South Korean shipyards, for the first time in seven years, ranked No. 1 in 2018 in terms of annual orders secured, industry data showed Tuesday.
According to the data compiled by global research firm Clarkson Research Institute, local shipbuilders clinched new orders totaling a combined 12.63 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) last year to account for 44.2 percent of 28.6 million CGTs for all global orders placed.
Chinese rivals came next with 9.15 million CGTs. Japanese shipyards bagged orders totaling 3.6 million CGTs.
In December alone, Korean shipbuilders clinched orders totaling 1.5 million CGTs, followed by Chinese rivals with 340,000 CGTs. Last month, a total of 1.87 million CGTs of new orders were placed around the globe, the data showed.
Increased orders for LNG carriers helped Korean shipbuilders retake the top spot in the global shipbuilding hierarchy.
South Korea lost its No. 1 position to China in 2012 and was second up untill 2017.
China, meanwhile, had the largest order backlog with 29.14 million CGTs, followed by South Korea and Japan with 20.9 million CGTs and 13.91 million CGTs, respectively, the latest data showed.