South Korean shipbuilders fell behind their Chinese and Japanese rivals in new orders won last month, due mainly to falls in orders for offshore plants and mega cargo ships, industry data showed Thursday.
South Korean shipyards obtained new orders totaling 294,167 compensated gross tons (CGTs) in April, down 84.8% compared with the same period of last year, according to the data by global market researcher Clarkson Research Services.
The number accounts for 13% of the total global ship orders, according to South Korea’s (Yonhap) News Agency.
Chinese shipbuilders won orders totaling 1.10 million CGTs in April, accounting for 48.8% of the global total, and Japanese shipbuilders clinched orders amounting to 604,664 CGTs, taking up 26.7% of the total.
CGT, an indicator of the amount of work needed to build a given ship, is used as a tool to compare inter-country shipbuilding output. It is a generally used measure for the volume of orders received.
April was the second consecutive month that local shipbuilders were overtaken by Chinese competitors. The last time they were outperformed by Japanese rivals on monthly basis was in January last year.
In the first four months, Korean shipbuilders won a combined 4.44 million CGTs, down 17% from a year ago, ranking them third in new orders among global shipbuilders.
During the same period, Chinese shipbuilders obtained a combined 6.03 million CGTs, ranking No. 1 in new orders, followed by Japanese shipbuilders with 2.19 million CGTs.
Industry watchers blamed a fall in orders for large cargo ships and offshore plants, sector in which South Korean shipbuilders are mostly competitive.