New Orders Increase Dramatically - But Orderbook Fails To Rise

Thursday, October 28, 1999
New ship orders reported have increased dramatically, according to figures published by Lloyd's Register (LR) in its quarterly World Shipbuilding Statistics. In the quarter to June 1999, new ship orders rose by 43 percent over the previous quarter, to 6.5 million-gt. However, the total world orderbook remains at 53.8 million-gt, as completions slowed during the quarter, down some 30 percent (2.4 million-gt) to 5.5 million-gt, although the 8 million-gt reported for the March 1999 quarter was exceptionally high. Completions are now at a similar level to the reported average figure for the years 1995 to 1998 at between 5.1 to 6 million-gt. Japan and South Korea still show their domination of the market with total orderbooks of 18.9 and 17.4 million-gt respectively, although both have shown a small decrease in the total number of vessels over the same quarter last year. Perhaps more significantly, Japan has also seen a decline in terms of tonnage, with a total orderbook down 6.1 percent from 18.6 million-gt to 17.4 million-gt over the same quarter last year. South Korea's orderbook shows an increase of 2.7 percent (0.5million-gt) over the same period. During the period, China's orderbook increased by 14.3 per cent to 2.8 million-gt. Germany's ship orders fell by 20.5 percent to 1.8 million-gt, pushing Germany down the league table from fourth place to be overtaken by Italy. However, in terms of tonnage, the Italian orderbook has shown no noticeable increase over the same period. Overall, the world orderbook has dropped 1.7 million-gt during the twelve-month period to June 1999. The table below - detailing five of the main cargo carrying shiptypes - shows a decrease totaling 2.5 million-gt, a fall of 6.8 percent. In the same period the passenger/RoRo cargo and passenger cruise orderbook increased significantly: 26 vessels (24 percent) up on the previous figures, with a jump in total gross tonnage of 36 percent - a gain of just over 1.1 million-gt (see table below). Compared with the same quarter last year, the delivery schedule of the world orderbook for June 1999 shows that 36 percent of the of the orderbook is expected to be completed this year, with 47 percent scheduled for completion in 2000, and just 17 percent in 2001 or later. The June 1998 figures showed a rather different picture with 29 percent expected to complete in 1998, 48 percent in 1999 and 24 percent in 2000 or later.

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