Beijing: China remained the world's leading shipbuilder in 2022, grabbing the largest market share and making breakthroughs in high-end ship models.
The country topped the globe in three major indicators, contributing 47.3 per cent of global output, receiving 55.2 per cent of new orders, and having 49 per cent of holding orders, data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology showed.
2022 marked the 13th straight year for Chinese ship manufacturers to hold the largest share of global markets. Six companies ranked as the world's top 10 shipbuilding enterprises.
Seizing opportunities from surging global shipping demand, especially for crude oil and natural gas, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, China further consolidated its position as the world's major shipbuilder. Three main shipbuilding clusters have emerged in regions surrounding the Yangtze River Delta, Bohai Rim, and Pearl River Delta.
"Now the shipbuilding industry has entered the recovery cycle, showing a steady upward trend," said Cao Bo, a researcher at the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI).
With the largest shipbuilding market share, China is moving briskly to a manufacturer of quality.
Solid progress has been made, particularly in producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, a type of high-end ship equipped with tanks ensuring the gas is kept in a liquid state at minus 160 degrees Celsius.
Chinese companies received 55 LNG carrier orders in 2022, accounting for over 30 per cent of the world's total, a record high for the country. "It is a massive breakthrough," Cao said.
The shipbuilding orders to Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China's largest shipbuilding company China State Shipbuilding Corporation, are already piling high, with production scheduled until 2028. The company planned to start the construction of nine LNG ships this year and delivered four.
Apart from LNG ships, China also made headway in producing other high-end ships and marine engineering equipment.
In 2022, China started the construction of its second large cruise ship and delivered the world's first 100,000-ton intelligent aquaculture ship and super-large container ships with a TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) capacity of 24,000.
China's shipbuilding sector is pushing forward structural adjustments of products and moving toward high-end manufacturing, said Li Yanqing, secretary-general of the CANSI.