New orders received by China’s shipbuilders contracted by more than 70% during the first half of this year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Lloyd’s List reports that newbuilding contracts stood at 11.2m dwt during the first six months, down 72.6% year on year. Completed tonnage topped 18.5m dwt, a 6.3% increase compared to the same period last year. The total orderbook, however, shrank by 9.2% to 138.1m dwt, of which 95% was exported tonnage.

The Chinese shipbuilding industry, heavily dependent on bulkers, has taken a serious blow in new orders since the beginning of this year, as overcapacity in this type of ship has led freight rates to record lows.

In comparison, yards in South Korea and Japan, with advantages in building containerships and gas carriers, have fared much better. The continued weakness of the Yen against the US dollar has also bolstered Japan.

More content in Sea Breezes Magazine, September 2015 Issue
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