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Clarksons says capacity constraint for Japanese builders

Clarksons says capacity constraint for Japanese builders

London: South Korean shipyards are still busy selling 2010 berths but the earliest slots in Japan are up to one year later. According to Clarkson, shipbuilders in both South Korea and China are developing new shipbuilding capacity which will be commissioned in good time to handle contracts booked for 2010 and beyond. However, there are no significant shipyard expansion projects under way in Japan and, says Clarkson, Japanese builders are therefore restricted in their ability to take advantage of a 23% gain in dollar prices vis-à-vis South Korean yards over the last year-and-a-half. Japan's builders, which held pole position in the newbuilding stakes for the best part of four decades, are now in second place to South Korea's yards, with Chinese shipbuilders running a close third.

Meantime, there is no let-up in the pace of global contracting and new ship prices continue to rise. Clarkson figures indicate that the orderbook today is equivalent to almost a third of the existing merchant fleet and most of this new tonnage will have to be absorbed over the next 36 months.  [22/12/06]

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