China, if measured by the number of ships it produces and the number of orders it receives for such vessels, is the foremost shipbuilder in the world.
Still, the country needs more time to become a real superpower in the shipbuilding industry, said a senior industry official.
China became the foremost shipbuilder in the world in 2010 and aims to become the builder of the most advanced ships by 2015, Li Dong, vice-director of equipment industry department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, told a press conference on Saturday.
In 2010, China built ships with a total deadweight capacity of 65.6 million tons, accounting for 43 percent of the deadweight capacity of ships built in the world, he said.
In the same year, China received orders for the construction of ships with a total deadweight capacity of 75.2 million tons, making up 54 percent of the new orders in the world.
Also in 2010, the country was trying to catch up with unfulfilled orders for ships with 195.9 million tons of deadweight capacity, accounting for 41 percent of the unfulfilled orders for ships in the world.
"China has surpassed South Korea to become the foremost shipbuilder in the world," said Steen Brodsgaard Lund, executive vice-president and head of maritime services Asia-Pacific of the Germanischer Lloyd SE , a German classification society based in Hamburg.
"This momentum is likely to be maintained as China's booming shipbuilding industry is now on its way to become the world's leading shipbuilding nation from a quantity perspective and also continues to make impressive quality improvements."
Li said China, as part of its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), is looking to move from being a great sea power to a shipbuilding superpower.
Still, the country lags behind other shipbuilding powers in its ability to innovate and improve the technology used on seagoing vessels, he said.
Hu Keyi, technical director of Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co Ltd, is confident China enjoys great prospects in the shipbuilding industry.
"I want to answer those who wrongly hold that China's shipbuilding industry is too weak to compete with those of other nations, such as Japan and South Korea," he told China Daily in an exclusive interview this year. "As a matter of fact, after more than 10 years of rapid development with support from both State-owned banks and government policy, we can build high-end ships just as well as our counterparts."
Hu conceded China lags behind countries like Japan, the United States and South Korea in the construction of high-tech ships. Still, he said, China has advantages.
Shanghai Jiangnan Changxing Heavy Industry Co Ltd, which is affiliated with the 146-year-old Jiangnan Shipyard, recently received an order from a German ship owner for the construction six containerships, each with a capacity of 9,000 twenty-foot equivalent units.
"Those are the largest of their kind that have ever been designed in China," Hu said. "The order shows Chinese shipyard's ability to build containerships in accordance with international standards."
He said business between Chinese shipyards and overseas clients will spread the reputation of vessels made in China.
Till late April, domestic secondhand bulker prices have been going more ups than down, secondhand containerships have basically kept the same price level while tanker sector has gained mild upturn. The combined trading volume has been a little sluggish with bulker, chemical carriers and offshore sectors being relatively active. Statistics show that totally 62 vessels of 65,095dwt with a value of CNY 122m were traded, rising by 30.61%, 30.62% and 52.11% respectively against previous week. Bulkers, tankers, containerships, barges, MPVs, offshore and chemical carriers respectively accounted for 47, 2, 1, 2, 2, 4 and 4 of the total.
International secondhand bulker price dropped, tankers rose and containerships also kept stable. The trading volume increased slightly to 31 vessels of 2.298m dwt, rising by 3.33% and 72.36% separately. Bulkers, tankers, containerships, Ro-Ro, chemical carriers, LNG carriers and tugs occupied 15, 8, 3, 2, 1, 1 and 1 of the total.
Totally 32 vessels of 226,500teu were delivered in April, a new high of single-month deliveries.
According to the statistics of Alpanliner, 41 containerships of 204,000teu are expected to be delivered in May, which will further break the supply and demand balance in container shipping. Besides, taking the boxships under construction in April and May into construction, the containership delivery in the first five months would hit 688,000teu globally.
Danaos Chief executive John Coustas expects the supply and demand equation to bode well for owners over the next two years but urges the industry to keep an eye on the orderbook.
In its New York-listed boxship operator’s first-quarter earnings report, the chief executive told investors: “We have noticed significant speculative ordering of newbuildings this quarter, which although not alarming at the moment, should be closely observed. However, we remain quite optimistic for the next 24 months as the demand supply balance will be in the owners' favour.”
John Coustas says speculative ordering is so far limited to the sub-5,000 teu sectors, but needs observing. The chief executive also says Danaos is not rushing to join an emerging new spree of containership ordering after only just completing a major refinancing.
Mr Coustas said that speculative ordering had so far been concentrated in smaller sizes, for ships with capacities less than 5,000 teu. “We have not seen any speculative large post-panamax ordering,” he said.
Mr Coustas said companies eager to contract newbuildings were either “people who had no exposure to the container market and want to get in” or those with older vessels taking the opportunity to renew fleets.
In terms of S&P activity, the week ended with 51 sales reported in the secondhand and demolition market posting a 16% positive w-o-w change. The highest activity has been recorded again in the newbuilding market with 37 orders.
Overall, 32 vessels reported to have changed hands this week at a total invested capital in the region of US$ 402 million. In terms of the reported number of transactions, the S&P activity has been marked with a 23% positive w-o-w change, while is up by 39% comparable with previous year’s weekly S&P activity when 23 vessels induced buyers’ interest with bulk carriers grasping 26% share and tankers 52% of the total volume of S&P activity. In terms of invested capital, the most overweight sector for this week is the tanker segment grasping 47% of the total amount of money invested.
In the newbuilding market, after almost three weeks of intense activity the ordering sentiment has cooled off in the bulk carrier segment with containers looming as the protagonists of the newbuilding scene. The week ended with 37 units reported on order, equalling to a total deadweight of around 3,2 mil tons, representing a 43% negative w-o-w change. The total invested capital of this week is more than $2,2 bn of dollars with containers grasping the 62% share of the total ordering activity. The offshore segment has been on the sidelines, while no ordering interest has been revealed for the gas carriers. However, market holds an optimistic view for further newbuilding business in the LNG or LPG segment.
At a similar week in 2010, the newbuilding activity in the dry bulk and tanker segment was up by 55% and 60% respectively, while it now seems that the shipyards worldwide are trying to being evolved in the construction of more specialized units as the eager appetite for bulk carriers and tankers has faded out, although several spikes of activity has been recorded in some weeks.
Although there were fears during the last days that the Bangladesh Enviromental Lawyers Association will show resistance against the recent lifting of vessels' ban for scrapping, hungry buyers in Chittagong continue their purchases. Scrap prices in India remain firm at $500-$520/ldt for dry and $530-$540/ldt for wet tonnage, while Bangladesh levels are still not so competitive that the owners will risk sending their vessels for scrapping in Chittagong. China still tries to compete with its rivals at the low levels of $445/ldt for dry and $465/ldt for wet tonnage, while Pakistan is still on the sidelines paying less than India and Bangladesh and with no success for securing some more tonnage. Thus, India drives the market for one week more; as there is still uncertainty in Bangladesh and the temporary spike in levels do not yet offer comfort for the vessels’ beaching.
The scrapping spree for capesize tonnage continues with two more large units heading to the scrap yards this week. The demo deal grasping the headlines of this week is for a VLOC “ALSTER N” 305,000dwt of 41,500 ldt fetching $510/ldt in Bangladesh. In general, bulk carriers seem to dominate the demolition scene due to sharp volatility of the freight market.
The week ended with 19 vessels reported to have been headed to the scrap yards of total deadweight 1,396,745 tons. In terms of the reported number of transactions, the demolition activity was almost the same however in terms of deadweight sent for scrap there has been a 78% increase. In terms of scrap rates, the highest scrap rate has been achieved this week in the tanker sector by India for a tanker of 28,750dwt “WASEL” at 568/ldt. India this week attracted almost 58% of the total demolition activity. Comparing to a similar week in 2010, demolition activity has been decreased by 13.6%, when 22 vessels had been reported for scrap. China was leading the game by paying $400/ldt for dry and $425/ldt for wet cargo and Bangladesh was offering just $325/ldt for securing dry and $410/ldt for wet cargo.
The week ended with the little activity by Greek investors. In the secondhand market just one transaction has been reported of a panamax bulkcarrier, while in the newbuilding market Eastern Med. Maritime contracted 3 more 1700teu containers. The total investment of the Greek presence is calculated at region $ 31.5 mil in the secondhand market and $ 90mil in the newbuilding market.
In the government’s 11th five-year plan, Chinese shipbuilding realized leaping development to grow as one of the shipbuilding giants in the world. However the industry development in the 12th five-year plan would be more challenging and complex.
Chinese shipbuilding industry gained gratifying results during the 11th five-year development plan and the three main indices of the industry made great breakthrough in 2010. The newbuilding output, the new orders and the order book hit 6.56m dwt, 7.532m dwt and 1.91dwt, accounting for 43.6%, 54.8% and 41.2% respectively of the global total. However, behind the excellent performance, Chinese shipbuilding is confronted with more severe situations and challenges.
Director the ship department with MIIT Chen Yingtao put forward that the 12th five-years would be the essential period for China’ shipbuilding industry to transform from a “big” shipbuilding powerhouse to a “strong” shipbuilding giant. Currently Chinese shipbuilding industry encounters six main challenges to overcome: uncertainty of domestic and economic development, long-standing demand shortage in the international market, gradually intensified competition among shipyards, the release of new international shipbuilding regulations and policies; increasing raw materials and labor cost as well as inflation pressure and price instability from appreciation of the yuan.
Nevertheless, to our delight, Chinese shipbuilding industry is in growth under the sound domestic macroeconomic surroundings and good financing situations and still boasts its advantages in technology, capital and market. In the significant transformation period for
The concrete development target of
Bangladesh demolition sector was again plunged into uncertainty last week on news that the recent court order allowing yards to reopen was only temporary.
According to local reports, Chittagong yards may have to go back to court to secure permission to continue beaching vessels.
The news prompted rates to jump north as buyers rushed to secure prompt tonnage ahead of any potential new regulatory hiccups for the market.
Recent sales included a large 171,924 gt capesize bulk carrier that fetched a formidable price and is almost certainly bound for Chittagong.
The 1988-built, 41,500 ldt Alster N, operated by Neu Seeschiffarht, was reported sold for delivery to Bangladesh for $505 per ldt, or just under $21m.
In another deal last week, China Shipping’s 1982-built, 9,145 ldt bulk carrier Bao Tong Hai was reported sold for delivery to Bangladesh for $500 per ldt, or nearly $4.6m.
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, rose for a fourth session on Wednesday, helped by grains and coal demand carried on smaller vessels.
The index rose 0.77 percent to 1,302 points.
"The BDI gained 10 points today, driven by strong performance in the panamax market," Dahlman Rose & Co said.
The Baltic's panamax index .BPNI gained 5.52 percent, with average daily earnings rising to $13,185. Panamax vessels usually transport 60,000-70,000 tonne cargoes of coal or grains.
Floods and cyclones in Australia in February had hit coal production, and some producers are still struggling to return to normal operations, hurting capesize activity. Weather-related and logistics problems at Brazilian ports have also disrupted iron ore shipments from there.
Brokers said an expected strengthening of iron ore imports into China in the second quarter was likely to provide modest support as the freight market continued to struggle with rising fleet growth.
The main index has fallen by over 25 percent this year as rising ship supply has outpaced demand for commodities.
The Baltic's capesize index .BACI fell 0.76 percent, with average daily earnings inching lower to $6,545 after making modest gains on Tuesday. Capesizes typically haul 150,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal.
"The misery continues," broker Fearnleys said. "The crisis caused by the unprecedented flow of newbuilding (capesize) deliveries is now being ever more felt on the cross-trades."
The Baltic's main index, which tracks the cost of shipping key commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain and coal, has more than halved in the past six months to below 1,500 points, close to levels last seen during the financial crisis in 2008.
While there are indications of some vessel cancellations and delays, analysts expect deliveries to gather pace between 2011 and 2012, putting further pressure on dry bulk earnings.
"We believe the dry bulk shipping market is likely to remain challenging for the foreseeable future, given the significant number of new shipyard deliveries," said securities and investment bank Jefferies in a note.
60 LNG carriers set to be booked Orders for LNG carriers, which have been sluggish until last year, are expected to be placed in full swing from this year. And we raise our evaluation to "overweight" on shipbuilding stocks, the Taurus Investment & Securities Co., LTD. said on May 3.
With the launch of the Qatari LNG project in the mid 2000s, a lot of orders for LNG carriers have been placed until 2007. However, from 2008 on, orders plummeted, with 4 ships in 2008, 0 ships in 2009 and 5 ships in 2010. So, LNG issue has not been discussed much.
But things have changed and demand for natural gases is likely to increase in mid-European countries, Central and South Africa, and Southeastern Asian countries.
European countries increase LNG imports in order to their dependancy on LNG from Russia, and Central and South Africa start to use natural gas as a new energy source. Southeastern Asian countries are likely to increase LNG imports due to increase in domestic demand and depletion of existing LNG.
Also on the production side, new projects are expected to be launched. Projects for producing a total of 240,000,000 tons of LNG(140,000,000 tons in Australia, 50,000,000 tons in the US and 50,000,000 tons in Russia) can be launched. If countries like Canada, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Nigeria join the projects, projects worth about 300,000,000 tons are expected.
"Just simple calculation suggests around 386 LNG carriers will be needed to carry the gas and to do this, orders for 60 additional LNG carriers will have to be placed in the future. The fact that Golar LNG, which is not engaged in any LNG production project, ordered 6 ships recently shows sharp increase in orders for LNG carriers is expected", said Taurus Investment & Securities Co., LTD. researcher, Sang-hoo Lee.
Drastic increase in LNG carrier order is expected from 2012, and fierce competition between shipbuilders in South Korea and China are expected. South Korean shipbuilders, which are the world's strongest players in building LNG carriers, will have advantageous position in the competition, Lee added.
Since the beginning of 2011, there has been a significant drop in ordering levels for sectors such as the dry bulk and wet markets compared to last year.
“By this point in 2010, we had already seen over 94 new orders in the wet sector compared to only 23 so far this year. On the dry side, the story follows in a similar vein, with 113 new reported orders in 2011 compared to 348 new orders in 2010," Clarksons says.
However, there has been significant evidence of activity in other sectors such as containerships, offshore and gas with the revival in container activity particularly significant.
In this sector we have seen a substantial increase in the number of orders, with over 81 new contracts placed thus far this year, in comparison to only 6 vessels ordered in the similar period of 2010.
With high profile contracts having also been signed in both the Offshore and Gas sectors, again something missing in the during the early stages of 2010, the yards have found their positions far more stable thus allowing them to push into the next stage of 2011 with continued optimism” said Clarksons’ report.