 while ocean freight rates have fallen up to 95%, Q-Ship said.

The shipping firm, reportedly merging with Qatar Navigation, has posted a net income of QR158.58m in the first half of 2009, down from QR375.03m in 2008.