China now officially No2 in world shipbuildng

The latest report from research analyst Clarksons says that China has now overtaken Japan to become second in the world shipbuilding market.

In the first six months of 2009 China’s market share rose to 23% in the first half, just ahead of Japan with 22%. South Korea is easily maintaining its leading position, with 5 million compensated gross tons (cgt) in the second quarter of 2009 compared with China’s 2.48 million cgt and Japan’s 2.2 million cgt.

However, it is expected that China’s output in 2010 will increase further, reaching 4 million cgt per quarter, and will soon rival Korea for the top spot.

Clarkson says that at the start of 2009 the world order book stood at an all-time record of 595 million DWT. But it is still far from clear how much of this tonnnage will actually be built.

The report indicates that European yards remain strong in the specialised, high technology markets including cruise ships, chemical tankers, LNG carriers and dredgers. Japanese yards appear to be adopting a building strategy which concentrates on reducing production costs by building standard ships to a fixed specification. As a result Clarkson says that bulk carriers represent over 60%of the orderbook.

However, with the global trend towards delayed deliveries the future is far from certain, and the overall volume of order cancellations remains a closely guarded secret.

(source: The Motor Ship)