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China surpasses Korea in orders for new ships

Jan 13,2010
Korean shipbuilders were outpaced by their Chinese rivals in the number of new orders received last year as well as in order backlogs, a London-based market researcher said yesterday.

Korean shipbuilders such as Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Samsung Heavy Industries Co. won a combined 3.15 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) in new orders last year, accounting for 40.1 percent of all new global orders, said Clarkson Plc.

New orders at Chinese shipyards totaled 3.49 million CGTs during the cited period, accounting for 44.4 percent of the total, Clarkson said.

Market watchers said Chinese shipbuilders have gobbled up new orders at cheap prices, while Korean shipbuilders have continued to focus on high-priced vessels and offshore facilities. 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. Korea also yielded the top position to China in the global shipbuilding industry in terms of order backlogs, according to the researcher.

Korean shipbuilders’ combined order backlogs totaled 52.83 million CGTs as of early January, compared with Chinese rivals’ 53.22 million CGTs, it said. Yonhap



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