South Korean shipbuilders won orders double those of Chinese counterparts last month. Korea ranked first by sweeping about half of all worldwide orders.
According to Clarkson Research which researches on the shipbuilding industry in the United Kingdom on August 14, a total of 52 vessels (2.01 million CGTs) were ordered worldwide in July. Korean shipbuilders took first place with 97,000 CGTs (22 vessels, 48%), which is about half of all orders. China received orders for 15 vessels (280,000 CGTs), placing second. This means that China won orders less than half of those of Korea. Japan came in third with 120,000 CGTs (six vessels).
Global shipbuilding orders recovered in July. Starting in January with 3.44 million CGTs, they declined to 1.45 million CGTs in June, but rose to more than two million CGTs in July. In July, the global order backlog swelled by 150,000 CGTs to 75.97 million CGTs from June. Total shipbuilding orders from January to July over the last three years are trending upwards. They stood at 8.44 million CGTs in 2016, to 140.6 million CGTs in 2017 and 151.9 million CGTs this year.
In orders in the January-July period of this year, Korea recorded a 42% share with 6.45 million CGTs (148 vessels), outclassing China with 5.01 million CGTs (234 vessels) and a 33% share and Japan with 1.59 million CGTs (64) and a 10% share.
New shipbuilding orders recovered but ship prices did not change significantly. In July, Clarkson's newbuilding index edged up to 128.4 points from 128.0 points in the previous month. The higher the index is than 100, the higher ship prices rise.
By vessel type, the price of a VLCC was US$89.5 million, up US$500,000 from the previous month. The price has been on the rise since it hit the lowest point of US$80 million in March of 2017.
The price of a container ship rose by US$1.5 million to US$113 million, recording a price hike for the seventh consecutive month. The price of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker stood at US$180 million, marking time for the sixth month. Korean shipbuilders excel at building LNG tankers. However, shipbuilding industry experts say that Korean shipbuilders can expect a rise in the price of an LNG tanker in the future as a Korean shipbuilder won an order for an LNG tanker for US$185 million.