Sweeping away recent worries on strong challenges from China, Korea led
the shipbuilding business in a convincing fashion during the first
three months of the year. Friday, 15.Apr.2011, 01:39 (GMT+3)
Sweeping away recent worries on strong challenges from China, Korea led the shipbuilding business in a convincing fashion during the first three months of the year.
The Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) said Wednesday that Korean shipyards combined to win orders for 90 vessels in the first quarter whose value amounts to $12.8 billion. China secured orders for 88 ships over the same period but their overall worth was just $3.5 billion. The data was provided by global consultancy Clarkson.
``Our shipbuilders have obtained orders for high-valued products such as large-sized containers and drill ships. For example, our companies have won all 34 orders for big-sized container vessels. Thatâ€™s why their revenues are far larger than those of China,â€™â€™ MKE official Song Hyo-jeong said.
`` In terms of compensated gross tonnage (CGT), our market share was 52.5 percent in the first quarter compared to 31 percent for China and 3.6 percent for Japan.â€™â€™ CGT refers to a widely-used indicator of the amount of work necessary to construct ships. The unit, which depends on types and sizes of specific vessels, is a common benchmark in the shipbuilding businesses.
Korea dethroned perennial champion Japan in 2003 to become the global leader. Yet, Asiaâ€™s fourth-largest economy was overtaken by China in 2009 and failed to regain the top position last year.
Chinaâ€™s market share was 45.7 percent in 2009 compared to 31.2 percent for Korea based on CGT. The former jacked up the figure to 47.6 percent last year against 33.9 percent of the latter. Japan was a distant third during the two years with a single-digit share.
``In the wake of the unprecedented financial turmoil in 2008, the number or vessel orders nosedived, which prompted Korean shipyards to struggle. By contrast, Chinese rivals were boosted by demand inside the populous country,â€™â€™ Song said.
``In addition, China typically dominated in price-sensitive bulk carriers and tankers to surpass Korea over the past two years. As the orders for high-valued vessels increase of late while those for bulk carriers and tankers headed down, however, Korea has a chance to beat China this year.â€™â€™
Upbeat about the positive results in the first quarter, the MKE revised this yearâ€™s goal for shipbuilding exports from $50.5 billion to $51.7 billion.
Korea accommodates several well-known shipyards including long-time business bellwether Hyundai Heavy Industries and close competitors such as Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.