THE Asian shipping industry remains in a testing economic environment, according to the Asian Shipowners’ Forum (ASF) economics review committee.
Dry bulk shipping is deemed to be moving in a harsh business climate due to delays in the recovery of cargo movements to developed countries and the concentration of new vessel deliveries in the second half of the year.
“But, it is also recognised that the number of new building orders to be cancelled which could reach as many as 1,000 vessels, is now turning to reality and the market will be encouraged by the active scrapping of more than 500 ships since September 2008,” it said in a statement.
On the tanker sector, the ASF said although some 100 single-hull tankers would be withdrawn from the market this year until the end of 2010, it was also anticipated that more than 60 vessels of very large crude carriers would flood the market this year.
“We share the concern that the current tanker market condition showing surplus tonnage would remain for the time being,” it said.
On liner or container shipping, ASF said the effects of the financial tsunami had clearly extended to the trans Pacific and intra-Asia trades.
“The CEOs of Asian container lines companies are urged to handle the situation in a rational and patient manner to ensure the sustainable operation of the liner business in these trades and to keep customers well-informed of the difficult situation faced by carriers,” it said.
The ASF is a voluntary organisation of the shipowner associations of Australia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea and the Federation of Asean Shipowners’ Associations.