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SAJ Chairman's Monthly Press Release - May 2004

分類: 業界情報,船舶需要動向,造船業,国際協調
SAJ Press Release
May 2004
24/05/2004

18 May 2004


SAJ Chairman's Monthly Press Conference

Mr. Mototsugu Ito, Chairman of the Shipbuilder's Association of Japan (SAJ), held his regular press conference on 18 May in Tokyo. The following passages present an outline of his views:

1. General view

The SAJ is relieved that the Yen has weakened on the currency exchange markets recently, but new concerns are emerging about the rises in crude oil prices. Nonetheless the Japanese economy is still showing signs of recovery while conditions in world economy are for the most part favourable.

There has been some speculation about growth in the Chinese economy slowing down, and this situation should be watched as it could have implications on the future development of the shipping market.

2. Newbuilding orders for Japan

Newbuilding orders placed with Japanese yards between January and April 2004 amounted to 2.76M CGT, which was over 20% higher than 2.29M CGT obtained for the same period in 2003. This suggests that Japanese yards are continuing to benefit from a recovery in orders that started at the end of last year.

However new orders for April amounted to 300,000 CGT, and while it might be premature to judge future trends so soon, this could be interpreted as an early sign of a slowdown in the amount of orders received.

Ship prices continue to display an upward tendency, which started last year, reflecting the active shipping market and the boom in freight rates. However the rising costs of steel and ship equipment mean that overall building costs are increasing. Therefore ship prices should rise further so that a modest level of profit can be ensured.

In the South Korea newbuilding orders for the quarter January to March 2004 amounted to over 5M CGT. Despite having secured enough work for the long term from a large number of orders received last year, South Korean yards are still taking on new orders and some companies have already exceeded their annual order targets.

However South Korea is also experiencing price rises of more than 40% for shipbuilding steel. Also, from July onwards, the major yards will have to adopt a five-day working week system which will drive up labour costs. It is predicted these factors will lead to a decline in profitability from vessels which were ordered at a time of low ship prices. Therefore it is thought that increasingly difficult conditions lay ahead for these yards.

In spite of holding a huge order backlog, it is a worry that South Korea continues to take on new orders without any inhibitions. In order to form a sound world shipbuilding market, the role of Japan and Korea is important as they account for 80% of world shipbuilding capacity at this time. Therefore, it is strongly hoped that Korea will exercise moderation in the future.

3) Steel supply instability

According to a survey carried out by the SAJ in May, the majority of Japanese yards are feeling the effects of the tightening steel market. One yard even commented that they are making operational adjustments by closing shop until steel shipments are delivered and then making up for lost time by working weekends.

Although steel manufacturers are already working at full capacity, an upturn in demand from the civil works sector predicted for this autumn is expected to add greater pressure to the market. The shipbuilding industry in Japan enjoys a good relationship with the steel industry and the SAJ hopes that the supply of high-quality steel at appropriate prices can be ensured.

4) Haneda Airport Expansion Project

According to certain reports in the media, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport had been due to reveal the specification of the bid for the Haneda Airport Expansion Project in March, however this turned out not to be case. We expect that the bid specification will be announced very soon.

The SAJ believes that all parties involved appreciate that the Mega Float solution is the optimal construction approach from the viewpoint for protecting the marine environment in Tokyo Bay.




For further information, please contact:

Planning Department
The Shipbuilders’ Association of Japan (SAJ)
Tel: +81 3 3502 2014
Fax: +81 3 3502 2816
E-mail: kikaku@sajn.or.jp
Website: www.sajn.or.jp

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