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Japanese owners top orders league

Hamburg: Japan is the lead country investing in new tonnage, according to a new report on Long Term Developments in Shipbuilding compiled by HypoVereinsbank and Clarkson Research Services Ltd to coincide with this week's SMM show.

Based on figures as at August 1 for vessels over 2,000gt, Japanese owners have 644 vessels totalling 18.2m cgt and worth $36.8bn on order, just ahead of German owners with 963 vessels of 17.0m cgt worth $33.4bn.

Three other Asian countries make the Study's Top 10 ranking: China places seventh (behind the US, Greece, Norway and Denmark) with 211 vessels of 5.5m cgt worth $12.0bn; South Korea ninth (behind Italy) with 130 vessels of 3.1m cgt worth $6.6bn; and Hong Kong tenth with 130 vessels of 3.0m cgt worth $5.9bn. Global orderbook total is put at 5,386 vessels of 117m cgt worth $263bn.

Japanese investment is further broken down by vessel type into gas carriers 25%, bulkers 23%, tankers 22%, containerships 19% and others 11%. This spread is described as 'fairly diversified' compared with other lead countries such as Germany, where 77% of the investment is in containerships; Greece, where recent concentration has been on the tanker sector (53%) but with a significant exposure in the bulk carrier market (22%); and Norway, where investment is predominantly focused on specialised sectors. [29/9/06]

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