South Korean shipbuilders defended No.1 position in the global order book for the third consecutive month in July, pushing their combined orders during seven months to a 13-year high.
According to British shipbuilding and marine industry tracker Clarkson Research Services on Wednesday, Korean shipyards brought home 45 percent or 1.81 million compensated gross tonnages (CGT) of the total 4.01 million CGTs in new global shipbuilding orders in July.
China was closely behind at 1.77 million CGTs or 44 percent with Japan coming in third with 400,000 CGTs or 10 percent.
From January to July, Korean shipbuilders bagged orders worth 12.76 million CGTs, the largest since 2008 when they had won 15.50 million CGTs for the first seven months.
Korean names are behind China that secured 13.48 million CGTs for Jan-July record, but they would be able to overtake China for the remainder of the year as orders for high value-added vessels like liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers are expected to go into full swing. They have already narrowed the gap with China by almost 2 percentage points from 8 percentage points in April.
Order backlog of Korean shipyards reached 26.87 million CGTs as of the end of July, extending the growth streak for five straight months. It grew 34 percent from the same period, the steepest gain among three Asian nations including China and Japan.
Clarkson Newbuilding Price Index, which shows price changes in newly built ships, came at 144.5 in the first week of August, surpassing 140 for the first time since September 2011.
Prices for container carriers rose at the sharpest pace to $138.5 million, up $8.5 million from last year. LNG vessel prices increased $5 million to $196 million, with very-large crude carriers (VLCC) prices up $3.5 million to $102 million.