Newbuilding orders continue to decline in April 2015 as freight rates for bulkers and LNG carriers remain sluggish.
Statistics compiled by Greek broker Golden Destiny showed that 113 ships were ordered in May, down from 134 in April and 158 in May 2014.
Only 11 bulkers totalling 447,400 dwt were ordered in May, compared with 39 bulkers in May 2014.
Just three LNG carriers were ordered in May, down from seven in May 2014.
Bulker orders have been sluggish since the Baltic Dry Index fell to a historic low in February, due to China’s slowing demand for raw materials and an oversupply of tonnage.
LNG ship charter rates fell to approximately USD23,000/day in May 2015, as demand for Atlantic volumes in the Pacific Basin weakened. Spot charter rates recovered to only about USD27,000/day by the end of June, with increased spot demand from Latin America and the Middle East, which pushed LNG portfolio players and traders such as Trafigura alike to actively seek short-term shipping capacity to fulfil their short positions.
The oversupply of LNG carriers would persist until more cargoes emerge in the United States and Australia, predicts IHS Energy.
Container ships and tankers bucked the trend, with both vessel types showing more orders year on year in May.
Twenty five container ships were ordered in May, up from 15 in April and 18 in May 2014, reflecting liner operators’ growing appetite for ultra-large container ships.
The drop in oil prices and the subsequent growth in trade and consumption of crude oil and oil products has filtered down to orders for oil tankers and product tankers.
Twenty eight tankers were ordered in May, up from 24 in April and 16 in May 2014, reflecting the returning optimism in the sector.