S. Korean shipyards regain top status in new orders last month.
South Korea regained its No. 1 ranking in the global shipbuilding industry in January in terms of new orders, a London-based market researcher said Friday. According to Clarkson Plc., the nation's shipbuilders such as Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. won a combined 353,986 compensated gross tons (CGTs) in new orders last month, accounting for 56.7 percent of all global new orders.
Chinese shipbuilders took the second spot with orders totaling 82,707 CGTs with a 13.2 percent share.
In terms of new orders, South Korean shipyards were overtaken by Chinese rivals last year. Chinese shipbuilders have gobbled up new orders at cheap prices, while South Korean shipbuilders have continued to focus on high-priced vessels and offshore facilities.
Clarkson said South Korean shipbuilders' combined order backlogs totaled 52.33 million CGTs, making up nearly 34.3 percent of global backlogs. Chinese rivals' order backlogs reached 52.54 million CGTs, it said.
South Korea, home to seven of the world's top 10 shipyards, has clinched record-high orders in the past few years on strong demand for crude carriers and offshore exploration equipment amid lofty oil prices.
But orders for new vessels have sunk since the third quarter of 2008, as the credit crisis and the subsequent global recession prodded companies to postpone delivery dates or cancel orders.