Clarksons says number of active shipyards is lowest in years

Clarksons says number of active shipyards is lowest in years Clarksons Research

JULY 24, 2017 — According to the world's largest shipbroker, Clarksons, the number of "active" shipyards in the world has fallen to its lowest number in many years.

Clarksons is talking about yards building large, oceangoing commercial ships. It defines an active yard is defined here as one with at least one unit (1,000+ GT) on order, and as yard is active in a specific sector if it has a ship of that type on order.

It says that at at the beginning of 2009, close to the peak of the current shipbuilding cycle, there were a total of 934 activeshipyards globally. This number has now dropped by 62% to stand at 358 yards at the start July 2017.

As of the start of 2009, there were 293 yards active in the bulk carrier sector, with almost a third of total active shipyards having a bulker on order, due to the boom in bulker ordering and the relatively lower barriers to entry in the sector. This total has now fallen by 67% to stand at 97 yards. On a regional basis, the largest drop has been in China, with the number of Chinese yards with a bulker on order declining by 73% to stand at 50 at the start of July. In terms of consolidation, the "top 10" yards (ranked by total dwt on order in the sector) account for 54% of the total bulker orderbook.

The number of active yards in the tanker sector (10,000+ dwt) on order has decreased by 55% since 2009 to currently stand at 89 shipyards, only eight yards fewer than in the bulker sector. China, Korea and Japan each have between 10 and 20 fewer active yards in the sector. In terms of vessel types, the number of yards building crude tankers has remained steady, with the decline mainly accounted for by product and chemical tankers. The "top 10" yards account for 56% of the total tanker orderbook in dwt terms.

In the containership sector, the number of active yards has declined by 40% since 2009 to 56 at the start of July. The number of active Asian shipyards has dropped from 64 to 46, while the largest decline was at European yards, with only one shipyard in Europe currently building a boxship, down 96% (German yards alone accounted for 17% of the boxship orderbook in 1998 in TEU terms). Consolidation is a little stronger in the box ship sector than in the bulker and tanker sectors, with the "top 10" yards accounting for 61% of the orderbook in TEU.

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