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S Korea is again world's leading shipbuilder despite massive drop in orders

SOUTH Korea once again ranks supreme as the world's top shipbuilding nation, based on the number of shipbuilding orders received in February and despite the sharp fall in shipbuilding orders worldwide

15 March 2020 - 19:00

SOUTH Korea once again ranks supreme as the world's top shipbuilding nation, based on the number of shipbuilding orders received in February and despite the sharp fall in shipbuilding orders worldwide.

This reverses the situation in January when South Korean shipbuilders were pushed down into second place by their Chinese counterparts, who clinched many orders from Chinese clients.



Worldwide vessel orders in February stood at 300,000 CGTs (18 units), with Korea taking 200,000 CGTs (eight units), said Clarkson, a British shipbuilding and marine market analyst on March 10. Korea held a 67 per cent share.



The Philippines ranked second with 60,000 CGTs (four units) and Japan third with 30,000 CGTs (one unit). China won an order for a 680 TEU container ship, which was 8,000 CGTs. The report did not include three shuttle tankers that Samsung Heavy Industries won on February 28.



The world's total ship orders during the January-February periods of the last three years arrived at 4.89 million CGTs - 1.77 million CGTs in the same period of 2020 this year, 4.89 million CGTs in the same period of 2019 and 7.77 million CGTs in the same period of 2018, reported Business Korea.



By February this year, total orders globally dived 76 per cent on year. LNG carriers (larger than 140,000 cubic metres), which Korea excels in manufacturing, have not been ordered until February this year. However, if orders for large-scale LNGs are placed by Qatar and Mozambique, orders to Korea are expected to further rise.



As of the end of February, China's order backlog came in first with 26.16 million CGTs. Korea ranked second with 21.28 million CGTs and Japan placed third with 10.91 million CGTs.



Global ship deliveries last month stood at 1.71 million CGTs, down 66 per cent from 3.49 million CGTs. Ship deliveries by Chinese shipbuilders contracted by 96 per cent from the previous month, the biggest decrease among nations.



Those by Korea and Japan sank 54 per cent and 39 per cent, respectively.



Clarkson predicted that Chinese shipyards were likely to postpone deliveries to be made in early 2020 due to a lack of manpower and equipment.



Ship prices by types were unchanged. They were US$186 million for an LNG carrier (174,000 cubic metres), US$144 million for a large container ship (22,000 TEU to 22,000 TEU), and US$92 million for a mega ship.


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