Japan’s new ship export orders in November increased by 15pc in terms of tonnage from Nov 2019 to 787,550gt. Orders also increased from 735,450gt in October, according to Japan Ship Exporters’ Association (JSEA) statistics. The country has received 15 export orders, of which six are container ships, one is a handysize bulk carrier and VLCC each, two units of post-Panamax bulk carriers and product carriers each, and three handymax bulk carriers.
In Jan-Nov 2020, however, exports declined to 6,452,700gt from 8,229,176gt in the prior-year period. The decline was largely on the back of COVID-19 ravaging all major economies of the world. The Japanese shipbuilding industry has already been suffering for the past few years amid stiff competition from South Korea and China.
The country has also lodged a case against South Korea with the World Trade Organisation for the support the latter gives its shipbuilding industry. Japan has contested the loans at below market prices and unfair subsidies for vessels complying with environment standards which South Korea extends to the domestic shipbuilding industry.