Global ship newbuilding orders dropped to record lows in the second quarter of 2019, VesselsValue said.

Bulker newbuild orders were down 73 per cent for the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, according to VesselsValue’s Head Cargo Analyst, Olivia Watkins.

So far this year, Panamaxes have been the most popular size to order with an interesting order placed by Klaveness Combination carriers for two 83,600 dwt CABUs at Jiangsu New Yangzijiang which will increase the global fleet to a total of 19 caustic soda/bulk carriers.

Despite the low earnings seen earlier this year across the Capesize sector, 13 orders were placed by COSCO Shipping Bulk for 208,000 dwt vessels at COSCO Shipping HI for USD 54 million each. This was a significant decrease when compared to the 45 orders received for Capesizes in the corresponding period last year.

Furthermore, the total number of tanker newbuild orders was down 47 per cent for the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.

Countries leading the way in terms of tanker orders are Greece and Singapore. The Greeks have been ordering any tanker size ranging from VLCCs down to MR2s with 90 per cent of the orders placed at South Korean yards. Eastern Pacific placed an order for four option LR2 for USD 48 million each.

Hyundai Mipo has seen the biggest influx of MR2 tanker orders placed since the beginning of the year. 23 of the total 33 MR2 orders were placed at Hyundai Mipo.

VLCC orders are down 60 per cent for the 2019 year to date, compared to the same period in 2018 despite having a good winter for rates.

Additionally, the container sector follows the same declining trend as the rest of the cargo sector for newbuilds. Orders for the first half of 2019 were down by 49 per cent compared to the same period in 2018.

Of the 48 containerships ordered, 28 were by South Korea, clearly dominating the container newbuild market and vastly improving on their two orders from the first half of 2018. The domination is primarily due to Sinokor, which ordered 16 Feedermaxes all to be built by Chinese shipyards, and four Handy containers to be built by South Korea’s second-largest shipyard, Hyundai Mipo. These orders by Sinokor account for around 42 per cent of all container vessels ordered so far this year.

Moreover, the total number of LNG newbuild orders has fallen by 39 per cent in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. The Greeks are leading the way with the number of orders placed. Since the beginning of the year, Maran Gas Maritime has ordered a total of five vessels at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).

The total number of LPG newbuild orders has fallen by 73 per cent for 2019 year to date compared to the 2018 year to date.

Finally, only one offshore newbuild order was placed in the first six months of 2019.