The Status Quo and Development Prospect of China's Shipbuilding Industry

The Status Quo and Development Prospect of China's Shipbuilding Industry

The Status Quo and Development Prospects of China's Shipbuilding Industry: In the past two years, China's shipbuilding industry has fully entered the golden season of shipbuilding. Since 2003, the global new ship has been unusually ordered, and orders for new ships have increased significantly. The annual completion of the ship exceeded 8.5 million dwt, and the market share of shipbuilding in the world reached more than 15%. In 2004, China's shipbuilding completions and hand-held orders reached the best level in history. According to customs statistics, China’s ship exports in 2004 were 3.158 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 4.5% year-on-year; and the new ship’s acceptance was also across the board. By the end of 2004, China’s hand-held export ship orders were 28.73 million dwt, and the contract delivery period was extended to 2009. Among them, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation has undertaken a total of 30 ships with 300,000 tons of supertankers, 32 ships with 110,000 tons of oil products, 29 ships with 4,250 containers and 17 new tons of new double-hull bulk carriers, of which more than 70% are exports. ferry. The completion volume of export vessels reached 5.61 million dwt, and the export amount was as high as 3.16 billion U.S. dollars; orders exceeded 17 million dwt. The production tasks of major shipyards in the next three years are basically full.
This gratifying situation has mainly benefited from two factors: First, the world economy, especially the rapid development of China's economy, has caused the entire ship market to rise steadily, showing unprecedented momentum. Under the stimulation of the global economic upturn, the global shipping market experienced rapid growth and recovery after experiencing sluggish growth and brought about unstoppable growth. The current shipping capacity of merchant ships is far from meeting the market demand and requires more new ships to inject fresh blood. The steadily rising freight index has also made shipowners confident in the investment in new ships. Second, many old ships have become scrapped. The number of years required also required new shipbuilding for beneficial additions. Usually the service life of the ship is about 15 years, and the two ships will be relatively concentrated. Relevant experts assert that the prosperity of the international shipping market during this period is probably rare in the next two to three decades. In view of this situation, both old and new shipyards have increased their capital input, built or expanded docks, improved lifting capacity, and updated shipyard facilities.
However, there are also some factors that are not conducive to the development of the shipbuilding industry.

I. Unfavorable factors in the development of the shipbuilding industry

(a) The price of steel has remained high

In 2005, although the price once fell, it still hovered at a higher level. The shipbuilding industry uses large steels, and the proportion of marine steel plates used in shipbuilding costs is as high as 60%. It can be said that the price of steel has a very direct effect on the profit of the shipyard. In 2004, the price of steel almost doubled. Although many shipyards have increased their income, they have almost no profit, and some have even suffered losses. According to the statistics of related departments, the profits of the steel industry are as high as 7,1100 million yuan, while the shipbuilding industry is only 540 million yuan. The ratio between the two is 791:5.4, and the gap is very different. From this it can be seen that the days of building a ship cannot be better than merely seeing a drop in the price of the ship. Because the price of steel has soared relative to steel prices, the increase in ship price is only equivalent to the slow rise of the thermometer, and the shipyard is still signing for the previous years. The low-priced orders are paid.

Regarding the high stability of domestic steel prices for marine products, I believe that this is mainly determined by the relationship between supply and demand. In the first two years, China's shipbuilding output had suddenly reached 4.85 million tons from 4.1 million tons, and production had doubled, and the amount of steel used had also increased dramatically. In the same period, steel companies in South Korea and Japan reduced their exports of steel for China. Although China's domestic iron and steel enterprises have greatly improved their steel production capacity, they are still unable to fully meet the demand, coupled with the price trend of major iron ore exporting countries such as Australia, Brazil and India. In this way, it is not surprising that the overall price increase in the market has led to a sharp drop in the price of steel for ships.

(b) For the shipbuilding industry with a relatively large export share, the negative impact of RMB appreciation is obvious.

Starting from July 21, 2005, China began to implement a managed floating exchange rate system based on market supply and demand, with reference to a basket of currencies. The RMB exchange rate is no longer fixed on a single US dollar, resulting in a more flexible RMB exchange rate system. . From 7 pm on this day, the exchange rate of the US dollar against the yuan was adjusted to 1 US dollar against 8.11 yuan, which was the middle price between the foreign exchange designated banks on the next day's interbank foreign exchange market.

At present, domestic orders for shipbuilding companies (including export ships and domestic ocean-going vessels) are mostly denominated in U.S. dollars. The appreciation of the renminbi will make these orders "hot potato" because if the exchange rate of the renminbi against the US dollar rises by one yuan over the number of orders received, the shipbuilding company will lose RMB 1 for every US dollar when it ships. According to calculation by the China Shipbuilding Industry Economic Research Center, according to the current production scale and production level of China's shipbuilding industry, RMB appreciation is 1%, the profits of the entire shipbuilding industry drop by 1.081 billion yuan, and the direct loss caused by the appreciation of 2% to the shipbuilding industry is 21.26. Billion yuan, this is not a small blow to the shipbuilding industry whose own profitability is very low. In this respect, the appreciation of the won has provided us with a good example.

In 2004, the Korean won appreciated by 15.2% against the US dollar. The result is a direct impact on the profitability of the shipyard. Despite the substantial increase in income, the operating performance is poor and even losses. Compared to Korean shipyards, our resistance to strikes is weaker because our management level and production efficiency are lower. Some experts pointed out that the appreciation of the renminbi by 2% is only the beginning of China’s exchange rate reform. From the perspective of the future, the determination of the RMB exchange rate will depend more on market factors. In other words, the possibility that the renminbi will continue to appreciate is still high. If the appreciation of the renminbi reaches 5%, China's shipbuilding industry will experience a loss in the entire industry. Therefore, shipbuilding companies should pay attention to the current difficulties. We should also take a long-term perspective, focus on the future, and pay close attention to the buffer period for the appreciation of the renminbi. We should start with cost reductions and efficiency gains, strengthen internal cost control, and work harder on our own competitiveness to cope with the next possible appreciation.

(3) Insufficient development and design capabilities of domestic shipyards and insufficient supporting capacity for domestic equipment have become a bottleneck that severely restricts the development of China's shipbuilding industry.

Some experts divide the development of the industrial design industry into three steps, namely production-oriented industrial design, marketing-oriented industrial design, and strategic industrial design. Our level of ship development and design can be summarized into the second drop, and some even remain in the production design drop. With regard to the development and design of high-tech and high-value-added ships, we have a shortage of professionals and a serious shortage of reserves. We are still unable to open the market and enlarge our cakes.

This point can be seen from the annual production of high-tech and high-value-added ships. Japan and South Korea have a 70% share of the total war, and China is only 14%.

The demand for localization of ancillary equipment in the industry has been high, but the thunder is loud, the raindrops are small, and the domestic supporting capacity is still very low. According to incomplete statistics, it is currently only about 40%, and our main competitor Japan is 95%. South Korea is 85%. The production of marine equipment in countries such as Germany and Norway can also be exported in large quantities in addition to meeting the needs of the country. The shipbuilding industry is a meager profit industry. It is mainly used as a leading company to stimulate domestic demand, revitalize domestic manufacturers of mechanical and electrical products, and develop together. However, we have had little success in this regard.

(4) The "internal strength" of domestic shipyards still needs to be further improved.

The "internal strength" referred to here is the management level of the shipyard. In the martial arts novels, those who eventually become masters or top performers are all well-known. Shipyards are no exception. If you want to dominate the world in the world of shipbuilding, you must work hard to improve your enemies. However, our gap with Japan and South Korea in this regard is very clear. Although the quality of the ships we built has been greatly improved, it is inconceivable in terms of design, production efficiency, industrial structure, comprehensive management level, construction cycle and services. We have poor coordination between basic design and production design; plans are impractical, there is no rapid change; waste is serious in the production process; staff of subcontractors are unstable, and skilled workers are relatively lacking; project management is low, and production coordination is low. Poor performance, low efficiency, long construction period, lack of service awareness, low service levels, especially after-sales service can not keep up with the requirements of the shipowners, and so on.

1. The gap in the shipbuilding cycle

The length of the shipbuilding cycle is a comprehensive indicator reflecting the shipbuilding company's production capacity, technology development, equipment and facilities, and management level. The long shipbuilding period will inevitably lead to an increase in man-hours and rise in man-hours costs; a long loan period, slow capital turnover, and an increase in bank interest; special facilities such as berths, docks, docks, and cranes, etc., will reduce their costs; energy and power consumption will increase. If a shipbuilding company can shorten the berth cycle for one month, the production management and special expenses such as labor, kinetic energy and manufacturing can be reduced by more than 4 million yuan. Japan and South Korea shipbuilding enterprises have more advanced equipment. In recent years, they have continuously shortened the shipbuilding cycle by strengthening the progress and improvement of production management and production technology. The period for Japan to build a 150,000-tonne crude oil wheel is only 8 to 10 months from start of construction to delivery. However, a certain shipbuilding company in the north of China needs about 16 to 18 months from the start of construction to delivery. Daewoo Heavy Industries’ giant Geoje shipyard has compressed 50% of its cycle time in shipbuilding docks over the past five years. Its giant dockyard No. 1 has opened a dock door every 2 months, and has docked three 150,000-ton SUEZMAX ships each time. In 2000 alone, the shipyard built 18 ships and 1.65 million dwt (including 2 VLCC oil tankers, 3 crude oil tankers, 2 100,000-ton crude oil tankers and 7 4-7 million-ton container ships). For a 300,000-ton shipyard in a shipbuilding company in the north of China, the average docking period is 6 months. Every time there are 2 to 3 ships docked, the annual output is 4 to 6 ships, with an average of 500,000 dwt. Big.

2, the gap between the cost of working hours

Although the unit price of man-hours in China's shipbuilding companies is relatively low, the total amount of man-hours consumed in shipbuilding is much higher than that of Japan and South Korea, and the unit price of man-hours is constantly rising. The construction time of the AFRAMAX product tanker is measured by the fact that Japanese shipbuilding companies only need 160,000 to 180,000 man-hours, plus 30% of outsourced man-hours, actually about 200,000 to 220,000 man-hours, and Korean shipbuilding companies, about 230,000 man-hours, compared to the same period. The man-hours required for a shipbuilding company in the north of China are five to six times more than Japan and South Korea. Therefore, the advantages of low unit price and wages in working hours in China's shipbuilding companies have not been fully utilized. What is more noteworthy is that the productivity of shipbuilding companies in Japan, South Korea, and Western Europe is growing at an average rate of 5 to 8% per year, while the actual speed of manoeuvring in China’s shipbuilding companies and the rate of increase in production efficiency are still very slow. Need to take measures to reduce the cost of working hours.

Only when the management level goes up, can the production efficiency be improved and the benefits of the shipyard can be increased. At present, in the world shipbuilding market, Japanese shipyards have the highest efficiency in construction, followed by South Korea, which is about 70% of Japan, and our production efficiency is only half that of Korea. The gap is very obvious. Therefore, to catch up with Japan and South Korea and become a world leader in shipbuilding as soon as possible, it is necessary to make efforts in the cultivation of "internal skills," increase revenues and reduce expenditure, eliminate waste, and then remain invincible.

II. Prospects of China's shipbuilding industry

For the Chinese shipbuilding industry in the next 10 to 20 years, opportunities and challenges will coexist.

(1) Overcapacity

According to the forecast of the future world new ship demand announced by the European Shipbuilding Industry Association (CESA), the world's new shipbuilding capacity will reach 31.2 million corrected gross tons in 2010, while the world's average annual new ship demand is only 24 million corrected gross tons in the same year. CESA believes that over the next few years there will be excess capacity in the world's shipbuilding market. Chinese shipyards will face such problems.

Wang Rongsheng, president of China Shipbuilding Industry Association, once mentioned that China's shipbuilding industry must be stronger and stronger to be bigger. The two are complementary and indispensable. This is indisputable. However, the choice of timing for major interventions is questionable. Under normal circumstances, choosing to expand during the rising period of shipbuilding is more conducive to making it bigger and stronger. However, now is the peak period. The old and new shipyards are building their shipyards and expanding their shipbuilding capabilities. It is so easy to get up and running quickly. Cause excess production capacity. Everyone will inevitably worry that once the shipbuilding industry becomes sluggish and falls to the bottom, all domestic shipyards will continue to make a living in order to compete against the market. Will they plant a misfortune for potential vicious competition in the future?

(b) Ship prices fall

The decline in the price of ships is inevitable and is dictated by the laws of the market. In fact, since mid-June this year, more and more ship owners have taken a wait-and-see attitude. They have not started yet. Ship prices have already fallen, but there is not much interest. However, due to the reasons such as sufficient orders for major shipyards, the price of the ship will not drop sharply for the time being. The possibility of continued downward adjustment of ship prices exists. After all, from the second half of 2003 to the present, the shipbuilding market has been booming for so long, and the price of ships has also risen. From the perspective of market regulation, it is time for the ship market to cool down. Correspondingly, the ship price may be further lowered. Regardless of whether the price of the ship is maintained at the original price in the short term or if it is slightly adjusted downwards, at least the fluctuation of the ship's price will give a signal to the shipbuilding company. There will be certain variables in the future ship market, the competition in the international ship market will intensify, and the market will affect the shipbuilding industry. Cost pressures will also continue to increase.

Price is our advantage, and it is also a magic weapon for Japan and South Korea to win. For ships of the same model, our offer is $2 to $3 million cheaper than them. This advantage is mainly due to the low labor cost in China. How to maintain the market share of the war and to obtain profits after the ship price fell, this also raised a new topic for the Chinese shipyard.

(III) Competitors

In the next 20 years, China, Japan and South Korea will continue to stage a new version of the "Romance of the Three Kingdoms." It is not yet known who won the battle. Due to the increasing homogeneity of shipbuilding enterprises in technology, equipment, information, resources, and marketing, the world shipbuilding industry has now entered a new era, where technology no longer plays a dominant role, and the role of price factors has become increasingly evident. In this way, the shipbuilding industry in developing countries will rely on price advantage to gain more market share.

Vietnam will become the new favorite of shipbuilding. At present, Vietnam's shipbuilding industry has begun to emerge, more and more attention and attention of the shipowner. Some European shipowners have already started to develop this market, and the orders they place are generous. For example, British owner GRAIG Investment Co., Ltd. has invested 152.5 million in building 15 cargo ships. At the same time, the shipbuilding financing method of Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Corporation is also very flexible. Compared with China's single loan shipbuilding method, it has many unparalleled advantages. For the construction of the above ships, bonds were issued for a total of US$19 million in financing.

They are taking market share that should be ours at a cheaper price. Although it is still not a climate, its development trend must not be underestimated. In time, they will be our strong competitors. Whether we can win in this competition or not, the key is whether we can break out before the price advantage is exhausted and achieve a qualitative leap. From then on we can keep pace with Japan and South Korea.

(d) Talent competition

It's like Ge You's line in The World Without Thieves: What is the most expensive in the 21st century? Talent! The future shipbuilding competition is also mainly the competition of talents. At present, some old shipyards in China are facing the problem of brain drain. These shipyards are unable to establish a correct view of talented people because of their large scale, heavy burden, and rigid system, that is, they respect talents and value culture. Although they also want to spend valuables to retain valuable talents, but clever women can not be without rice, can only watch the love of their men and women will be heavily excavated by the emerging shipyards or companies.

In the next few years, Japan and South Korea face the same problems in terms of employees, and there is a serious shortage of skilled workers. A large number of older skilled workers gradually reached the retirement age. Due to the aging of the population, the number of new employees is also decreasing. Most of the work is done by temporary workers. In the absence of this kind of greenery, if you want to maintain your status as a major shipbuilding country, you will certainly look to China and compete with Chinese major shipyards for talent. After 10 years, the diversion of Chinese shipbuilding talent will be inevitable. The wolf is coming. What should we do? Is it faster to let yourself run, or do we all join hands and let the wolf do it?

(5) Opportunities for development brought about by natural disasters

The ups and downs of ship demand and prices are greatly affected by political, economic, military, financial, and natural disasters. Especially in recent years, frequent natural disasters have brought many profound suffering and catastrophes to people across the world. However, on the other hand, it also provides unprecedented opportunities for the Chinese shipbuilding industry and even the world shipbuilding industry. Like the unavoidable hurricane season in the United States, it has caused various degrees of damage to marine engineering facilities every year. Its reconstruction has unlimited business opportunities and unlimited potential. Grasping the opportunity to win those shipyards for offshore engineering projects will undoubtedly become the biggest winner in the next few years.

Looking at the development history of the world's shipbuilding industry in the past 100 years, the first shipbuilding kingdom was Britain; then, the world shipbuilding center shifted from Europe to Asia and made Japan a success. Some people predict that there will be a third shift in the near future. The future of shipbuilding is in China. China's shipbuilding industry is also facing such an unprecedented development opportunity. If we can seize this opportunity to catch up and rely on the wisdom and sweat of each shipbuilder, and take 20 to 30 years to climb to the throne of the world’s number one shipbuilding power, the dream will come true. The rapid rise of China’s economy has greatly stimulated the shipping and shipbuilding markets at home and abroad. China’s major shipyards have shown a gratifying picture in terms of production and operations: they have considerable orders for hand-holding and full production tasks. However, there are many unsatisfactory places in reality. This article mainly analyzes four aspects of shipbuilding unfavorable factors: (a) The price of steel for ships has always been high, although the steel production has improved, but it is still far from meeting the requirements of shipbuilding companies; (b) for the US dollar As for the shipbuilding industry that settles currencies, the blow brought by the appreciation of the renminbi is undoubtedly very heavy. How the major shipyards respond to the rising trend of the RMB has also become a new issue for the shipbuilding industry. (3) The low design capacity and domestic supporting capabilities have severely constrained the development of China's shipbuilding industry and have become a stumbling block for us to overtake Japan and South Korea; The management level of domestic shipyards is poor, and there is a significant gap between Japan and South Korea in terms of shipbuilding cycles and man-hours costs. At the same time, this article also looks forward to the prospects of China's shipbuilding industry. Our prospects are mixed, with opportunities and challenges. We look forward to five perspectives: (1) The issue of overcapacity, which will expand during peak periods, will leave potential risks to potential vicious competition? (b) How long will the price of the shipping price persist? The decline in ship prices is inevitable, but the way to fall is squall or parachute type, let us wait and see; (c) In addition to Japan and South Korea, who else may be our competitors? This paper is optimistic about the development potential of Vietnam's shipbuilding industry. They will likely become our new competitors. (4) Talent competition. In the next 10 years, will Japan and South Korea come to China to compete for shipbuilding talents, triggering another climax after diverting from some old shipyards to emerging shipyards? In this regard, many old shipyards are suffering from the pain of brain drain. How to prevent this loss is worth exploring. (5) Natural disasters cause heavy suffering to people, but on the other hand, it is also a good thing. Post-disaster reconstruction has provided an opportunity for the development of China's shipbuilding industry. It depends on who has the ability to seize it. In the concluding remarks, this article is full of confidence that China has become the world’s number one shipbuilding power, but the first is not shouted out of thin air, and each shipbuilder needs to be smart and sweaty.

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