Korean shipbuilders are continuing brisk business this year despite analystsâ€™ earlier predictions that the global shipbuilding market would suffer cuts in demand.
Unlike the gloomy outlook in the industry, domestic shipbuilding companies are enjoying steady sales as international shipping firms have ordered more vessels to carry oil
, gas and other products.
According to Clarksons
, an international research provider for the shipping industry, 532 large vessels were ordered for the first two months worldwide.
Korean shipbuilders, the worldâ€™s leading group, expect that they will enjoy an 18-percent increase in overseas demand this year on the back of a series of orders for high-priced ships.
The Korea Shipbuildersâ€™ Association said that domestic shipbuilders will receive $26 billion in export orders in 2007, up 18 percent from $22 billion a year before. The country has recorded a sharp rise in shipbuilding exports over the past few years.
Their exports stood at $17.7b in 2005 after surpassing the $10b mark in 2003.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the worldâ€™s largest shipbuilder, estimates its exports at $9.2b, up from last yearâ€™s $8b. Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, the No. 2 shipbuilder, seeks to export $7 billion, compared with $5 billion in 2006.
Korea again took the No. 1 position in global shipbuilding orders last year, posting a 54 percent increase in orders compared to 2005.
Last year, Korean shipbuilders topped in three major categories _ new orders, order backlogs and the volume of vessels built, according to Clarksons. Notably, they received a total of 19 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) in new orders, a record high. In 2005, it was 14.5 million CGTs.
Japan came in second with 9.1 million CGTs, followed by the European Union with 4.9 million and China with 4.5 million.
Source: Korea Times