South Korean shipbuilders topped the global order book in 2020 thanks to a flood of year-end orders.
According to Clarkson Research, a shipping industry tracker in Britain, on Tuesday, Korean shipyards won orders of 8.19 million compensated gross tonnage (CGT) for 187 vessels in 2020, accounting for 43 percent of total global orders for 19.24 million CGT for 738 vessels last year.
China came second with 7.93 million CGT for 353 ships, or 41 percent of global orders.
The global order book for new ships dropped 66 percent from 29.1 million CGT in 2019 to 19.24 million CGT last year, but Korean shipbuilders’ share reached the highest level in 10 years at 43 percent.
In December alone, Korean shipbuilders swept 73 percent of global orders by securing 2.85 million CGT for 42 ships out of total 3.92 million CGT for 86 vessels. It was followed by China with 1.01 million CGT for 39 ships and Croatia with 30,000 CGT for 1 ship.
The surge in demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers and very large crude carriers (VLCCs) in which Korean shipyards have competitive edge helped Korean shipyards grad more than half of their annual orders in November and December.
Local dockyards brought home orders to build 36 units of large-sized LNG carriers last month, 73 percent of 49 orders in total. They also accounted for 85 percent of new orders for VLCCs and 64 percent of S-Max crude tanker orders.
Their order backlog as of December increased 3 percent from the previous month.
The Global Newbuilding Price Index was126 points in December, up 1 point from November but down 4 points from 130 points in January last year.