Japanese Shipyards’ Orders Halved in May

Japanese shipbuilding woes continued in May as well, as the country’s shipyards secured just eight export orders, totaling 290,400 gross tons, according to data released by Japan Ship Exporters’ Association (JSEA).

The number of export orders more than halved during May, compared to the 17 export orders, totaling 1.46 million gross tons, that Japan received in the same month a year earlier.

The May orders included 2 Handymax bulk carriers, 2 Panamax bulk carriers, and 2 product carriers, along with one Aframax tanker and one LPG carrier.

During the period between April and May, Japan received 14 export orders, totaling 552,750 gross tons, against the 39 seen in the same period in 2015.

After they saw a newbuilding ordering spree in 2015, Japanese shipbuilders’ winning streak came to an abrupt end in January, when they took just three orders.

In 2015, Japanese shipyard won 424 orders totaling 22.2 million gross tons, mainly due to the rush to build vessels complying with new International Maritime Organization (IMO) construction standards, scheduled to come into force in July 2016.

The prolonged slowdown in the dry bulk and container shipping markets, caused by a sluggish demand and a structural overcapacity, has forced shipowners to cut newbuilding orders.

Moody’s rating agency earlier said that the shipping industry is expected to see its earnings worsen, while freight rates are likely to remain “depressed amid ample supply.”

Moody’s expects demand in the dry bulk segment to remain subdued in 2016 and at a similar level to 2015, as China’s slowdown continues to weigh on demand for commodities.

World Maritime News Staff

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