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World box fleet in excess of 10m teu

World box fleet in excess of 10m teu

London: The world container fleet has surpassed 10m teu for the first time with an orderbook that is more than 5m teu to boot.

The fleet totaled 9.9 million teu at the beginning of June and the order book reached 5.1 million teu, according to London shipbroker Clarkson.

Orders accounted for 50.9 percent of the current fleet at the beginning of the month, while contracts for the fleet of post-Panamax ships above 8,000 teu totaled 1.8 million teu, or 164.3 percent of its total capacity, Clarkson reported.

But the figures already are out of date with rumoured orders, most with South Korean yards, hardening into contracts in the past two weeks as carriers and charter owners bet double-digit growth in box traffic, driven mainly by China, will continue into the next decade.

Clarkson listed 18 containership orders worth a combined $2.82 billion in its latest weekly market report alongside orders for two oil tankers and four chemical/oil carriers.

French carrier CMA CGM is paying $165 million for each of eight 12,500 teu vessels that Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding will deliver in 2010. The Ofer Brothers Group, a unit of Israeli carrier Zim, has 10 10,000-TEU ships on order at another Korean yard, Hyundai Heavy Industries, at $150 million each, also for delivery in 2010.

"Containerships have taken over in recent weeks from the dry cargo market as the driving force in new buildings," said Clarkson, which has recorded contracts for 54 post-Panamax ships since mid-April.  [25/06/07]