zoom Despite a marginal deterioration in the growth outlook for the global shipbuilding industry, annualized five-year growth rates for the sector are still forecast to reach a healthy 3 to 5%, before picking up substantially after 2017, according to Castrol Marine Trade Barometer.The barometer predicts that growth will be driven largely by the Asia-Pacific region, but also Latin America and the Middle East. All European nations but the Netherlands face a downward trend until 2017.Mandhir Singh, COO at Castrol, says, “The main growth in shipbuilding will come from Asia-Pacific countries to 2019. These nations are well positioned to supply ultra-large vessels, which shipping companies are increasingly demanding for their fuel efficiency and economies of scale.“Traditional shipbuilding nations, like Germany and the UK, will need to up their game if they’re to compete with the colossal shipyards and deep ports of the Asia-Pacific region.”Based on the report, Hong Kong seems to be the biggest success story, overtaking South Korea and China to become the world’s second largest ship-parts trading nation. It is one of the few top 10 trading nations in the sector to see a rise in forecast growth since the last report.Although China’s forecast annualised export growth to 2019 has dropped from 10.05% to 8.08%, the economic powerhouse has displaced South Korea as the world’s top exporter of ship parts. The dip in growth may be associated with China’s ongoing policy to move away from export-led growth towards domestic consumption.Algeria has jumped straight into the ten fastest-growing ship-parts trading nations at number one, following heavy investment in port capacity, and in wider infrastructure and skills development. The country’s proximity to the EU, soaring energy trade and developing relations with China have also helped.The presence of Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela, a new entry at number seven, in the list of the fastest-growing ship-parts trading nations indicates the rise of Latin America as an important region for the sector in the years to come.“Many Asia-Pacific nations have rapidly developing ports, improving infrastructure, low-cost communications and access to potential new customers via valuable shipping trade routes. This places them in a strong position for growth,” adds Singh.