September 10 2004

Chinese yards set for record year

China's mainland shipbuilding output will hit a new record of more than 8 million tons this year, up from 6.05 million tons last year, says the China Association of National Shipbuilding Industry. The surge comes despite growing raw material prices and power supply shortages.

China Daily reports that in the first half of this year, tonnage increased by 66 percent year-on-year to 4.09 million tons, accounting for 14.4 percent of the world's total. Newbuilding orders reached 9.9 million tons in the period, up 21 percent from a year earlier, and accounting for 19.3 percent of the world total. At the end of June, the industry backlog had reached 32.05 million tons, 15.9 percent of the world total.

The newspaper quotes association official Tan Naisun as saying new orders will decline greatly in the second half of this year "due to insufficient shipbuilding capacity on the mainland," said Tan Naisun, an official with the association."

China Daily quotes association figures indicating that the product mix at Chinese yards is becoming more diverse, with containerships accounting for 23.2 percent of order sin the first half of this year, up from 3.4 percent in the same period of last year.

Sales of 615 shipbuilders on the mainland grew by 28 per centto 31 billion yuan (US$3.7 billion) in the first six months of this year, according association statistics reported by the newpaper. The 615 yards reported 610 million yuan (US$73.7 million) in profits in the period, compared with losses of some 200 million yuan (US$24.2 million) in the first six months of last year.

However, ship exports declined by 4.7 percent year-on-year to US$1.38 billion, the statistics show.

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