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Stopford outlines shipyards' $200bn dilemma

Stopford outlines shipyards' $200bn dilemma

Shanghai: The supply side of the shipping market is the most pressing issue, argued Dr Martin Stopford, md of Clarkson Research, at this morning's Senior Maritime Forum of Marintec China 2009. Stopford said the orderbook was now 44% of the extant fleet, compared with just 11% in 2000. 'My guess is this is at least twice as much capacity as is really needed,' he said. The orderbook has a contract value of $464bn, he said, but the actual market value of these ships if sold on delivery 'could be half that amount'. Ships ordered in past years are at prices 30 to 50% above today's collateral value, warned the doctor. He urged yards to slow delivery times for the coming couple of years. Owners and yards needed urgent dialogue, stressed Stopford, noting that, 'On a purely financial note, someone must be prepared to write off $200bn.'
Concluding his speech, Stopford said: 'There is no doubt that, above all else, supply side challenge management constitutes the the major challenge facing the shippingh industry today, and it also represents the great opportunity. Prosperity is there, but only if the delivery of half a billion tons of deadweight of shipping capacity can be managed to the industry's advantage.'  [02/12/09]

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