Clarksons: Bulk Carrier Deliveries to Keep Shrinking

Deliveries in the bulk carrier sector, which in 2017 hit their lowest level in dwt terms since 2008, are set to continue on a downward trend in the next few years, Clarksons Research said.

Against the backdrop of a shrinking orderbook, bulk carrier deliveries have declined significantly since peaking in 2011.

During 2017, deliveries continued to fall, although improving market conditions led to the delivery of vessels that had previously been delayed, providing some support to bulker delivery volumes.

In total, 456 vessels of a combined 38.4 million dwt were delivered into the bulk carrier fleet in 2017, a decline of 64% and 62% in numerical and dwt terms respectively compared to peak volumes in 2011.

This decrease reflects a significant 74% decline in the size of the global bulkcarrier orderbook in dwt terms since the end of 2011, to 757 vessels of a combined 80.5 million dwt at the start of February 2018.

In addition, ‘non-delivery’ in the bulker sector over this period was high, increasing from 27% in 2011 to 49% in 2016 in dwt terms, although it softened to 34% in full year 2017.

Bulk carrier deliveries from South Korean yards have declined the most across the Big Three builder nations, falling by 94% from 2011 to reach only 1.2 million dwt in 2017.

However, in absolute terms the decline was more significant at Chinese yards, which delivered 22.2 million dwt into the global bulker fleet in 2017, a 57% decline on 2011 levels in dwt terms.

Meanwhile, bulker deliveries from Japanese yards remained steadier, declining 39% in dwt terms in the same period, to reach 13.7 million dwt in 2017.

Against this background, the number of yards to make a bulkcarrier delivery has also declined. In 2017, 46 Chinese yards delivered a bulker, down from 127 yards in 2011, while only four South Korean yards made a bulkcarrier delivery in 2017, compared to 18 in 2011. The number of Japanese yards to make a bulkcarrier delivery remained steady, with 31 yards delivering a bulker in 2017, compared to 34 in 2011.

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