Chemtankers market is no stranger to slippage
Altough slippage has been seen as a saving grace in the development of the dry bulk and oil tanker fleets after the financial markets" crash 18 months ago, for the chemical tanker fleet it is not a new phenomenon.
According to Fred Doll, managing director of UK-based Doll Shipping Consultancy, chemical tanker deliveries are often delayed and slip into the next year.
?One issue people are talking about is slippage,? he told delegates at the Navigate International Parcel Tankers Association chemical and product tankers conference in London earlier this month.
?But slippage is not a new phenomenon, it is just a bit exaggerated this year. Small tankers have frequently slipped.?
Last year, around 39% of vessels scheduled for delivery in the 5,000 dwt-10,000 dwt sector never hit the water, with only 600,000 dwt of capacity entering services, compared to the 1m dwt which was supposed to.
In the next size sector up, 34% of chemical tankers between 10,000 dwt-19,000 dwt slipped from their contracted delivery dates. Just 2m dwt of tonnage was delivered, against the 3m dwt that was scheduled last year.
?What is interesting is that these sound like significant numbers, but if you look back at numbers that stick in mind from the 1990s, I remember in the down market after a period of high ordering that we actually had 25% slippage one year,? Mr Doll said. ?Even then people were saying it was a fairly typical slippage figure in the chemical tanker market. There typically seems to be slippage when you move into smaller sizes.?
And with these small sized ships accounting for more than half of the chemical tanker orderbook in terms of vessel numbers, this phenomenon looks set to continue.
Mr Doll said there were 899 vessels, of 21m dwt, on order in the chemical tanker sector. This included 255 ships in the 1,000 dwt-9,000 dwt category, totalling 1.7m dwt, while the 10,000 dwt-19,000 dwt sector was ?very active? with 267 ships, or 4.3m dwt, on order.
?We"ve seen a big upsizing trend recently and effectively seeing trades that used to transport 4,000 tonnes-5,000 tonnes moving up to larger ships closer to 8,000 dwt,? he told delegates.
?We are also seeing a lot of ordering activity shift up to the 10,000 dwt-19,000 dwt sector and a lot has been added in the 12,000 dwt-13,000 dwt sector. Then we move into the 19,000 dwt, which is very active.?
South Korea maintains its lead with around half, or 10m dwt, of all chemical tanker orders, including a smaller proportion of stainless steel tankers.
China comes in second place in the orderbook table, accounting for around 4m dwt of contracts, Mr Doll said.
Although Japan is only third with 15% of overall orders, it leads the stainless steel orderbook with 74% of world orders. As stainless steel chemical tankers account for around 34%, or 177 vessels, of the 522 1,000 dwt-19,000 dwt ships on order, this means that Japan is building around 131 stainless steel tankers.
Epoxy coated chemical tankers account for around 49% of orders in this small size sector, while Marine Line and poly coated vessels make up 17% of contracted ships.
Total chemical tanker orderbook
Size of vessel Number of vessels Total dwt
1,000 dwt-9,000 dwt 255 1.7m
10,000 dwt-19,000 dwt 267 4.3m
20,000 dwt-29,000 dwt 100 2.5m
30,000 dwt-39,000 dwt 69 2.5m
Over 40,000 dwt 208 10m
TOTAL ORDERBOOK 899 21m
Source: Doll Shipping Consultancy