China’s shipbuilding industry has shown significant signs of a slowdown, in part after it was hard hit by the latest waves of the pandemic which delayed the production schedule for a broad range of ships.

In a report on Wednesday (June 1), industry news provider The Maritime Executive (TME) said while the yards and specifically the industry centered around Shanghai are emphasising their return to operations in recent weeks, the first four months of 2022 showed a marked slowdown in activity.

It said data from the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI) illustrated the scope of the impact of Covid-19 on the shipbuilding industry in 2022.

For the first four months of the year, the total output by the shipbuilding industry of 11.71 million dwt was down nearly 9% versus a year ago.

Domestic volumes appear to be stronger as CANSI reports that exports were down nearly 15% to 10.28 million dwt.

The report said exports or orders of ships for international shipowners, however, continue to make up the vast majority of the business at Chinese shipyards.

It said the data highlighted that nearly 90% of the volume from the shipyards in the first four months of 2022 was for export.

Also, reflecting the rising costs and high prices for ships it reported that the value of the export ships topped US$5.8 billion and while it was off by more than 10%, it was a smaller decline than the volume of export tonnage.

TME said global newbuilding orders from shipowners are also declining from last year’s peak.
It said CANSI reported that the Chinese shipbuilding industry received orders for 15.39 million dwt, which was down nearly 45% year over year.

Most of the decline was coming from international shipowners with export orders for the Chinese shipbuilders down nearly 45% in the first four months of 2022.

Despite the drop from 2021’s record levels, so far in 2022, China added another 13.66 million dwt in export ship orders.

However, TME said while the industry has been impacted by Covid-19 and the global slowing in orders, the Chinese shipbuilders continue to have a large orderbook.

It said that as of the end of April, a total of 102.47 million dwt was on order, up more than 20% versus 2021.

Export ports make up 89% of the total orderbook.
Source: Hellenic Shipping News