Japanese Ship Orders Surge for Sixth Month in May

Japanese Ship Orders Surge for Sixth Month in May

After falling for 14 months in a row, Japanese export ship orders rose for the sixth consecutive month in May on a year-on-year basis. The 17 ships ordered in May -- 16 bulk carriers and one oil tanker -- total 934,840 gross tons, according to figures released by the Japan Ship Exporters' Association.

May’s orders stand in sharp contrast with May 2009, when shipbuilders received orders for only eight export ships totaling 141,880 gross tons amid the global economic downturn.

However, the gross tonnage of Japanese export ship orders in May was still 32.9 percent lower than 1,393,570 gross tons in May 2008, a few months before the financial crisis hit the world economy.

During April and May, the first two months of fiscal 2010, Japanese export ship orders totaled 1,768,631 gross tons, up 220.4 percent from the same period of the previous fiscal year. Japanese shipbuilders received orders for a total of 37 export vessels -- 35 bulkers, one oil tanker and one general cargo vessel -- between April and May. The 37 ships total 758,738 compensated gross tons.

-- Contact Hisane Masaki at yiu45535@nifty.com.