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Korean Shipbuilders Reclaim Top Spot from China in February

Posted on March 11, 2024

Korean shipbuilders overtook China in terms of ship order intake in February to take the number one spot in the global market.

According to Clarkson Research, a British shipbuilding and shipping market analysis firm, global ship orders totaled 3.4 million CGT (100 ships) in February, of which Korea won 1.71 million CGT (28 ships). An order rally by Korea’s three major shipbuilders continued in the global shipbuilding market, too.

Amid rising ship prices, HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) recently won orders for four liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, two automobile carriers, two mammoth-sized crude carriers, two medium-sized liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers, and four petrochemical carriers. The total order value of these vessels alone is worth 2.7218 trillion won (US$2.0535 billion).

Samsung Heavy Industries focused on landing more profitable orders, winning a US$3.5 billion order for 15 173,000-cubic-meter LNG carriers on Feb. 6 and an order for a shuttle tanker from Qatar on March 4.

Earlier, Hanwha Ocean also won orders for two very large crude carriers (VLCCs) and two very large ammonia carriers. The orders totaled about US$510 million for two months. The two very large crude carriers hit the highest order amount in 16 years.

Industry insiders expects that the three major Korea shipbuilders will enjoy a boom in new orders as shipping companies seek to replace superannuated vessels and face tougher environmental regulations.

A steady rise in ship prices is also expected to boost the three major Korea shipbuilders’ profitability. In fact, Clarkson Research’s New Shipbuilding Index recorded 181.45 points, up 11.0 points from the same month of 2023.

LNG carrier orders which were mainly targeted by Korean shipbuilders rose 6 percent year on year to US$265 million while the prices of VLCCs and ultra-large container ships rose 6.6 percent and 10.2 percent, respectively. This means that the green light is given to Korean shipbuilders in attaining their business goals for 2024.


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