The gap between South Korea and China in terms of their shares of shipbuilding orders closed significantly as current leader China’s share slowed down. China’s manipulative efforts to increase order volume by pouring in its own domestic volume has finally reached its limit.
According to Clarkson Research, a shipbuilding and shipping market conditions analytic institution in the U.K., on Tuesday, the total amount of global shipbuilding orders placed last month was 570,000 CGT, which is 40 percent less than last month’s 1,410,000 CGT. By country, China, South Korea, and Japan won 270,000 CGT (13 ships; 47 percent), 230,000 CGT (eight ships; 40 percent), and 50,000 CGT (two ships; nine percent) last month, respectively.
This year’s overall performance is headed by China. However, the gap between South Korea and China is closing in terms of order shares. The accumulated orders received from January to May are 2.88 million CGT, 0.9 million CGT, and 0.49 million CGT each for China, South Korea, and Japan. The monthly shares of orders in April showed a 55 percentage point difference between South Korea and China but last month’s gap dropped to seven percentage points as China’s domestic order volume decreased significantly. For last month’s orders, South Korea has maintained a similar level as April but China’s declined 73 percent compared to the previous month. In particular, 85 percent of orders received by China last month were domestic while South Korea’s orders were all from businesses in Europe and Asia.
Industry experts believe that South Korea’s order volume will surpass China’s in the second half of this year. South Korea recently signed a contract with Qatar to reserve slots to build large LNG carriers and Russia and Mozambique are scheduled to launch large LNG shipbuilding projects, in which South Korea has strengths.