Sept 3, 2013

Orders for large-size boxship exceed 50 units

Orders for ultra-large containerships with capacities exceeding 10,000 TEUs are on the rise again. South Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has bagged orders for five 18,000-TEU containerships, plus another one on option, and five 14,000-TEU units, plus another six on option, from the Middle Eastern operator United Arab Shipping Co. (UASC). Meanwhile, another South Korean shipyard, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), has entered into a deal to construct three 18,000-TEU containerships for an Asian owner. Orders for jumbo containerships, including the units on option, that have surfaced so far this year have ballooned to 55 ships. Against the backdrop of the robust demand, China's Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding and Taiwan's China Shipbuilding Corp. (CSBC) has successfully made their foray into the market.

HHI's orders are due for delivery starting the latter half of 2014 and had a total contract price of $1.39 billion. The per-unit price of the vessels stands at about $87 million, higher by slightly above 10% compared to the price of mega-containerships thus far. Five mega-containerships that were booked by the yard are scheduled to be built at the HHI Group's Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries. The high regard obtained by its ability to cope with near-term delivery, construction track record and environmental technologies through joint construction with Hyundai Samho are said to have led to the string of orders for HHI. With these orders, sales from order receipts in HHI's (including Hyundai Samho) shipbuilding/offshore/plant division has reached $19.6 billion, representing 82% of its annual target.

Meanwhile, DSME has bagged an order for three mega-containerships with a combined price of $421 million. Priced at $140 million apiece, the newbuildings are due to be completed at the end of 2015. The specific type of the vessels is not immediately available, but it is believed that the ships will be 18,000-TEU units. The yard received an order for three mega-containerships from an Asian shipowner in August that had the same price as the latest order, so it seems that the latter represents the option that came with such order that was booked in August. The ships were reportedly ordered by Hong Kong Asset Management (HKAM) and it appears that DSME managed to allocate its slipways for 10 18,000-TEU ships after Maersk Line decided to defer the placement of additional orders with the yard.

Prices of mega-containerships plunged below the $8,000/TEU level at the turn of this year, leading to the string of orders placed by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), which had refrained from ordering newbuildings during the previous boom in the market, as well as Seaspan and China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) with Imabari Shipbuilding, HHI and Yangzijiang Shipbuilding. In August, orders for a total of 55 newbuildings, including options, surfaced in the market, including the first order for three 16,000-TEU ships booked by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding from its group company CSSC (Hong Kong) and the five 14,000-TEU containerships, plus another five on option, that were ordered from China Shipbuilding Corp. (CSBC) by Yang Ming Marine Transport.

According to the figures compiled by Clarkson PLC, firm orders for 8,000-TEU and larger containerships in the January-July 2013 period totaled 77 ships of 850,000 TEUs, accounting for about 70% of the total order receipts booked in the whole of 2011 on a TEU basis.

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