China’s Shipbuilding Industry Faces Severe Challenges

STX shipbuilding dalian
In the Dalian province of China, STX Dalian Shipbuilding Complex constructed the world's largest shipyard that measures 5,500,000 sq. meters.

SHANGHAI (Dow Jones)–China’s shipbuilding industry faces severe challenges after suffering a sharp decline in new orders in the first 11 months of 2011, the country’s top economic planner said Monday.

Shipowners were reluctant to increase fleet sizes amid the global economic slowdown, the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement. New shipbuilding orders fell 47.3% in the January-November period compared with a year earlier to 33.69 million deadweight tonnes, or DWT.

New orders in November itself were below the number of ships completed for an 11th straight month, the agency said.

Ships built in the first 11 months of 2011 grew 8.8% on-year to 61.77 million DWT, while incomplete orders fell 17.4% on-year to 162.7 million DWT by the end of November, the NDRC said.

Growth in ship exports slowed in the January-November period to CNY291.3 billion ($46.3 billion). The 14.1% growth in exports represented a slowdown from the 17.2% jump in the same period last year.

-By Jean Yung, Dow Jones Newswires