While the global shipbuilding industry is growing substantially, Croatian shipyards are still stuck in problems.
Large Croatian shipyards didn’t receive any new orders back in November last year, so by December, just four new ships worth 192.5 million dollars were contracted in 2017. Uljanik, Treći Maj, Brodosplit and Brodotrogir shipyards currently have 44 orders in the books. If we compare these results with 2016, which brought seven orders valued at 249 million dollars, it is evident that, despite the state-sponsored restructuring programmes, Croatian shipyards are still in deep crisis, reports Poslovni.hr on January 4, 2018.
On the global level, the number of new orders has increased by 30 percent compared to 2016, with 725 ships worth 53.4 billion dollars contracted. In total, there were 3,857 ships ordered, with China holding more than 42 percent of all orders, followed by Japan and South Korea. Croatia had a share of 0.4 percent among global orders.
Croatian large shipyards completed seven ships last year, while in some years this number used to reach as many as 25 vessels.
According to the president of the Small Shipbuilders’ Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Boris Vukušić and the Association’s secretary Slaven Štrković, slightly better results have been posted by smaller shipbuilders. Judging by the initial data, it can be expected that the results in 2017 will be better by two to three percent compared to the year before.
Štrković says that trends in 2016 for the small shipbuilding industry, which includes the construction of boats, yachts and sports boats, as well as repairs and maintenance of ships, were also slightly positive – the number of employees in the small shipbuilding sector increased by about 400 workers, from 4,896 to 5,316, the number of companies was also slightly higher, while total revenues grew by approximately 350 million kunas to reach 2.33 billion kunas. “We have about 107 small and medium-sized shipyards, of which about 35 are active,” Štrković points out.
Small shipbuilders have a significant share of orders from international buyers, and the biggest exporters are AD Brodovi, Navalia, Marina Paint, SAS-Vektor, Istra Yachting, Terra Nautica, Marina Vinica and Grginić Jahte.
Unlike large shipyards, small shipbuilders have not received any financial assistance from the government. Until the start of the economic crisis, this segment of the shipbuilding industry grew at an annual rate of around 20 percent, but after the recession, the number of orders fell. They were further hit by a series of bad government measures, such as the introduction of additional excise duties on luxury items and the fact that they were forgotten during negotiations with the EU when all interest was focused on large shipyards.
That is the reason why there are no programmes and available grants from the European funds for the development of small shipyards, unlike in other European countries. For example, in France, Italy and Poland they receive subsidies and various tax incentives. “Unfortunately, the responsible ministries are still not aware of the potential which the small shipbuilding industry in Croatia could have,” says Vukušić.
Translated from Poslovni.hr.