Trading house Itochu Corp has handed New Dayang Shipbuilding its second Japanese bulker newbuilding deal.

Itochu has contracted the Chinese shipyard to build two ultramaxes for 2027 delivery.

New Dayang landed its maiden Japanese bulk carrier deal in January from Imabari tonnage provider Kasuga Kaiun, which ordered two 64,000-dwt vessels for delivery in the third quarter of 2026. Last month, Kasuga added another vessel.

Kasuga and Itochu’s contracts are highly valued by New Dayang, which has been trying to break into Japan’s shipping market after a marketing campaign that began in 2019, before the outbreak of Covid.

Japan is the third-largest country in terms of ship ownership by gross tonnage, with 182.4m gt under its control, and plays an important role in the shipbuilding market.

It also has an orderbook of 28.5m gt, putting it behind Greece and China, according to Clarksons’ Shipping Intelligence Network.

The price of Itochu’s newbuildings has yet to emerge, but shipbuilding brokers said Chinese yards are seeking around $35m apiece for ultramax bulk carriers.

The duo will be built using New Dayang’s in-house Crown 63-Plus ultramax design, which meets the International Maritime Organization’s Energy Efficiency Design Index Phase 3 standard.

According to Clarksons, 56 ultramaxes have been ordered this year, including Itochu’s pair — and 23 of those were booked at New Dayang.

Companies that have ordered the ship type at New Dayang include Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, Huaxia Financial Leasing, Ciner Denizcilik, Transocean Maritime Agencies and China Construction Bank Financial Leasing.

New Dayang is a state-owned shipyard and the shipbuilding arm of Sumec Marine — a subsidiary of China National Machinery Industry Corp.

It has one large dry dock and one slipway. Its orderbook stands at 75 vessels: 63 ultramax bulkers, four kamsarmaxes, four handysizes, three 1,170-teu feeder container ships and one multipurpose service vessel.

The shipbuilding boom has led some Chinese yards to expand their facilities to meet the growing demand, but Yangzhou-based New Dayang has not followed suit.

Sumec Marine chairman He Jun told TradeWinds that New Dayang would increase its production through operational efficiency and digital transformation.

New Dayang Shipbuilding is the shipbuilding arm of state-owned Sumec Marine. Photo: New Dayang Shipbuilding