Chinese shipbuilding industry having been stagnant recently is prospected to have not so bright future.
Zhou An, member of Chinese People’s Party Consultative Congress, has told through an interview with a local newspaper that there is little possibility to see a great improvement for the next two to three years, pointing out a recession that Chinese shipbuilding industry has been going through now.
According to data from China Association of National Ship Industry (CANSI), newbuilding deliveries of Chinese shipbuilding industry in 2012 were a total of 60.21mDWT with a 21.4% decrease compared to same time period last year while newbuilding contracts were reported to be a combined of 20.41mDWT, down by 43.6% against the same period last year, with an orderbook standing at 106.95mDWT as of the end of last December, down by 28.7% from the previous year.
Moreover, CANSI prospected that major economic indicators in Chinese shipbuilding industry are likely to be on a downturn in 2013 due to a decrease in orderbook and an increase in production cost. Furthermore, vessels of a combined of 55mDWT are to be constructed this year with a slight increase in new contracts, yet orderbook is anticipated to be lower than 100mDWT.
Zhou An pointed out the reason behind the slump as a protracted economic slump in Europe and America and some European countries having a debt crisis. However, seen from another perspective, it is anticipated to see a situation improving little by little since there are still demands in the market.
Hu Keyi, technical director and ship designer of Jiangnan Shipyard, China, has said that there exist an upturn in newbuilding demand, inelastic demand staying still regardless of price change and also some demand trying fleet expansion backed by Chinese asset.
He pointed out that in fact, new orders are not completely deficient at the moment however there are several situations shipyards are in, saying some shipyards are not capable of winning contracts or price for contract is presented too low that problems occur.
Hu Keyi said that when a shipowner plans to construct a containership series, asking for deliveries of the vessels to be around the same time, then Jiangnan Shipyard will have a difficulty while Korean shipyards will not be affected by this. The reason behind this is said to be Chinese shipyards’ lack of construction plans.
He also declared that if Chinese shipyards resolve this problem, a price increase of Chinese-built ships can be expected.
Moreover, Hu said that shipbuilding market in 2013 is seen to continue to go through relatively not positive situations, however, a demand rally and inelastic demands can be anticipated to come and ship price increase would also occur if production cost rises.
He added that ship price and technical demand for vessel type are not certainly interconnected and recently, it is rather market demand that affects greatly on pricing decision.
Lastly, as for the shipbuilding market, he said he cannot say for sure, but newbuilding contracts are seen to have restrictions since a low ship price does not guarantee shipyards’ profit-making.
As global shipping industry see growing deficits, which has caused serious damage to the shipbuilding industry, several institutes and associations, such as the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China (MIIT), are said to have negative lookouts on Chinese shipbuilding industry.
MIIT has announced at the end of January that a total amount of delivery by the Chinese shipbuilding industry in 2012 was 60.21m DWT, showing 21.4% decrease year-on-year, with 20.41m DWT of newbuildings contracted which have fallen by 43.6%. Also, China’s newbuilding orderbook marked 106.95m DWT last December with 28.7% fall compared to a year earlier and of the total, vessels for export turned out to have accounted for 82.7%.
Moreover, China Newbuilding Price Index (CNPI) has been on a steady downward curve since July 1st, 2011 when it made its first announcement of the index. Particularly, dry bulk price index has fallen continuously by 15% from 1,000p and finally recorded 841p on December 30th, 2012. An official from the company has pointed out that the industry has faced a serious hardship due to a fact that proportion of bulker building takes around 70%.
Meanwhile, Zhang Shou Guo, executive vice chairman of the China Shipowners’ Association, has said that he does not think 2013 will be better than 2012 and the Chinese shipyards will experience even a harder time in 2014. Also, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding’s chairman Ren Yuanlin has expected that this year is a starting point for the shipbuilding industry to face a hardship and thus, it will be difficult to come out of recession for the next five years. Another professional in the industry is said to have forecasted that around 50% of the Chinese shipyards will go into bankruptcy within the next two or three years.
While the global shipbuilding industry turned out to have signed contracts for 95 vessels, 2.08m CGT in the full January, 2013, the Chinese builders accounted for more than half of the total, 56%. According to Clarkson, Korean shipbuilders inked the contracts of 20 newbuildings, 710,000CGT, worth of $1.876bn.
The nations’ newbuilding projects which surfaced in January include one drillship and one LNG-FSRU from Samsung Heavy Industries of Korea, five 14,000TEU very large containerships from Hyundai Heavy Industries, four VLCCs from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, two MR PCs and one 1,000TEU containership from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, six MR PCs from SPP shipbuilding, etc.
Meanwhile, China moved further ahead of Korea in terms of the number of ships contracted and CGT in January, taking 58 vessels, 1.17m CGT, however, it is reported to have earned less than Korea, making only $1.818bn.
As for the newbuilding projects contracted by Chinese shipyards and revealed in January, in the offshore segment, first of all, two drillships of CSSC Shanghai Shipyard, one 152,000DWT shuttle tanker of COSCO Zhoushan Shipyard, two Platform Supply Vessels of COSCO Guangdong Shipyard and one Subsea Supply Vessel of Fujian Southeast Shipyard.
Regarding the commercial ship, surfaced were four 10,000TEU very large containerships of Yangzijiang Shipyard, four 3,900TEU containerships of Dalian Shipbuilding Industry, five Capesize bulkers of Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipyard, four Capesize bulkers of STX Dalian, four 61,000DWT bulkers of NACKS, two MR PCs of Guangzhou Shipyard International, two 7,000DWT PCs of Samjin Shipbuilding Industries, three 8,500CEU PCTCs, four 30,000CBM gas carriers of Qidong Dajiang Shipbuilding.
While Korea was shown to continue its newbuildings contracted in its commercial ship segment which is its traditional strength, China appeared to increase its newbuilding shares newly in the commercial ship market, with the very large containerships and the very large PCTC and also in offshore market with the drillships and shuttle tankers.
Meanwhile, the global newbuilding orderbook remained in decline at the end of January month-on-month, with 4,520 vessels, 91.73mCGT, which turned out to have fallen to lowest level in eight years.
The orderbook secured by Korean builders was calculated to be 28.66mCGT (791 vessels) and Chinese orderbook to be 33.25mCGT (1,839 vessels).
The offshore projects contracted in January, 2013, which were not reported by Clarkson, were Hyundai’s topside facility for the Spar gas production platform and two semi-submersible drilling rigs of CIMC Raffles of China.
During the past two years around 90 Chinese shipyards ran out of work, Clarksons reveals.
Only 153 shipyards in China were considered still active at the end of 2012, down from a figure of 243 two years ago.
Last year Chinese yards received approval to build just 420 ships, much less than 1,284 in 2010.
Clarksons calculated 149 Chinese shipyards received new orders in 2010 but the figure plummeted to 69 in 2012.
At the start of 2013 Chinese yards had 1,832 vessels totalling 109.4m DWT on their orderbook, down 47.3% on two years ago.
Since the onset of the economic crisis in late-2008, Chinese shipyards have had quite a hard time. Since the beginning of 2010, the Chinese-owned orderbook has shrunk continuously. As of start 2013, 1,832 vessels of 109.4m dwt were on order at Chinese shipyards, which is a sharp fall of 47.3% in dwt terms when compared to the orderbook as of start 2010. Graph of the Week The Shrinking Orderbook As is shown by the inset on the Graph of the Month, this decline accelerated during mid-2012, mainly as a result of the huge delivery rush (247 vessels of 12.1m dwt) during June 2012. At this point, shipyards were pushing to complete delivery of non-PSPC compliant vessels, which did not meet a more stringent regulation on ballast tank coatings which came into force on the 1st July. This, combined with the lower, but still very rapid, pace of deliveries in the rest of the year, means that only 153 Chinese shipyards still had an orderbook at end 2012. This compares to 243 yards with ships on order at the end of 2010.
Whats in the Past?
Along with the recent record deliveries, there have also been fewer contracts placed at Chinese yards. A total of 1,284 ships of 73.6m dwt were placed at Chinese shipyards in 2010 and during 2012, only 420 vessels of 19.0m dwt were ordered. This has been due to a lack of tanker and bulker ordering, which Chinese yards have tended to rely on, despite newbuilding prices having fallen significantly over this period. The percentage of orders at Chinese yards which are not tankers or bulkers rose to 48% in 2012, up from 29% in 2010.
Contracting is also becoming more consolidated: fewer yards are managing to gain new orders. 149 shipyards received new orders in 2010, but during 2012 only 69 shipyards managed to take any contracts. Additionally, some local yards have lost existing vessels on the orderbook as their owners have failed to access finance to meet stage-payments, resulting in their cancellation. Meanwhile, as orderbooks decline, it is unlikely that local yards will be able to access any sort of state financial aid.
This has led Chinese shipyards to attempt to diversify so as to win more business. The government’s 12th Five Year Plan for the shipbuilding industry actively encourages yards to focus on making offshore contracts a greater proportion of the total. Additionally, the Chinese government has suggested that Chinese sources of finance should be more willing to offer funds to owners who wish to order complex vessel types in China. More Chinese yards are now marketing capabilities in the more specialised sectors. For example, Rongsheng H.I. has established an offshore R&D centre in Singapore; while Sinopacific has been developing AHTS and PSV designs at its Zhejiang and Dayang subsidiaries.
So, Chinese yards now have significantly fewer vessels on order and indeed there are now 90 fewer yards with an orderbook than at the start of 2010. The weak bulk contracting environment means that plenty of other yards risk running out of work. Those yards which are most successful at continuing the diversification process begun in 2011 and 2012 will be the yards most likely to endure.
According to the 2012 annual report revealed on January 25 by CANSI (China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry), Chinese shipbuilding industry confronted various limitations for improvement affected by a number of factors, such as the global economic slowdown, the slump in shipping demands, the overcapacity of shipping fleet and excessive shipbuilding capacity.
The report said that Chinese shipping industry pushed itself ahead on building the special ships in 2012 and the restructuring obtained some good results.
Especially, the China's two top state-owned shipbuilders played the role as the driving force behind Chinese shipbuilding industry. The special ships accounted for 55.2% out of orders that CSSC (China Shipbuilding Group Corporation) contracted, in value terms, while CSSC won orders for high-value vessels, such as 174,000CMB LNG carriers, 38,000DWT stainless steel chemical tankers, 45,000DWT Con-Ro vessels, 50,000DWT chemical tankers and 83,000CBM LPG carriers.
Meanwhile, CSIC (China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation) pushed itself for research and development of new design such vessels like 110,000DWT ice breaking tanker, pure car/truck carrier (PCTC), Windfarm Installation Vessel, Offshore supply vessel, drillship and vessel for performing governmental duties, etc.
Also, in 2012, Chinese shipbuilding industry centered on the independent research and development and gained relatively high orders in Offshore facility segment.
Specifically, China’s major companies, Shanghai Shipyard, Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore, COSCO Shipyard Group, Dalian Shipbuilding Industry (DSIC), Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry, Yangzijiang Shipbuilding and Jinhai Heavy Industry continuously delivered the China’s first subsea semi-submersible accommodation platform, the 6th-generation semi-submersible drilling platform and, at the same time, inked orders of semi-submersible drilling platform, jack-up drilling platform, jackup platform, drillship and Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO).
Chinese shipbuilding industry in 2012 pushed itself harder for its restructuring in response to the changes in the market. The number of shipbuilders, which concentrated on some particular vessels, increased to target niche market.
CSSC Guangzhou Huangpu Shipbuilding, Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) and Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry centered on vessels for governmental duties such as patrol boats, while Huanghai Shipbuilding, Daoda Heavy Industry (DDHI) on deep-sea fishing vessels and Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering (SOE) on LPG carriers and Offshore modules. Also, Zhejiang Shipbuilding and Fujian Southeast Shipyard concentrated on Offshore support vessels, featuring their own strengths.
Shipyards in China that built vessels worth as much as $40 billion last year face closing or bankruptcy amid 50 percent overcapacity, unprofitable margins and a shortfall of orders, Braemar Seascope Ltd. (BMS) said.
Survival of yards that are “slashing prices to the bone” to attract orders and secure deposits will depend on government support, Mark Williams, research director at the London-based shipbroker, said at a Marine Money conference in the city.
“It really depends on central and local government assistance which is not guaranteed,” he said, adding 50 percent of Chinese shipbuilders that built vessels worth $30 billion to $40 billion in 2012, haven’t taken an order for two to three years. “Whether they’re supported or not depends on local development plans, it depends on employment prospects, or on real estate prices and whatever else the local and national governments feel they can be putting the resources to.”
China delivered 42 percent of the 2,428 vessels built globally at 483 shipyards in 2012, as measured by deadweight ton capacity, according to data from Clarkson Plc (CKN), the world’s biggest shipbroker.
Chinese shipyards are unlikely to take orders at current prices “unless they’re desperate or subsidized as the state yards are,” James Leake, managing director of research of ICAP Shipping International Ltd., a London-based shipbroker, said at the same event.
“You are going to see bankruptcies, particularly at Chinese yards,” he said.
Despite the persistence of difficult conditions in the global shipping market, China Shipbuilding Industry Corp, one of the country's two biggest shipbuilding conglomerates and the Chinese navy's main contractor, recorded higher revenue and profits in 2012, the company said.
The company, which manufactured equipment used on China's first aircraft carrier, Liaoning, saw its 2012 revenue jump by 7.7 percent year-on-year to 175 billion yuan ($28.1 billion).
Its profits, meanwhile, increased more than 7 percent from a year earlier. The results came from the company's excellent performance amid a dull market, industry analysts said.
China Shipbuilding attributed the increases to its strategy of diversifying and adjusting its products.
To reduce its business risks, the company devoted more of its resources in 2012 to various non-marine products, such as equipment needed for offshore oil exploration and the generation of wind power.
"We will continue developing non-marine products, expanding into industries such as energy, transportation and logistics, and expanding our presence in the global market," said Sun Bo, China Shipbuilding senior executive.
"These products are likely to be the source of more than half of our sales revenue over the next few years."
Sun expressed little optimism for the shipping market.
"An upturn is unlikely to come in the next five years," he said. "Shipyards should brace themselves for persistent difficulties."
Last year was a rough one for the shipping industry, as surging fuel prices and a glut of vessels weighed on shipping companies' profits.
Shipyards have been subjected to a similar fate. Especially hard hit have been smaller yards, which often lack the technology needed to produce the sophisticated vessels sought in many new orders, analysts said.
The number of new orders declined. From January to November 2012, 17 million deadweight tons of new vessels were ordered from Chinese shipyards, half the amount for the same period a year earlier, according to the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry.
Losses have been widespread in the industry. During the first 10 months of 2012, the Chinese shipbuilding industry's revenue declined by 5 percent year-on-year to 41.3 billion yuan, according to the association.
China CSSC Holdings Ltd, the listed unit of the country's other leading shipbuilder, China State Shipbuilding Corp, said on Friday that it expects its net profit for 2012 to decline by more than 95 percent year-on-year.
The company's profit for the year's first three quarters was 546 million yuan, the lowest amount recorded for that period in three years.
For the entire previous year, the company had a net profit of 2.25 billion yuan.
The company blamed its financial woes on the global shipping industry's downturn.
According to data from the General Administration of Customs, the value of the country's vessel exports from January to November in 2012 declined by 8.1 percent year-on-year, falling to $36.6 billion.
Due to weak financing support and transport demand, newbuilding market is likely to continue the downturn in 2013. Accroding to statistics from a shipbroker, only 60% of domestic shipyards own order catalog after 2013.
According to ICAP, 2013 will be an inflection year for most Chinese shipyards although some of them managed to get new orders for the following three years.
In its last report in 2012, ICAP pointed out that many Chinese shipyards will be likely to face bankruptcy in 2013. 38% of Chinese builders failed to receive any order in 2012 and about 10% will have no ship to build after 2012.
In Japan, about 30% of the shipyards received no order in the last year, while the proportion of Korean shipyards is only 10%. Many shipyards in China building small bulk carriers will have to construct vessels at a loss without subsidies. Besides, the changes of exchange rates will possibly make original profitable project loss money in the end.
ICAP also say that about 30% of new orders delivered in 2012 failed to get full financing, which further explained why about 30% new vessels failed to hit water in last year.
According to ICAP, ship financing market will not see significant improvement in 2013. The delayed newbuilging projects also face uncertain future in the coming year. As a result, the newbuilding market in 2013 is like to remain current momentum.
In a word, ICAP consider 2013 as the year to “settle old scores” unless the shipping market see unexpected upturn.