South Korea 1st in Global Ship Orders

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

March 14, 2019

Image: Hyundai Heavy Industries

Image: Hyundai Heavy Industries

South Korean shipbuilders came in first worldwide in total new orders in February, outpacing Chinese rivals, Yonhap news agency said. It comes around 90 percent of the new vessel construction orders awarded in the month.

According to the data compiled by industry tracker Clarkson Research Institute, Korean shipyards garnered new orders totaling 630,000 compensated gross tons (CGTs) in February to build eight ships (or 90 percent), out of the 700,000 CGTs (15 vessels).

Third spot went to Japanese shipbuilders with 10-thousand CGT.

In the first two months of 2019, Chinese shipbuilders won orders totaling 1.24 million CGTs (65 vessels or 41 percent), followed by Korean shipbuilders with 1.21 million CGTs (20 vessels or 40 percent), Italian shipbuilders with 240,000 CGTs (three vessels or 8 percent) and Japanese shipbuilders with 230,000 CGTs (six vessels or 8 percent).

In 2018, South Korean shipyards, for the first time in seven years, ranked No. 1 in terms of annual orders secured. Increased orders for LNG carriers helped Korean shipbuilders retake the top spot in the global hierarchy.

But China topped the list of order backlogs with 29.13 million CGTs, followed by South Korea with 21.75 million CGTs and Japan with 14.52 million CGTs.

South Korea lost its No. 1 position to China in 2012 and was second up to 2017.

However, global shipbuilding orders are on the decline. Orders placed in February contracted 70 percent from 2.31 million CGTs (86 vessels) in January. Total orders in the first two months of 2019 also slid year on year. They stood at 1.03 million CGTs, compared with 7.07 million CGTs in the same span of 2018. Shibuilding orders more than halved year on year in January and February of 2018.

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