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Shipyards remain in slowdown mode

A decline in world trade and shipping three years ago cut demand for ships While companies around the world are bouncing back from the global recession, shipyards are just now starting to see its effects.Orders have plunged, prompting shipbuilders to slash payrolls and shift toward building drilling rigs and other offshore products for the energy industry.The reason for the recession's lagging effect on shipbuilding is peculiar to the industry. A decline in world trade and shipping three years ago cut demand for ships. But because big tankers and container vessels take three to four years to build, shipyards kept busy filling orders received before the financial crisis.Orders for ships sank in 2009 and recovery has been slow, although analysts expect orders to increase later this year.The downturn is affecting shipyards worldwide. China's shipbuilding association last month said some of the country's yards would suspend production after completing existing orders.But the impact is especially deep in South Korea, home to six of the world's 10 largest shipbuilders by sales. Ships are the country's biggest export, accounting for 15% of total exports at an estimated $25 billion through May, according to the Korean government.The situation at the world's largest shipbuilder is typical. ...

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Japan to strengthen shipbuilding industry

Intends to heighten the global competitive edge of Japan's shipyards The Japanese government is working with industry players to establish some basic guidelines in a move to strengthen the country's shipbuilding industry.The ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism (MLIT) intends to heighten the global competitive edge of Japan's shipyards through industry restructuring and business revamp.The broad outline of the guidelines include corporate alliance and business consolidation, entering new market and new sector, and strengthening the maritime cluster.Shipyards that develop their business according to those directors would receive tax incentives or other regulatory benefits.Meanwhile, the Japan Ship Exporters' Association announced Tuesday that Japanese shipbuilders signed 18 newbuilding orders totalling 550,000 gross tonnes in May, down 41% year-on-year in gross tonnes terms.Source: Seatrade-Asia

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