World Shipbuilding Order Book Largest Since 1977

By the end of 1991 the world shipbuilding order book had reached the highest level since June 1977, according to the latest quarterly statistics published by Lloyd's Register.

In the final quarter of 1991, tonnage under construction and on order increased to 43.2 million gross tons, up 2.6 million tons from the previous quarter. Over the 12-month period, the world order book grew by a total of 3.4 million tons from 39.8 million tons at the end of 1990. At the end of December 1991, ships under construction totalled 1,355 with a gross tonnage of 15.9 million tons, 649,000 tons more than at the end of September. Orders not commenced totalled 27.3 million tons, a total of 1,175 ships. At the top of the world shipbuilding charts was Japan which increased its orders by 36.4 percent. The largest increase in ordered tonnage was achieved by South Korea with 1.6 million tons. This increase represented 21.9 percent, compared with 19.4 percent for the September quarter. Other shipbuilding nations such as the United Kingdom, Rumania and Taiwan also showed significant increases. These increases were 65.3 percent, 38.7 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively. The largest ships completed during the period were the 281,000-dwt tanker "A1 Awhad," built in South Korea for Kuwait Oil Tanker Co., and the 280,491-dwt tanker "Welsh Venture," built in Japan for the Mitsui OSK Group. The largest dry cargo ship completed was the 260,000-dwt bulk carrier "Athesis Ore," built in Italy for Athesis di Navigazione Sir. Other vessels included the biggest "open hatch" container ships, "Nedlloyd Asia" and "Nedlloyd Europa," built in Japan for Nedlloyd Lines. European shipyards delivered two new cruise ships, the "Monarch of the Seas," built in France for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line SA, and the Italian-built "Costa Classica" for Costa Crociere SpA.

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