Japanese Ship Orders Triple

Japanese Ship Orders Triple

Japanese export ship orders more than tripled in January, compared with a year ago. In the 14th consecutive month of year-over-year gains, orders soared 218.5 percent to 1.5 million gross tons, according to figures released by the Japan Ship Exporters' Association.

The pace of growth was even faster than December’s 162.1 percent increase.

In January, Japanese shipbuilders received orders for 28 export ships -- 25 bulk carriers and three oil tankers.

By The Numbers: U.S. Container Trade With Japan

In the first 10 months of fiscal 2010, which started in April 2010, Japanese export ship orders totaled 10.9 million gross tons, up 116.2 percent from the same period of the previous fiscal year.

Speaking at a regular press conference earlier this week, Takao Motoyama, chairman of the Shipbuilders' Association of Japan, painted a cautious picture of the Japanese shipbuilding industry, citing the appreciation of the yen.

"If the strength of the yen continues, Japan will lag behind South Korea and China in terms of price competitiveness," said Motoyama, who is also chairman of Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding.

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