To the envy of most of their Asian rivals Japan’s main yards are hanging up metaphorical ‘Full’ signs outside their gates, having closed out their docks for the whole of 2019.
Sources in Tokyo tell Splash that the top six yards in Japan are now marketing slots for 2020 having had a very strong six months of orders, predominantly by local owners, for bulkers and VLCCs.
Commenting on the news, Martin Rowe, a Hong Kong-based broker with Clarkson Platou, agreed that 2019 was essentially full for Japanese yards. However, he pointed out: “This isn’t to say that with a bit of shuffling things round at certain yards in Japan it might not be possible to shoehorn in a couple more 2019 berths.”
Most yards in China and South Korea on the other hand still have much work to do to fill out their docks for 2019.
For the first time since the dawn of the new millennium Japanese yards overtook their Korean rivals in terms of orderbook and market share this January.
According to Clarkson Research data released in early January, the shipbuilding orderbook held by Korean shipyards stood at 19.92m cgt (473 units) as of the end of December 2016, while Japanese shipyards had an orderbook of 20.96m cgt (835). China remains out on top.