Orders won by major South Korean shipbuilders halved in the first six months of 2012 from a year ago
According to a 'Yonhap News Agency' report, the country's three biggest shipbuilders -- Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. and Samsung Heavy Industries Co. -- clinched orders worth a combined US$17.3 billion during the January-June 2012 period, down 50.8 percent from a year earlier.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, last year's market leader, secured a mere $4.93 billion in orders over the six-month period, while Samsung Heavy landed shipbuilding deals worth $6.5 billion and Daewoo Shipbuilding won $5.87 billion worth of contracts.
The sharp decline in orders is mainly attributable to weakened demand in Europe, hit hard by severe debt problems.
The top three companies' orders from European buyers accounted for 57.5 percent of their total orders last year, but the rate fell to 39.9 percent in the first half of this year.
"A drop in orders may affect our sales in coming years," said an official of a local shipbuilding company. "We will strive to win orders to build high value-added ships in the second half."