South Korea overtook China last year to reclaim the top spot in global shipbuilding orders in two years. The domestic shipbuilding industry is expecting a strong performance this year as well.
According to Clarksons Research, U.K. leading integrated shipping services provider, on Tuesday, South Korean shipbuilders won orders of 8.19 million compensated gross tonnage (CGT) for 187 vessels last year, accounting for 43% of the global shipbuilding orders of 19.24 million CGT. China came in second with 7.88 million CGT and Japan stood at third spot.
South Korea failed to win new orders in the first half of last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic but started to catch up with China in the second half by winning orders for LNG carriers. In particular, South Korean shipbuilders won orders of 4.41 million CGT in November and December, which is more than half of the entire annual order volume. Once global orders, which had contracted due to COVID-19, started to come in, they flooded into South Korean shipbuilders that boasted high quality and technological expertise.
South Korean shipyards also outclassed competitors in high value-added ship orders last year, winning orders for 36 large-sized LNG carriers out of world’s 49 orders, 35 VLCC out of world’s 41 orders, and 18 S-MAX tankers out of world’s 28 orders.