China Country Market
Insights and Opportunities
Marine Industry Sector
Overview: China's Marine Industry covers the use and development of the various sea-related industries, including shipbuilding, ports, pleasure boats, sea communications and transportation, offshore oil and gas, sea-related chemicals and sea fisheries, etc.
China has seen rapid development of its marine industry over past few years. China has more than 3 million square kilometers of water territory, with more than 1,400 harbors and 210,000 cargo ships. According to the Ministry of Land and Resources of P.R.C., the value of increase of sea-related industries has constituted over 4.01% of GDP, and the aggregate marine industries will gradually become one of the pillar industries of China’s economy.
According to the statistics of China Customs, China’s total ship import and export values reached USD13.2 billion in 2007, of which ship imports accounted for USD1.0 billion. Trade volume rose to a historic high of USD 20.9billion in 2008. However, oceanic pollution and the industry's structural imbalances continue to present challenges for the development of the marine industry.
Opportunities: Best prospects in China’s marine industries include shipbuilding, pleasure boat, and port related accessories and sea transportation.
Shipbuilding: Since 1999, the output of China's shipbuilding industry has been ranked number three in the world. According to the statistics from Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND), China’s shipbuilding output was around 19 million deadweight tons (DWT) in 2007. The output is expected to reach a historic high of 27 million DWT in 2008, with a yearly increase of about 40 percent and representing about one fourth of the world total shipbuilding output. As the global economy slowed in 2008, new shipbuilding orders decreased to 57 million DWT in 2008 from 70 million DWT in 2007. China’s backlog orders still reached 210 million DWT by the end of 2008. (China Ship News) Currently Chinese shipyards filled about 35 percent of global orders for ships measured by cargo capacity. (China Ship News)
Chinese shipyards were also threatened as orders faded in the second half of 2008. However, larger shipbuilders may find themselves better off than the smaller ones. China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), the country's top shipbuilding group, churned out 8.54 million DWT of ships in 2008, an increase of 1.99DWT compared with 2007, making it the second-largest shipbuilding group in the world. According to the government’s National Medium and Long-Term Plan for the Shipbuilding Industry, issued in August 2006, China’s shipbuilding industry is expected to become the No. 1 shipbuilding power in the world by 2015.
In February 2009, China’s State Council approved a stimulus package for the country’s shipbuilding industry. According to the plan, the government will encourage financial institutions to expand financing to purchasers of ships and extend fiscal support for domestic buyers of long-range ships until 2012. The plan will also support the industry in upgrading technology and self innovation.
China urgently needs hi-technology, machinery and management for the shipbuilding industry. The best prospects for shipbuilding are raw materials, coating equipment and coating materials, CAD (Computer aided design) software and associated technology for ship design and construction, equipment maintenance, high-tech equipment such as GPS, navigation and on board computer systems, cutting and welding technology and related equipment.
Shipbuilding Bases: According to the shipbuilding industry report issued by the state council, China is embarking on major efforts to increase shipbuilding capacity. The country plans to build three major shipbuilding bases in the Bohai Gulf area, East China Sea and South China Sea. The China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), the country's leading shipyard began construction on the Changxing Shipbuilding Base on the Shanghai coast in 2003. When completed in 2015, the Changxing base will be the largest shipyard in the world with annual shipbuilding capacity reaching eight million tons. Additionally, CSSC plans to build China’s largest yacht building base in the Fengxian district of Shanghai.
Pleasure Boats: With the rapid growth of the economy, China's recreational marine market is forecast to expand sharply in the coming years. In 2008, China imported over 50 million US Dollars worth of yachts and pleasure vessels, which was an increase of 72.6% compared with 2007. Based on the confidence that pleasure boats will become a part of life style in the country’s expanding wealthy and the middle-class, provincial governments, property developers and boat builders are all investing heavily in this industry. Business experts estimated that the market would pick up speed in the next few years, and the overall market size would reach USD10billion over the next decade, which presents significant opportunities for the exports of U.S. pleasure boats, accessories, marina planning and construction materials.
Port and Sea-Transportation: China is allocating a significant capital for the port and waterway construction to meet the significant growth in freight volume. Since 2004, China has stepped up its construction of ports. China's port throughput is increasing at exponential rates, reflecting foreign trade volumes growth. According to the China Transportation Association, freight turnover at major ports reached 5.57billion tons in 2007. Container traffic at Chinese ports also increased 25% to 114 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs). The container throughput of Shanghai port exceeded 26 million in 2007, surpassing Hong Kong to rank second globally. Cargo throughput reached 560 million tons in 2007, making Shanghai the world's busiest port for the third consecutive year. Eight ports in mainland China, namely Shanghai, Shenzhen, Qingdao, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo and Dalian, are included among the 30 top container harbors in the world.
As trade growth slowed sharply in the second half year of 2008, the global demand for Chinese exports port throughput at some Chinese ports decreased. Particularly those in the Pearl River Delta began to decline in late 2008, raising overcapacity concerns at container terminals. The slowdown in trade growth may augur a new era of slower port expansion in China, giving authorities a chance to evaluate port management and handling capacities. However, activity at inland waterways was not affected by the global downturn, especially at ports along the Yangtze River.
To facilitate the global trade, most ports in China are putting an emphasis on expanding the capacity and upgrading the port facilities as well as the modernization of operations. The products and technologies in high demand are Vessel Traffic Management Information Systems, laser-docking systems, terminal tractors, dredging equipments and security equipment for the ports and vessels to abide to International Ship and Port Security Code (ISPS).
Although there are presently only a handful of marinas in China, dozens more are under construction or in planning. Many luxury residences in major cities incorporate waterways and boating facilities in their developments.
The success of Shanghai's bid to host the 2010 World Expo will push the boat industry to develop more rapidly. The Shanghai Government has decided to build marinas and cruising shipping centers along the downtown river as part of the efforts to remake Shanghai into a world-class city. Other cities and areas that either have on-going marina projects, or in the planning process include Zhoushan, Qingdao ,Dalian, Ningbo, Beihai, Dongguan, Shenzhen and Hainan Island.
Deepwater Ports: China is building more deep-water berths to handle the larger fifth and sixth generation container vessels. The largest project is the construction of Yangshan deep-water port, approximately 20 miles offshore from Shanghai and linked to the mainland by a 32.5-kilometre causeway bridge. The first phase was completed and put into operation at the end of 2005, including 5 new berths and a capacity of 2 million TEUs per year. And a second phase opened in December 2006, adding four berths on a 1.4-kilometer waterfront with a designed handling capacity of 2.1 million TEUs annually. The original plan is to complete 50 berths by 2020, which will cost over USD10 billion. The master plan also includes a logistics park and new harbor city on the main land.