In the first half of 2013, global shipping and shipbuilding market had continued depression despite recovery of newbuilding orders. China’s shipbuilding and allied industries saw both leading shipbuilding indexes and economy indicator go downwards and shipbuilders came to confront crisis under difficulties in construction, delivery, new order, financing and profit making. Needless to say, international competition got fiercer.
According to the latest report from the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI), under this circumstance, China’s new government is aggressively providing lots of support and this aid is seen to be playing a critical role in the growth of Chinese shipbuilding and allied industries, corporates’ restructuring, business upgrade and so on.
Together with a recovery trend of newbuilding market seen in the first half of this year, Chinese shipbuilding industry also showed relatively good performance. Several leading builders turned out to have found a breakthrough of recession in sectors like LNG carrier, large containership and energy-saving, eco-friendly vessel through pushing forward with changes in business structure.
In addition, offshore market was continuously welcomed during the same period and China is said to have succeeded in improving its market share through putting efforts into enhancing competitiveness in offshore facility sector.
According to tentative data of CANSI, China gained orders for 24 units of drilling platform worth around $5.5bn in total in the first half of the year, which accounts for 54.2% and 41.2%, each in terms of number and value.
Under crisis situations, Chinese shipbuilders tried to reduce risk factors by turning their eyes to non-shipbuilding sectors and several leading large companies conducted M&A aggressively.
However, despite these efforts, the new order increase is not contributing to market recovery and Chinese shipbuilding industry is still having shocking problems, such as deteriorated situation that companies are confronting due to a rise in ship construction cost, financial crisis followed by financial institutions’ credit contraction policy in their shipbuilding sector, depreciation of yen and won with appreciation of yuan and so on.
The margin of newbuilding price is still difficult to improve on the grounds that securing liquidity is very tough due to heavy-tail payment, debt crisis and etc. and China is at a disadvantage in newbuilding competition because of unfavorable currency situation.
Other than these problems, restructuring issue, lacking technology skills and etc. are emerging as Chinese shipbuilding industry’s existing problems, according to CANSI.
The Chinese Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry reported sinking profits in the first half of this year.
Profits of 80 major shipbuilders monitored by the association totaled 3.58 billion yuan ($580 million), a 54 percent drop from the same period a year earlier.
A total of 20.6 million deadweight tons (DWT) of new vessels have been completed for both domestic and international shipowners in the first half. This represents a 36 percent decrease from the previous year.
However, shipyards received new orders of 22.9 million DWT, a 113 percent growth from the first half of 2012.
The nation's shipbuilding capacity accounted for 39.1 percent of the global industry, according to Clarkson Research Studies, British analysts of the shipping industry.
New orders accounted for 44.2 percent, and existing orders for 43.1 percent, of the industry worldwide.
Due to falling demand, many foreign shipowners are also delaying delivery and payment dates on new ship orders. Chinese shipyards are also confronting the problems of limited cash flow, lower freight rates and tight liquidity.
Amid recession in global shipbuilding industry in the first half of 2013, Chinese shipbuilding industry made an achievement of a new order surge by more than 110%.
According to a report of the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI), Chinese yards delivered a total of 20.60m dwt vessels in the first half of the year with a year-on-year decline of 36%, while inking new contracts for 22.90m dwt, which represents a 113.2% surge.
As of the end of June, Chinese shipbuilding industry was standing on 108.98m dwt amount of orderbook, down by 13.4%, but up by 1.9% from the end of 2012.
According to Clarkson survey, Chinese yards’ delivery, order intake and orderbook account for 39.1%, 44.2% and 43.1%, respectively, in the global market.
In the year to June, Chinese yards delivered 17.28m dwt ships for export, decreased by 34.4% from the same period a year ago, however orders for exporting ship increased by 163.3% to 21.04m dwt in total, according to CANSI.
As of the end of June, ships for export were seen to stand on 95.14m dwt amount of orderbook, down by 11.3% from a year ago.
Ships for export account for 83.9%, 91.9% and 87.3% of delivery, order intake and orderbook of Chinese shipbuilding industry, respectively.
During the period from January to June, 2013, the complete industrial gross production value of the China’s 80 shipbuilding and its related companies was CNY 171.9bn (around above $28bn) decreased by 16.6% from a year ago.
According to a report of the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI), shipbuilding sector dropped by 31.2% to CNY 88bn while ship equipment showed a 27.3% drop to CNY 12bn and ship repair also declined by 8.5% to CNY 5.46bn.
During the same period, the complete export trading value of the 80 companies came to CNY 78.4bn with a 24.7% decline comparing with the same time period a year ago, of which, shipbuilding decreased by 26.5% to CNY 71.1bn while ship equipment showed a 20.7% decrease to CNY 2.32bn and ship repair also declined by 20.9% to CNY 3.4bn.
In the year to June, the operating revenue of those 80 companies was CNY 120.3bn with a year-on-year decline of 18.5% while total profit was recorded to be CNY 3.58bn, also showing a 53.6% decrease in comparison to the same time period of last year.
China’s newbuilding order intakes in June, 2013, recorded 92 vessels, declined by 26.98% comparing with the previous month in numerical terms.
According to data from China Water Transport, Chinese shipbuilding industry won newbuilding contracts for a total of 31 bulkers during last month and they are; nine very large ore carriers (VLOC), one capesize, two panamaxes, 25 handymaxes, three handysizes and etc., with agreements contracted for four product carriers and two panamax containerships.
Along with this, China gained orders for other type of vessels, which can break down as; one liquefied natural gas carrier, six woodchip carriers, two PCTCs, three fishing boats, four heavylift carriers, three drilling barges, two drilling rigs, two drilling platforms and other 32 vessels.
Meanwhile, newbuilding prices started to show an upward turn in June.
China Water Transport said that the average newbuilding prices of VLCC, suezmax, aframax tanker and MR PC were, respectively, $85.03m, $53.01m, $44.77m and $31.83m in June and those of VLCC and aframax tanker grew by 0.45% and 0.27%, each, with the rest of others staying still. In June, the average newbuilding prices of capesize, panamax, handymax, handysize bulker came to $45.13m $24.51m, $23.56m and $20.24m, each, increasing by 0.42%, 0%, 0.73% and 1.14% from the previous month.
Amid global newbuilding orders going upwards, Chinese shipbuilding is suggested that it is early to expect market recovery despite increases in order intakes.
Recently, China’s National Business Daily pointed out that although newbuilding contracts have increased year to date somewhat more than last year’s, ship values keep staying at a historic low that yards are still under pressure because the ratio of advance payment made by owners declined by 20-30%. Apart from “Bankruptcy Boom” of small and medium sized yards, several large builders are also confronting financial problems, the news reported.
Zhang Guangqin, Chairman of the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI) said through an interview on June 18 that the new order increase does not always mean a market improvement. The current state of offshore sector is relatively favorable but demand high technical skills, while newbuillding prices are too low.
As shipbuilders face with decreasing contracts in traditional business with declining profits, transforming a business into offshore area is regarded as an essential, however, Zhang said that builders need to take it slow rather than signing deals blindedly considering low prices of recent offshore platforms.
An analyst in Chinese Investment industry said, “Offshore is believed to be a yardstick of economic development from now on. The area is excessively booming now with advances of not a few shipbuilders however the offshore area requires high technical skills which hinder entrances of most companies. Even a company successfully enters into the area, a new problem is likely to appear, how to be more competitive.”
A professional in Chinese industry said that offshore sector has a high entry barrier of technology. He pointed out that Chinese builders are usually winning and building offshore supply vessels, particularly jack-up rigs, but this is a different issue from deep-sea drilling platforms which require more complicated construction processes.
In the year to May, the industrial gross production value, economic effect and total ship export of China’s 80 shipbuilding and its related companies which are subject to be monitored were seen to go downwards and production management condition also got worse.
According to a recent report of the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI), vessel delivery made by those 39 companies amounted to a combined 14.64m dwt, down by 26.7% comparing with the same time period a year ago. Newbuilding order intakes increased by 62.2% to 12.78m dwt while their orderbooks by the end of May declined by 20.9% to 95.38m dwt.
As for export ship, 39 major shipbuilders delivered a total of 12.06m dwt in the first five months, showing a 27.8% decline from a year ago. Also, the order intakes of ships for export totaled 11.45m dwt, increasing sharply by 103% while orderbook declined by 22.1% to 80.21m dwt.
Meanwhile, the complete industrial gross production value of the China’s 80 shipbuilding and its related companies was CNY 135.7bn (around above $22bn) decreasing by 17.5% from a year ago, of which shipbuilding sector dropped by 31.6% to CNY 69.6bn while ship equipment showed a 31.5% drop to CNY 9.49bn and ship repair also declined by 9.2% to CNY 4.84bn.
During the same period, the complete export trading value of the 80 companies came to CNY 64.4bn with a 24.4% decline comparing with the same time period a year ago, of which, shipbuilding had 25.4% decreased to CNY 59bn while ship equipment showed a 35% decrease to CNY 2.16bn and ship repair also declined by 19.8% to CNY 2.84bn.
In the year to May, the operating revenue of those 80 companies was CNY 84.1bn with a year-on-year decline of 22.4% while total profit was recorded to be CNY 2.47bn, also showing a 59.3% decrease in comparison to the same time period of last year.
While Chinese shipbuilding industry is gaining new orders during the first five months of this year, its newbuilding delivery turns out to keep declining.
According to statistical data from the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI), Chinese shipbuilders delivered overall 17.19m dwt from January to May of this year, down by 23.7% from the same period of last year.
On the other hand, Chinese yards contracted a total of 13.75m dwt, up by 44.2% year-on-year.
As of the end of May, China stood on 103.51m dwt, down by 23% year-on-year and by 3.2% against the end of 2012.
During the first five months of the year, China delivered 14.16m dwt of export ships, which saw a y-o-y decrease of 24.6%, while contracted 12.32m-dwt newbuildings for export, sharply increased by 80.1%.
Export-ship orderbook at the end of May shrank by 24.1% from a year earlier to 87.05m dwt.
Vessels for export are estimated to account for 82.4%, 89.6% and 84.1% of total delivery, new order and backlog, respectively.
Chinese shipbuilding industry bagged newbuilding orders of overall 126 vessels in May, 2013, showing a sharp rise of 85.29% from the previous month in numerical terms.
Tallied by China Water Transport, China inked newbuilding contracts for 65 bulkers including nine very large ore carriers, six capesizes, 12 kamsarmaxes, 18 panamaxes, two supramaxes, 18 handysizes and so on along with nine PCs and 12 containerships.
In addition, Chinese yards won orders for eight LNG carriers, two multipurpose vessels, four heavy lifters, one tug boat, two self-propelled barges, seven offshore vessels, three drilling platforms and 14 other types of vessels.
In the full May, newbuilding prices of tanker and LNG carrier slightly declined while those of bulker and containership showed a favorable state with a minor rise, said the data.
Chinese shipbuilding companies have received 4.04m dwt new building orders during May, an increase of 73%, surpassing both South Korea and Japan for the month.
The growth indicates that ship owners may feel that shipbuilding price have bottomed out and the time is ripe to "buy low", according to analysts in China, who now predict that newbuilding orders will increase further.