Analysts from Drewry Shipping say at least 30 tanker newbuilding orders have been cancelled globally since August last year.
Analysts from Drewry Shipping say at least 30 tanker newbuilding orders have been cancelled globally since August last year. Their research indicates 29 tanker newbuilding cancellations at Asian yards alone, including orders for four VLCCs and 10 suezmaxes. Drewry senior research analyst Nikhil Jain has been quoted as saying that 70% of the 29 cancellations were for tankers that had been slated to carry crude oil. That figure has been calculated based on deadweight tonnage however, as fifteen of the lot are actually product carriers, said Jain.
Owners' identities have not been furnished, but yards affected include China's Yangfan Group and a Jiangsu-based builder, South Korea's Hyundai Mipo and Japan's Sasebo Heavy Industries which also has yards in China.
According to Jain, STX Shipbuilding in South Korea reported four VLCC cancellations when one owner pulled out of an en-bloc deal.
Players told that cancellations over the last few months had been forced on owners by financing problems and worries about oil demand levels for the next few years.
Gibson late last year forecast cancellations of up to 50% of tanker deliveries scheduled for 2011.
Some brokers have welcomed the cancellations, saying that the market had initially looked set for significant over-supply of tonnage.
One told that ?this downturn is weeding out the speculators.?
?I think most of the cancellations are being made by players betting big that they could make a killing based on record earnings over the past few years,? he said.
According to Allied Shipbroking, 258 VLCCs were due for delivery over the next four years.
Based on previous reports, that figure would mean a 50% increase in the world's VLCC fleet size by 2012.
Drewry Singapore research manager Parul Bhambri has said the upcoming bans on single hulls ?will cut out a lot of the units [VLCCs], so it should be okay to have newbuildings coming into the fleet.?