Newbuilding ordering enquiries remain at low levels


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30 Sep 2011

Shipyard_13_smallShipowners’ appetite for newbuilding seems to have abated during the past few months, with the trend now pretty much established, especially since the beginning of the summer. According to the latest weekly report from Clarksons, “whilst this week

has seen some further reports of new business being concluded, it has for the most, continued in a similar vein to that of the past few weeks, with levels of new enquiry in the newbuilding market continuing to remain low.
This continued period of relative quiet, comes against the backdrop of an uncertain Global Economy. During the week and against concerns over the worsening European debt crisis and threat of a U.S. recession, the equity markets have continued to fall and since May this year have now shed approx 20% of their value, according to the MSCI World Index. With this in mind and even though pricing from China continues to remain relatively attractive it is perhaps unsurprising that owners have been tentative about making further moves into newbuildings.
To counter this, we continue to see the yards work hard on developing newer more efficient designs in all of the sectors, as they look to encourage further ordering. With the installation of energy saving devices, new engines and continued research into hull forms, the yards have continued to improve on their designs and with bunker costs continuing to remain high, these will no doubt appeal to potential new buyers. It will be interesting to see therefore how owners balance the general concerns of the market against the opportunity to order these new efficient ships at what can be considered, from China at least, to be relatively attractive market levels” said the world’s leading shipbroker and researcher.
Meanwhile, according to a separate report from shipbroker Golden Destiny, the previous week ended with fairly active business for newbuiding units with LNG, offshore and container segments being still the most potential sectors for more new contracting activity due to the oversupplied dry and wet sector. Japanese owners are still not favoring their domestic shipbuilding industry due to strong yen appreciation seeking orders in Chinese yards due to cheaper cost.
“Overall, the week closed with 50 fresh orders reported worldwide at a total deadweight of 1,994,026 tons, posting a 284% week-onweek increase. This week’s total newbuilding business is up by 47% from similar week’s closing in 2010, when 34 fresh orders had been reported with bulk carriers and tankers being the protagonists by grasping 61.7% and 35.2% share respectively of the total ordering activity. In terms of invested capital, the LNG and container segment appear the most overweight of this week with containers holding the lion share of this week’s ordering activity, 30% of the total volume of orders reported.
In the bulk carrier segment, the supramax size seems the most popular newbuilding investment under the current market fundamental as it appears to be the size with the less freight market volatility since the beginning of the year in contrast with the oversupplied capesize and panamax segment. Notable order has been the 4 supramax units deal of 58,000dwt placed by Japanese owners, Mitsubishi Corp, Kumiai Sepaku, in Nantong Cosco Chinese yard instead of supporting their fragile domestic shipbuilding industry. Furthermore, Japanese shipowner Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha is said to have ordered a trio of 97,000dwt units, in new design by IHI Marine United of Japan for delivery in June 2013 and January 2014. The vessels are being built to transport coal for Tokyo Electric Power Co.
In the tanker segment, the MR/chemical segment appears to be the most tempting for contracting activity. The ordering business in the crude segment remains subdued since the beginning of the year with limited hopes for a firmer rebound as we move towards the end of the year. In the small tanker segment, under 10,000dwt, 4 fresh orders revealed this week placed in Chinese yards as the only sign of tanker newbuilding business.
In the gas tanker segment, South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries is said to have won a $400 mil deal to build two LNG carriers for BW Maritime Pte Ltd, part of Singapore’s BW Group for delivery one of the two vessels in the second half of 2014 and the other in the first half of 2015, with an option for two additional units. Furthermore, Swedish shipowner Stena Bulk is discussing a possible four LNG order with two South Korean yards. Industry sources indicate that the Swedish owner is aiming two LNG units of 174,000 cbm with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and two units of 160,000 cbm with Samsung Heavy Industries with deliveries from 2014 onward.
In the container market, Pacific International of Spore has placed an order for two large panamax units of 6,600 teu in Dalian New Shipyard of China for delivery in 2013. The contracting activity for large panamax and post panamax units persists irrelevant with
liner operators being aware of the overcapacity issues on the Asia – Europe route and the sovereign risk in the European and USA economies. Containership owner Seaspan is said to be in discussions with South Korean shipyards about 18,000 TEU units. Company’s chief executive officer Gerry Wang has revealed that they will be soon in a position to place orders for a new generation of super sized boxships on behalf of long term charterers. The designs will be simpler than those Maersk is building at a price around $180 mil. Orders will be placed in South Korea as Seaspan is not confident that Chinese yards are ready to build this class of ships. Furthemore, Greek owner Technomar extended its newbuilding order of July for two 6,700 TEU units in Hyundai Samho of South Korea with two more similar units at an undisclosed contract price for delivery in March and April 2013.
In the sub-panamax segment, STX Group announced that its STX Dalian Shipbuilding has secured an order to build 2,000 TEU containerships for Sea Consortium (Seacon) at a total cost of $240 mil with first delivery in April 2013. In the small feeder sector, South Korean shipyard Daesun Shipbuilding has announced that it has won a new order from a compatriot leasing company for a 1,000 TEU capacity vessel at a price of $19,8 mil to be long term chartered to Korea Marine Transport Co.” concluded Golden Destiny
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide


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