Beijing, April 30 (IANS) Chinese shipbuilding companies saw sharp declines in output and new orders in the first quarter, as the industry rolled on the choppy seas of global and domestic slowdowns.
New shipbuilding orders fell 48.7 percent year on year to 5.59 million deadweight tonnes (DWT) during the first three months, according to a report released Monday by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's top economic planner.
Ship owners around the world tend not to expand their fleets when global demand for goods and services remains sluggish, said Xinhua.
For China's ship manufacturers, completed shipbuilding volume also fell 22.5 percent year on year to 11.21 million DWT in the first quarter, with incomplete orders declining 25.3 percent year on year to 141.94 million DWT by the end of March, according to NDRC data.
In the January-March period, the industrial output of China's large shipbuilders totaled 181.3 billion yuan ($28.87 billion), up 7.3 percent from a year ago, marking the fifth consecutive month of deceleration.
Due to slack external demand, ships delivered overseas tumbled 22.3 percent annually to 9.47 million DWT, with the export shipment falling 8.3 percent annually to 64.3 billion yuan.
The NDRC said severe challenges for the country's shipbuilding industry loom ahead, as insufficient external demand, shrinking orders and increasing defaults on contracts will continue to squeeze the sector's profitability.
According to the NDRC, combined profits of shipbuilding companies stood at 4.45 billion yuan in the first two months, up a meager 0.8 percent from a year ago.
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