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China’s key shipbuilding figures drop in 2014

China’s key shipbuilding figures drop in 2014
The three key indicators of the shipbuilding segment have shown a decline in China in 2014 as the country continues to battle the industry recession marked primarily by excessive yard capacity.

The latest figures released by China’s ministry of industry and information technology on Thursday showed a decrease in the country’s shipbuilding figures for completed vessel tonnage, newly received contracts and orderbook on hand.

Last year, Chinese shipbuilders completed a combined newbuilding tonnage of 39.05m dwt, representing a decrease of 13.9% compared to 2013, the government data showed. Among the completed tonnage, oceangoing vessels accounted for 14.28m dwt of capacity.

In newly received orders for 2014, Chinese shipyards brought in 59.95m dwt of contracts in tonnage terms, down 14.2% compared to the previous year figure of 69.84m dwt. From the total, the tonnage for oceangoing vessels was recorded at 19.34m dwt.

Up until 31 December 2014, Chinese yards sat on an order backlog of 148.9m dwt, a decline of 13.7% year-on-year, with 95.9% of the tonnage due for exports and 46.4m dwt of capacity falling under the oceangoing vessel category.

The ministry also estimated that in global market share, China’s completed newbuilding tonnage, new orders received and existing orderbook took up 41.7%, 50.5% and 47.1%, respectively. “In 2014, figures for the three key shipbuilding indicators have shown that Chinese shipyards continues to lead the world,” the ministry stated.

The top 10 Chinese shipbuilders accounted for 50.6% of the country’s completed vessel tonnage in 2014, an increase of 3.2 percentage points over 2013.

New shipbuilder orders have also continued to be concentrated in the hands of the leading yards, as the top 10 channelled in 55.5% of new orders in tonnage terms.

China’s shipbuilding slump now enters into its seventh year since the crisis started in late 2008 at the onset of the global financial credit crunch.

With the consolidation phase going on in the sector, weeding out the bottom-rung and speculative yards, industry observers and analysts largely believed that a sustainable market recovery is unlikely to happen this year.

The restructuring and consolidation of the industry, however, is happening at a rather swift pace as the number of active yards today stands at around 300, compared to more than 3,000 shipbuilding enterprises at the start of 2010.