Although Chinese shipbuilders are slowly starting to return to normal after the coronavirus outbreak, yards could be hit by further delays, according to Clarksons Platou.
Delays at Chinese yards are expected to last roughly a month, the analyst firm assesses. But several factors might prompt fresh delays.
"Firstly, international owners may find it difficult to arrange delivery [of ships, -ed.], crew and yard visits. Secondly, for vessels scheduled for delivery later in the year, supply chain risk may increase for some key component parts that are sourced directly from Europe," writes Clarksons Platou, adding that deterioration of shipowners' finances could also be a factor.
Clarksons Platou estimates that around 25 percent of newbuilds slated for delivery in 2020 will be postponed until next year.
Furthermore, newbuild orders could drop by an entire 25 percent from the level seen in 2019, and 50 percent compared to 2018.
The positive thing is that this would lower fleet growth from 10 to 8.5 percent this year.
In early March, Maersk Broker assessed that shipping lines could expect delays of two months on newbuild deliveries due to the coronavirus outbreak. At the time, however, the outbreak was more or less isolated to China, Japan and South Korea.
English Edit: Jonas Sahl Jørgensen