While China has aggressively built its shipbuilding infrastructure in the past 10 years, the most important number, top winner in contract value, still remains the domain of South Korea, which has reportedly logged $37.8b in orders thus far in 2011 vs. China's $10.3 billion, according to a report today on www.businessweek.com.
The evolution of the Chinese shipbuilding industry is actually akin to the development of a shipbuilding nation, with a focus on cheap labor and lower-technology, lower-value tonnage. Meanwhile, South Korea, powered by the "Big Three" of Hyundai, Daewoo and Samsung, today specialize in the high value orders including LNG tankers and oil drilling ships.
If history is a guide, though, S. Korean shipyards would be wise to expand its areas of expertise, as it was not 20 years ago that European shipbuilders still dominated the "High Value" tonnage market, while S. Korea was seen as the domain of low-cost tonnage.
(Source: www.businessweek.com & staff reports)