Shipbuilding Orders

Increased During 1987World shipbuilding orders in 1987 rose to an estimated 13.5 million gross metric tons from 12.7 million metric tons in 1986, reversing a 3-year decline in the shipbuilding industry, Lloyd's Maritime Information Services Ltd. said in Lloyd's Register of Shipping's annual report.

Orders for tankers rose substantially to an estimated 6.1 million metric tons, about one-third higher than 1986 and the highest figure since 1979, Lloyd's said. New contracts for Suezmax and very-large crude carriers predominated. These were the vessel categories that saw the largest rise in operating profits in recent months, it said.

General cargo/container vessel new construction contracts increased for the third consecutive year, to an estimated 3.4 million metric tons from just over 3 million in 1986, Lloyd's said.

However, bulk carrier orders fell for the fourth year in succession to an estimated 2.3 million metric tons from over 2.5 million metric tons in 1986. This forms the lowest annual total this decade.

Military Sealift to Host

Chartering Symposium

WASHINGTON - The Military Sealift Command will host a one-day symposium on ship chartering in Clinton, Md., March 29.

The focus will be on the Sealift Command's new, revised tanker voyages charter party, MSC Tankvoy 88.

The command also announced that presentations will be made on the strategic petroleum reserve program and government quality assurance methodology.

MSC invited government and maritime industry representatives to attend. Details on the symposium, to be held at the Colony South Hotel in Clinton, can be obtained from J.S. Fischer at (202) 433-0400.

Tax Exemption Ends

For Ecuadorean Ships

WASHINGTON - Ecuadorean-flag vessels must now pay special U.S. tonnage taxes and duties per ton, ending a 44-year exemption.

Ecuador's exemption was terminated because the State Department in January brought to the attention of the Customs Service the fact that since 1983 U.S. vessels have been required to pay lighthouse fees in Ecuadorean ports.

The U.S. government found the fees a violation of the condition under which reciprocal exemptions from such special charges - generally known as light money - were granted.

The exemption was lifted as of Feb. 4, according to a notice published in the March 22 Federal Register.

Securities Group,

Arbitrators to Meet

NEW YORK - The National Association of Securities Dealers is opening discussions with maritime arbitrators to get help in settling disputes in stock and bond transactions.

Sherri Hughes, an association attorney, will be the lead speaker March 30 at a luncheon of the Society of Maritime Arbitrators.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is sending a representative to the luncheon. Also, executives from both the New York Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange are expected to attend.

Japan's Hitachi Zosen

Plans to Sell Shipyard

OSAKA, Japan - Hitachi Zosen Corp. plans to sell its major shipbuilding plant on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu to its affiliate for about 40 billion yen (128.00 yen equal US$1), in an effort to recover from a slump in the industry, industry sources disclosed Saturday.

However, Hitachi Zosen will operate the dockyard on a lease-back basis

from the affiliate, the sources said.

The plant has an annual shipbuilding capacity of 250,000 gross tons.

Hitachi Zosen, based in Osaka, now only owns one shipbuilding plant in Maizuru City, Kyoto, the industry sources noted.

The sale is expected to result in profits of about 100 billion yen, they said.

The company expects an actual one-time loss of at least 70 billion yen, the industry sources said.