Korea’s shipbuilding industry is leading the world in terms of shipbuilding orders for two consecutive months in July and August. It is a meaningful achievement made in difficult times given the spread of COVID-19.
According to the British shipbuilding and marine market conditions analytics company Clarkson Research, Korean shipbuilders won 73 percent of 860,000 CGT (compensated gross tonnage) ordered globally, beating China which accounts for 24 percent. It was thanks to shipping companies, which hesitated to place orders in the first half of the year due to COVID-19, ordered Korea’s specialty ships including LNG carriers.
The shipbuilding industry is still having a difficult time. The year-to-date global shipbuilding order quantity is 8.12 million CGT, which is less than half of last year at 17.47 CGT. The remaining order quantity, the amount of work left until finishing shipbuilding, as of late August is 69.19 million CGT, which is the lowest since January 2004. It is because of the decrease in the amount of order for two consecutive years since 2018 and slump in the first half of this year.
To make matters worse, the virus is spreading in shipbuilding sites. An employee tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan, and three other employees who worked in the same site also tested positive on Tuesday. The company tested 500 employees who worked in the shipbuilding site and ordered them to wait at home.
“We need thorough measures to prevent COVID-19 within the shipbuilding site to win additional orders given that countries such as Russia and Mozambique will order LNG ships after September,” said an industry insider.
Hyung-Seok Seo email@example.com