Japanese export ship orders sank at their fastest pace in 16 years in fiscal 2008, as the global economic crisis that erupted last autumn dampened ship owners' demand for new vessels.
Japanese export ship orders sank at their fastest pace in 16 years in fiscal 2008, which ended on March 31, as the global economic crisis that erupted last autumn dampened ship owners' demand for new vessels. Japan, one of the world's top shipbuilding nations along with South Korea and China, received orders for export ships totaling 14,561,230 gross tons in fiscal 2008, down a whopping 46.8 percent from a year earlier, according to figures released by the Japan Ship Exporters' Association on Wednesday.
It was the largest annual rate of decline since fiscal 1992, when Japanese export ship orders plunged 63.1 percent following the burst of the so-called "bubble economy." The fiscal 2008 gross tonnage was the lowest in seven years.
Japanese shipbuilders received orders for a total of 330 export ships in fiscal 2008, the smallest number in four years. Of the 330 ships, 276 are bulk carriers totaling 11,078,040 gross tones, 39 are oil tankers totaling 2,770,610 gross tons and 15 are general cargo vessels totaling 712,580 gross tons. The 330 ships total 6,704,499 compensated gross tons.
In fiscal 2007, Japanese export ship orders grew 24.3 percent from fiscal 2006 to 27,396,208 gross tons. Japanese shipbuilders received orders for a total of 576 export vessels -- 468 bulkers, 71 oil tankers and 37 general cargo vessels -- in fiscal 2007. The 576 ships total 12,244,284 compensated gross tons.
Meanwhile, Japanese export ship orders plummeted for the sixth consecutive month in March on a year-on-year basis. The nation's shipbuilders received orders for export ships totaling 547,920 gross tons in March, down a staggering 81.0 percent from the same month of last year.
The March decline followed drops of 83.9 percent in October, 79.7 percent in November, 91.1 percent in December, 75.9 percent in January and 84.0 percent in February.
Japanese shipbuilders received orders for 13 export ships in March. Of the 13 ships, seven are bulk carriers totaling 274,970 gross tons and six are oil tankers of 272,950 gross tons. The 13 ships total 270,702 compensated gross tons.