Orders increased 95.9 percent in fiscal 2010
Japanese export ship orders made a strong recovery in fiscal 2010, which ended on March 31, after sinking at their fastest pace in 17 years in the previous fiscal year.
According to figures released by the Japan Ship Exporters' Association, orders swelled 95.9 percent in fiscal 2010 to 12,421,600 gross tons, compared with 6,340,591 gross tons in fiscal 2009.
Japanese shipbuilders received orders for 302 ships -- 282 bulk carriers, 12 oil tankers and eight general cargo vessels -- in fiscal 2010, compared with 119 ships in fiscal 2009.
Early in 2010, Japan started providing official financial support through the government-affiliated Japan Bank for International Cooperation to shore up slumping vessel exports driven down by the global recession.
Ship orders rose for the 16th consecutive month in March on a year-on-year basis, increasing 10.9 percent to 1,029,340 gross tons for 25 ships. But the year-on-year pace of growth slowed for the second month in a row.
An official at JSEA told The Journal of Commerce last month that the earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeastern part of the country on March 11 "will have no impact on future export ship orders at all."
The official explained at the time that although several small shipyards in the quake-hit areas were affected, major Japanese shipyards that build large vessels for exports are concentrated in western Japan and remain intact.