Chinese shipbuilders observe a strong demand for new vessels from the domestic market. It is expected that demand for new ships by the China’s three largest shipping firms - China Ocean Shipping Co, China National Foreign Trade Transportation Group and China Shipping Company - will likely reach a total tonnage of 10 million between 2001 and 2005.
Mr. Li Changyin, general manager of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), one of the leading shipbuilders, said that the company would focus more on the domestic market in the coming years. Mr. Li said that demand would likely come from ocean ships, offshore crude oil carriers and ships for liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas projects along China's coastal areas. An official with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), another shipbuilder, said acquiring many domestic orders is his company's priority this year as well.
The vast majority of the two shipbuilding giants' orders in recent years have come from the foreign market. The CSSC official said his company would also speed up its efforts to explore European markets, especially Russia. China is the world's third largest shipbuilding country, following South Korea and Japan.