It has been found that the prices of used South Korean ships are much higher than those of used Chinese ships as the quality of the latter tends to deteriorate more rapidly than that of the former.
According to industry sources, an 180,000-ton bulk carrier Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering built in 2008 was sold at about US$30 million late last year while a Chinese bulk carrier with the same capacity and of the same age was sold at approximately US$16 million late last year. Likewise, an 180,000-ton bulk carrier Daehan Shipbuilding built in 2010 was sold at US$27 million in 2015 whereas a similar one previously built by a Chinese company was sold at US$19 million two years ago. These differences in price can be attributed to the fact that Chinese shipbuilders began to build bulk carriers in 2008.
The other types of used ships are showing this trend, too. For example, a very large crude carrier (VLCC) supplied by Jinhai Heavy Industry last year was recently sold at US$60 million while a one-year-old VLCC from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries was sold at a price of US$81 million.
In some cases, older used ships from South Korean shipbuilders are more expensive. For instance, Hyundai Heavy Industries sold one of its six-year-old VLCCs at US$75 million last year and Dalian Shipyard sold one of its four-year-old VLCCs at US$67.3 million last year.
In the meantime, the Clarkson index related to the prices of used ships recently rebounded to 88 after falling from 157 to 75 between 2010 and late last year. The index, which has the prices of used ships as of January 2000 as its reference value fixed at 100, shows the average price of such ships.