[Photo by Hyundai Heavy Industries Group]
South Korean shipbuilders topped order book ranking in January, with orders surging by 13 times versus barren month of a year ago.
According to British shipbuilding and marine industry tracker Clarkson Research Services on Tuesday, Korean shipbuilders won orders of 910,000 compensated gross tonnage (CGT) or 20 vessels in January to account for 54 percent of the global total of 1.7 million CGTs or 66 vessels.
The feat is a stark difference from a year ago when Korea drew a mere 70,000 CGTs (2 vessels). China followed with orders of 510,000 CGTs (32 vessels) and Japan with 260,000 CGTs (12 vessels).
Korean shipbuilders bagged new orders for eight container ships with a capacity of more than 12,000 TEUs, two liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers with a capacity of more than 140,000 cubic meters, and two very large crude carriers (VLCC), clinching 100 percent market share in their mainstay businesses.
Global order backlog dropped 3 percent from a month ago to 69.78 million CGTs as of late January. Chinese shipyards have the largest backlog of 24.59 million CGTs, followed by Korean with 21.88 million CGTs and Japan with 8.39 million CGTs,
Still Korea’s decline was modest compared with its Asian rivals - Japan (minus 34 percent) and China (minus 12 percent).
Another good news is higher vessel prices.
The Clarkson Newbuilding Price Index showed an uptick of 1 point from a month earlier to 127 points. Prices of VLCCs, S-max oil tankers, container ships and LNG carriers all increased.
Clarkson Research forecast this year`s volume of marine transported goods at 11.9 billion tons, up from 11.3 billion tons from a year ago.
By Lee Soo-min
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