Korean Shipbuilders Highly Likely to Sweep Half of World’s Orders
Korean shipbuilders are highly likely to reclaim the top spot in the world in terms of annual shipbuilding order receipt in seven years, beating Chinese shipbuilders.
Korean shipbuilders have sweeped about half of the world’s shipbuilding orders placed so far this year.
According to Clarkson Research, a shipbuilding market research company in the U.K., on Nov. 6, global shipbuilding orders from January to October in 2018 totaled 23.05 million CGTs, more than double the volume recorded during the same period in 2016.
Korean shipbuilders ranked first in the world, winning orders for 10.26 million CGTs, or 45% of the total. Chinese shipbuilders came in second with 7.1 million CGTs (31%). The order gap between the two is so wide that it is virtually impossible for Chinese shipbuilders to catch up with their Korean counterparts this year, according to shipbuilding industry experts.
Korean shipbuilders already surpassed the 10 million CGTs mark in September, the first time in three years since 2015. China has been the world’s number one in terms of annual order receipts for six consecutive years since 2012.
In October, global shipbuilding orders amounted to 730,000 CGTs (28 vessels). By country, China accounted for 44% by landing orders for 18 vessels (320,000 CGTs), followed by Korea with 31% (220,000 CGTs) and Italy 16% (120,000 CGTs).
The shipbuilding market showed a clear recovery. Cumulative orders from January to October stood at 10.99 million CGTs in 2016, 20.49 million CGTs in 2017 and 23.05 million CGTs in 2018.
However, shipbuilders’ earnings are still sluggish. Samsung Heavy Industries suffered a loss for the fourth consecutive quarter by posting 127.3 billion won in operating loss in the third quarter. Hyundai Heavy Industries recorded a slight surplus in the third quarter but suffered a loss of 304.6 billion won in its shipbuilding business. The company is likely to go into the red in the fourth quarter.