Slowdown in deliveries hits China hardest

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 02 November 2018


A report on the current status of 2018 newbuilding deliveries by UK-based S&P Analyst Vessels Value suggests almost half of all scheduled deliveries were still outstanding at the end of October.

In a statement the company said, “Vessel deliveries typically slow down towards the end of the year. If shipowners wait a few weeks, allowing the delivery to slip into the new year, the vessel is considered a whole year younger. Many sectors can expect a higher proportion of the orderbook to hit the water in future years”.

According to Vessels Value There are 1,966 vessels which have deliveries dates scheduled for 2018. However only 1,100 have hit the water so far this year, meaning 44% of the '18 orderbook is outstanding. Out of the three top shipbuilding countries, China still has 50% of their 2018 orders to deliver within the last two months of the year. Compared to Japan and South Korea, where 25% and 28% of their respective orderbooks is currently outstanding, Chinese yards could potentially slip 446 vessels into next year's delivery schedule.

Ship types with the highest number of outstanding 2018 scheduled deliveries include all offshore vessels types (MODUs at 75% 2018 vessels still to be delivered, OSV 69%, OCV 67%) and the Small Dry sector at 54%

Of the two main building countries, South Korean yards have already delivered 160 vessels out of a total 221 scheduled for delivery this year. Concentration of deliveries are in the Tanker and LNG types, with 37 tankers still left to be delivered out of 128, and 8 LNG vessels out of a total 35 orders. However the yards have only managed to fill one offshore order, still intending to launch 3 MODUs, 1 OCV and 1 OSV by the end of 2018.

Even though Chinese yards dominate the offshore newbuilding orderbook, securing 291 orders for delivery in 2018, not all is as it seems. 76%, or 221 vessels and rigs, are still to be delivered by the end of the year. As the market fell, vessel owners were delaying and cancelling orders in a bid to conserve cashflow and prevent further dips in utilisation. This worked to some extent, but the market has been left with a significant overhang of vessels waiting to be delivered. There has been a huge amount of speculation on the condition of the 400 plus vessels – varying from rusting hulls, to good quality vessels.

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