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Korea Loses First Place to China in Shipbuilding Order Receipts in January
Volume of New Shipbuilding Orders Drops
Korea Loses First Place to China in Shipbuilding Order Receipts in January
  • By Michael Herh
  • February 11, 2020, 11:43
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China took first place in new shipbuilding order receipts in January 2020.

The Korean shipbuilding industry lost its number one position to China in new order receipts in the first month of 2020.

In January, global shipbuilding orders totaled 750,000 CGTs (33 units), said Clarkson Research, a U.K. shipbuilding and shipping market analyst, on Feb. 10. China came in first with 510,000 CGTs (22 units) and Korea second with 40,000 CGTs (one unit). Japan did not win one single order.


Ship orders in January 2020 are about a quarter of those in 2019 (2.8 million CGTs). By ship type, small and medium-sized tankers and bulk carriers, mostly built by Chinese and European shipyards, accounted for most of the new orders. There were no large LNG carriers or container ship orders, a specialty of Korean shipyards. The four petrochemicals carriers (PCs) won by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard on Jan. 21 are scheduled to be built at Hyundai-Vietnam Shipbuilding, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard’s joint venture with Vietnam's state-owned shipyard, so they were not counted.

As of end-January, the global order backlog stood at 75.6 million CGTs, down 3 percent from the previous month. By country, China ranked first with 26.32 million CGTs (35 percent), followed by Korea with 22.03 million CGTs (29 percent), and Japan with 11.32 million CGTs (15 percent). Compared with the same period last year, China and Japan recorded a decrease of 14 percent (-421.000 million CGTs) and 32 percent (-5.36 million CGTs), respectively, while Korea showed a slight increase of 100,000 CGTs.

The Clarkson Newbuilding Price Index in January was 130 points, unchanged from December 2019. All ship prices remained unchanged, with an LNG carrier costing US$186 million, an ultra-large container ship US$146 million, and a VLCC US$92 million.