Seoul - South Korean shipbuilders came in first worldwide in total new orders last month, outpacing Chinese rivals, industry data reported by Yonhap news agency show.
According to the data compiled by industry tracker Clarkson Research Institute, local shipyards garnered new orders totaling 630,000 compensated gross tons (CGTs) in February to build eight ships.
Chinese shipbuilders took the second spot with 20,000 CGTs to build one vessel. Japanese firms came in third with 10,000 CGTs for one ship. In the first two months of the year, Chinese shipbuilders racked up orders totaling 1.24 million CGTs, followed by South Korean firms with 1.21 million CGTs and Italian shipyards with 240,000 CGTs, the data showed.
But China topped the list of order backlogs with 29.13 million CGTs, followed by South Korea with 21.75 million CGTs and Japan with 14.52 million CGTs. In 2018, South Korean shipyards, for the first time in seven years, ranked No. 1 in terms of annual orders secured. Increased orders for LNG carriers helped Korean shipbuilders retake the top spot in the global hierarchy. South Korea lost its No. 1 position to China in 2012 and was second up to 2017.