SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean shipbuilders are expected to take the top spot in new global shipbuilding orders for 2020 despite the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, industry sources said Tuesday.
Local shipyards’ new orders came to 7.98 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) as of Dec. 28 last year, ranking first worldwide, according to data provided by global market researcher Clarkson Research Service.
Chinese shipbuilders came in second with 6.73 million CGTs. Global new orders totaled 17.92 million CGTs.
The tally doesn’t include orders for 17 liquefied natural gas carriers, which were won by Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co. and Samsung Heavy Industries Co., the world’s top two shipyards.
The orders translate into some 1.45 million CGTs, which are strongly expected to make South Korea place first in global new ship orders for 2020.
South Korean shipbuilders are thus projected to retain the No. 1 spot in global new ship orders for the third consecutive year, industry watchers said.
Stung by the COVID-19 outbreak, South Korean shipyards had been struggling to clinch orders till June last year.
In the first half of 2020, Chinese shipbuilders won 3.51 million CGTs, far outpacing their South Korean rivals with 1.18 million CGTs.
Market analysts also offered a rosy outlook for South Korean shipbuilders for this year on pent-up demand and tougher environmental regulations.
A think tank affiliated with the Export-Import Bank of Korea projected South Korean shipyards to clinch new orders of 9.8 million CGTs this year, up 134 percent from last year.