Container Ship Trading Dips 20%
Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The ratio of container TEU capacity on-order compared to the trading fleet dropped below 20% in June, reports Braemar Seascope. The broker advises that, as the container industry is expected to take delivery of record volumes of TEU capacity this year, the order book to trading ratio has eroded to approximately 20% in June 2013.

Jonathan Roach, Container Market Analyst at Braemar Seascope, said, “With more than 1.7 million TEU expected to be delivered in 2013, the ratio is set to fall to approximately 16% by the end of the year. During the six year ordering boom between 2003 and 2008, in the region of 10 million TEU of containership capacity was ordered. The order book ratio peaked at approximately 60% in 2007, when in excess of 3 million TEU was ordered. In the five years since the global financial crisis, vessel ordering has declined; from 2009 to 2013, we estimate that just 4 million TEU will be added to the order book.”

He added, “Even though ship finance has become more difficult to secure since the 2008 banking crisis, new orders have increased in 2013 and the new building market certainly has not collapsed – rather new building activity is ticking over with selective and niche container ship ordering.

“This year to date, we have noted 80 container ship orders with a combined capacity of 580,000 TEU. In the corresponding period in 2012, only half that number of ships was contracted, with a combined TEU capacity of 230,000 TEU. Even with underwhelming global container demand seen in 2012 and a similar growth pattern expected this year, new orders are still materializing as shipyards reduce new-building prices in a strategy to bolster and maintain their forward cover.

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