Chinese shipbuilding had a poor end to 2016, with the orderbook for new vessels dropping below 100 million dwt for the first time since at least 2011. That leaves under 29 months of work as a result of new orders that were just one tenth the level seen in December 2013. A similar contraction has been seen in South Korea and Japan – new vessel deliveries fell 14% on a year earlier in November on a 12 month trailing basis. This capacity discipline should be good for shipping rates, though COSCO’s recent $26 billion financing raises the risk that the discipline will be eroded.
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