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Dry bulk orders start to pick up

Dry bulk orders start to pick up
Ship owners look to take advantage of lower prices and an expected boost of commodities trade in the years to come, with India rapidly entering the dry bulk foray, thanks to its massive needs of coal for power generating purposes.

Dry bulk newbuilding orders start to pick up, average 300 ships in 2010

Ship owners look to take advantage of lower prices and an expected boost of commodities trade in the years to come, with India rapidly entering the dry bulk foray, thanks to its massive needs of coal for power generating purposes. As a result, the latest shipbuilding market forecast by IHS Fairplay, suggested that during 2010 and 2011, ordering of vessels is expected to average 300 ships annually, with the number of orders expected to fall in all size segments, but mostly in the 60-99,999 DWT segment.

Mr Niklas Bengtsson senior consultant at IHS Fairplay said that "During 2009 to 2013 we expect to see dry bulk contracts for 143 million DWT to be signed. This is the effect of the Chinese wanting to transport their cargo on keels built on home ground and their raw material suppliers securing tonnage for deliveries of their cargo, which means it is not an effect of a supply deficit."

IHS Fairplay expects that orders for general cargo ships will double in 2010 to 203 orders and total fleet capacity is expected to increase by 3.3 percent. The increase is helped by the expected increase in removals from the fleet during the next 5 years which is forecast to exceed that of the previous five years by a large margin, reaching 4.9% DWT, which amounts to an increase of almost 150%.

During the 2004-2009 period the world shipping fleet grew by 6.6 percent on average when measured in dwt but only by 1.9 percent if measured in number of ships. This demonstrates an increase in the overall size of ships being ordered. Deliveries to the dry bulk fleet are expected to grow by 21 percent in 2010, from 47 million dwt last year to 57 million dwt. As a result, bulk fleet capacity is calculated to grow by 7.5 percent this year, by 10 percent next year and by the same amount during 2012. This is higher than the forecast increase for global commodity trade volumes.

These figures don"t seem to put off ship owners, who are actively looking for new investment opportunities, as evidenced by the latest order placed by OceanFreight Inc. to build three 206,000 DWT Very Large Ore Carriers (VLOCs) at Shanghai Waigaichao Shipbuilding. Two of the vessels are scheduled to be delivered in the second and fourth quarters of 2012 and the third vessel is scheduled to be delivered in the first quarter of 2013. The total purchase price for the three vessels is approximately $204 million. ?These three high specification bulk carriers were ordered at the behest of our customers and are specifically designed to serve the long-haul Brazil to China iron ore trade? said Anthony Kandylidis, Chief Executive Officer of the company.

For the time being though, cancellations of orders placed during the booming times at high premiums are still the norm. During January a total of 60 orders were cancelled, higher than the monthly average in 2009. It was the third consecutive month of declining orders since October 2009 but early indications point to an improvement during February said IHS Fairplay. China has the largest total order book at 3,783 ships, an increase of 33 orders during January 2010. South Korea is second with 1,741 and saw 10 new orders in January 2010.


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