First quarter newbuilding orders top 164
Falling prices saw more than 164 newbuildings, including some 100 bulk carriers, contracted at shipyards around the world in the first quarter of 2010, with South Korea receiving more than half all orders.
The orders included deals for some 25 new bulk carriers or ore carriers of 180,000 dwt and above totalling 4.9m dwt, despite rising industry concerns about over-tonnaging in the global dry bulk fleet.
At least one capesize is being delivered into the market each day, with industry reports showing 775 on order and 305 scheduled for delivery for the rest of 2010. Although seaborne dry bulk trade is forecast to rise in 2010 after contracting in 2009, there are fears that fleet supply will outstrip demand, depressing freight rates.
According to Clarkson Research Services, first quarter contracts were also signed at shipyards for 18 kamsarmaxes, six panamax, 16 supramax and 27 handysize bulk carriers, totalling 8.9m dwt.
Fewer tanker orders were registered, with the largest number of tanker units contracted the 10 product tankers of 6,100 dwt each by Turkey"s Palmali Shipping. They were ordered at the Volgograd shipyard for its growing operations in the Russian cabotage sector.
Eight suezmaxes were also ordered in the first quarter, all at South Korea"s Samsung Heavy Industries, at prices around $67m. This price is slightly higher than Clarkson"s estimated newbuilding price of $62m, but much lower than $90m, the price at which the same sized tankers were ordered in 2007.
There were also four chemical and oil tankers of 37,000 dwt, ordered by French shipping company Socatra, and just two very large crude carriers, ordered by Fairsky Shipping & Trading.
South Korea"s top four shipbuilders reported last week that their first quarter newbuilding orders topped $5.5bn, compared to $962m in the first quarter of 2009.
Hyundai Heavy Industries had $2.7 bn in orders, followed by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering with $1.5bn. Samsung Heavy Industries and STX Offshore and Shipbuilding reported $750m and $460m respectively.
Newbuilding prices have fallen by an average 30% over the last 18 months. With lower prices, Chinese shipyards reported just over 40 ships ordered, and South Korea 79. Japan reported just seven orders in the first quarter of 2010, all but one were bulk carriers, according to Clarksons" database.
?In Korea, remaining yard capacity in 2011 has all but been taken up and even in China there are very few remaining 2011 berths,? said Clarksons in its weekly report.
?Yards, after such a terrible 2009, are now in a position to breath a little easier as they are starting to see a level of enquiry and orders allowing a benchmarking of newbuilding pricing across almost all sectors. This in turn means that we have probably reached a realistic pricing floor for the foreseeable future.?
Clarkson said the newbuilding market would be driven by the dry sector in the short to medium term future, with prices to push slowly upwards as coverage extended into 2012.
The orders did not include Great Eastern Shipping"s three VLCC newbuildings at Hyundai Heavy Industries which replaced a mid-2008 contract for two suezmaxes. They will be delivered in the first quarter of 2012.