Everybody knows the shipbuilding industry in Asia is going through hard times, but just how bad appears to have even taken some of the experts by surprise.
Analysts who cover China Rongsheng Heavy Industries had been expecting the company to report a 584 million yuan ($93.76 million) net profit for 2012, according to a poll conducted by Thomson Reuters. Instead, China Rongsheng shocked many when it announced Monday that it expects to incur a net loss for 2012, citing falling orders and prices for new vessels as reasons.
During Thursday’s session, the first trading opportunity since the profit warning, the shares were knocked 7.4% lower, though they sat unchanged Friday morning in Hong Kong.
For the most part, the woes facing Rongsheng — China’s biggest private shipbuilder — had been well flagged. In the first half of 2012, global ship orders totaled 20.91 million tons worth of new vessels, a drop of 59% from the same period a year earlier.
Some analysts were even careful to point out that Rongsheng was especially at risk, as its single largest customer for very large ore carriers — Brazilian iron-ore producer Vale VALE -0.29% — was likely to ask for delays in its ship orders currently pending.
A 400,000-ton iron ore carrier owned by Vale stirred up controversy last year when it docked at the mainland Chinese port of Dalian. China’s Ministry of Transport banned these huge bulk vessels and oil tankers from docking at its ports in February 2011 after lobbying by Chinese shipping companies worried about the deflationary effects on bulk-shipping rates.
“The shipping companies were worried about low freight rates in the future if Vale continued to transport minerals to China on its own,” Citic Securities said in note in February.
Vale has pending orders for 15 of these massive ore carriers with Rongsheng, according to Citic.
Delivery of the ships could be pushed back over a period extending through to 2016, according to Citic, which warned at the time of writing in February that the delays would pose “significant” earnings risk to Rongsheng.
Meanwhile, Citi Research, which initiated coverage of Rongsheng in a Dec. 10 report, warned investors to avoid the company’s shares.
Citing structural headwinds affecting the shipbuilding sector, the research house said orders for new ships could remain depressed for several more years due to the “severe excesses capacity” that exists as a result of the over-ordering between 2006 and 2008.
The global shipping fleet is expected to have grown 10% in 2012 — more than twice the rate of growth in seaborne trade — thanks to deliveries of ships that were ordered in the pre-crisis years, Citi said. The increase comes even as shipping companies retire older vessels at a record pace, according to Citi.
Meanwhile, other analysts noted that China’s state-owned shipyards weren’t helping the situation, as they have so far resisted scaling back shipbuilding capacity in spite of glut of cargo and ore carriers plying global trade routes.
China’s shipbuilding winter of discontent has hit new lows with latest figures showing that in November the nation’s yard contracted just 620,000 dwt of new orders, its lowest total since May 2009, just after the global financial crisis. The China Association of National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI) said November’s figures were down 84% year-on-year.
In the first 11 months of this year, China's new orders declined by 49.4% year-on-year to 17.04m dwt and its delivery volumes dropped by 18.2% to 50.55m dwt.
China's shipbuilding and its related industries' operating profit and total profit all made decreases in October.
The China Association of National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI) reported that operating profit of China's 1,647 shipbuilding-related companies over a certain level slightly declined to CNY 557.7bn ($89.5bn), during the first ten months of this year.
Shipbuilding industry declined by 4.8% year-on-year to CNY 413.1bn, while ship equipment and ship repair marked CNY 86.2bn and CNY 12bn, up by 18.8% and 8.1% each.
Meanwhile, from January to October of 2012, China's shipbuilding-related industries over a certain level saw their total profit decreased by 37% year-on-year to CNY 23.4bn.
Among them, shipbuilding and ship equipment industries dropped by 42.7% and 5.8% year-on-year to CNY 18.4bn and CNY 3.5bn, respectively, and ship repair record a loss of CNY 50m, down by CNY 101m against a year ago.
Chinese shipyards' steel-ship delivery has dropped in November.
According to latest report from National Bureau of Statistics of China, in November, Chinese shipbuilders delivered overall 5.97m dwt of privately-owned newbuilding steel ships in November, which declined by 21% from 1.63m dwt on the previous month and down by 29% year-on-year.
During the first eleven months of this year, total steel-ship delivery from Chinese shipbuilders decreased by 12% year-on-year to 67.95m dwt.
China saw newbuilding orders sharply increased in November.
A total of 117 vessels - 12 handy bulkers, four VLCCs, six VLGCs, two PCTCs, one offshore-related vessel, seven chemical tankers, two offshore drilling platforms, etc. - were booked from Chinese shipbuilders, which massively increased by 143.8% month-on-month, according to China Water Transport.
Meanwhile, average newbuilding prices for November showed a decline. Average newbuilding prices of VLCC, suezmax tanker, aframax tanker and product carrier were $94.38m, $57.5m, $49m and $34m, which dropped by 0.7%, 0%, 0% and 0% each.
Those of capesize, panamax, handymax and handysize bulkers were decreased by 0%, 0.2%, 0% and 0.36% to $46m, $25.8m, $24.3m and $21m, respectively.
Also, average prices of 82,000-cbm LPG carrier, 160,000-cbm LNG carrier, 4,800-teu and 1,700-teu boxships declined by 0.2%, 0%, 0% and 0.8% to $70.25m, $200m, $45m and $25m each.
While China's three shipbuilding indexes all keep falling up to September this year, local sources predicted that Chinese shipbuilding market would stay in the doldrums for a while.
China's CIConsulting said newbuilding demand has consistently remained bearish since the end of last year amid sluggish global economy and shrinking international trade. Moreover, weaknesses of Chinese shipbuilding industries are standing out with each passing day, it added.
CIConsulting predicted Chinese shipyards would meet a gust of changes, saying transition into offshore business should be based on each shipbuilder's capacity, potential and current situation.
However, yard overcapacity will be a setback to shipyards' development.
Also, it suggested that Chinese shipyard should pay more attention to green ship, with tightened and more international regulations over environment.
As shipbuilding and design capabilities on eco-design ships will affect shipyard competitiveness, Chinese shipbuilding industries would better preoccupy the segment with full-fledged R&D.
Moreover, offshore segment is important as it links further to subsea market.
Chinese shipbuilding industries are struggling against new order drought and troubled shipping market.
According to latest report from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), during the first nine months of this year, Chinese shipyards' overall delivery declined by 18.5% year-on-year to 41.58m dwt, while new orders plunged to 15.41m dwt, down by 46.9% on the same period of last year.
As of the end of September, Chinese shipbuilders stood at 121m-dwt orders on the book, down by 19.4% against the end of 2011.
Industry analysts blamed the the troubled Chinese shipbuilding industries on tonnage overcapacity, rising oil and other costs as well as uncertainties in world economic growth caused by Europe's debt troubles and China's economic slowdown.
Chinese shipbuilding industries take the lead in new order contracted this year, in terms of cgt.
According to Clarkson data, Korean shipbuilders have signed 5.67m cgt (181 vessels), totalling $24.57bn, of new orders during the first 10 months of the year, while Chinese inked 6.11m cgt (350), $12.84bn.
During October alone, Korean shipyards only contracted 0.19m cgt (six), in total of $1.78bn but Chinese booked much larger with 0.54m cgt (36), $1.44bn.
In Particular, Chinese shipbuilders were awarded a total of 2.41m cgt (114 vessels), $4.93bn, during August-October period, which doubles orders contracted in Korea, 0.97m cgt (32), totalling $8.1bn.
On the other hand, in terms of value contracted, Korean shipbuilders recorded total amount of new orders almost twice bigger as those contracted by Chinese.
Korean shipyards made an outstanding results in high-value offshore sector, including drillship, LNG-FSRU, etc., during last month. On the contrary, Chinese contracted mainly for commercial ship, such as bulkers, VLCCs, etc.
But increasing number of offshore contracts are seen from Chinese shipbuilders as well, including PSV, deep-sea tender barge, etc.
Meanwhile, during the first ten months of 2012, overall new orders contracted in the world plummeted by 43% year-on-year to 16.82m cgt (879 vessels).
Korean and Chinese shipbuilders' overall new order declined by 56% and 34% each y-o-y, in cgt terms, during the same period.
Chinese shipbuilding industries are keep falling.
China Association of National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI) reported that Chinese shipyards delivered a total of 41.58m dwt, down by 18.5% year-on-year, during the first nine months of 2012.
During the same period, Chinese shipbuilders contracted 15.41m dwt of newbuildings, 46.9% less than the same period of last year.
As of the end of September, orderbook stood at 120.9m dwt, declined by 28.4% y-o-y and by 19.4% against the end of 2011.
During January-September period, China's 1,636 shipbuilding-related companies over a certain level's total production value of completed products increased by 2.6% year-on-year to CNY 584.5bn ($93.6bn) - shipbuilding industries dropped by 1.9% to CNY 439.5bn, ship equipment increased by 22.6% to CNY 85.5bn, ship repair rose 11.1% to CNY 13.3bn, ship conversion grew by 20% to CNY 22.3bn and offshore fabrication increased 17.8% to CNY 20.6bn.
During the same period, total export from shipbuilding-related companies fell down by 11.6% y-o-y to CNY 203.5bn - shipbuilding declined by 12.6% to CNY 185.6bn, ship equipment up by 9.3% to CNY 8.51bn, ship repair down by 1.5% to CNY 3.27bn, ship conversion dropped by 12.1% to CNY 1.93bn and offshore fabrication sharply grew by 45.6% to CNY 1.44bn.
Meanwhile, Chinese shipyards delivered 34.34m-dwt export ships from January to September, down by 20.2% on the same period of last year. Chinese inked 12m dwt of export orders, which declined by 44.5%, as well. Orderbook of export ships decreased by 27% to 101.2m dwt at the end of September.
Export ships accounted for 82.6%, 77.9% and 83.7% of total delivery, new order and orderbook.
In September, China's total delivery of civilian steel ship declined by 34.1% year-on-year and by 5.3% month-on-month and total delivery from January to September dropped by 12.8% comparing with the same period of last year.
During the first eight months of this year, Chinese shipbuilders' overall delivery stood at 37.83m dwt, down by 12.4% year-on-year, while growth rate of total amount of export ships, during the same period, turned out to be -1.9%.
BDI increased by 8.96%, BCI, BHSI, BDT and BCTI also rose by 38.31%, 2.83%, 3.51% and 10.5% each, while BPI and BSI declined by 42.18% and 3.15%, respectively.
Market players voiced up to warn additional decrease in newbuilding prices. Overall, most of ship types saw decreases by around $1m against early of the month.
Meanwhile, Chinese shipyards are facing crisis of further decreases in newbuilding prices and new order, many industry insiders believe.