Ship orders divert from China and come to Korea

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Ship orders divert from China and come to Korea

Korea overtook coronavirus-hit China to regain the top spot in global shipbuilding orders in February, industry data showed Tuesday.

Hyundai Heavy Industries and other local shipyards won orders of a combined 200,000 compensated gross tons (CGTs) to build eight ships in February, or 67 percent of the global total, according to London-based market tracker Clarkson Research Services.

The Philippines came in second with 60,000 CGTs to build four ships, taking up 19 percent of the world total, followed by Japan with 30,000 CGTs for one vessel, or 10 percent.

China, which took the No. 1 spot with 510,000 CGTs for 22 ships in January, clinched a mere 8,000 CGTs for one container ship last month.

Industry watchers attributed the tumble to the virus outbreak that forced Chinese shipbuilders to cease normal operations.

In February, global shipbuilding orders came to 300,000 CGTs for 18 vessels, compared with 750,000 CGTs for 33 ships in January.

In terms of order backlog as of the end of February, China topped the list with 26.16 million CGTs, or 35 percent of the market total, trailed by Korea with 21.28 million CGTs, or 29 percent, and Japan with 10.91 million CGTs, or 15 percent.

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