August 7, 2007
Korean yards book orders worth $33.2 billion
Korean shipbuilders secured a record $33.2 billion worth of orders in the first half of this year, buoyed by a surge in global demand for new vessels, a government report said Tuesday (Aug. 7).
The figure represents a 51.3 percent gain from the same period in 2006 and translates into 11.32 million compensated gross tons (CGT), up 38.2 percent, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said. The orders are equivalent to 364 vessels, it said.
The report said the surge was helped by the local shipyards winning orders for all 13 LNG ships ordered worldwide until June.
The rise in cost per ship also contributed to the size of orders, the ministry said.
Local yards received $2,933 for each CGT of shipping contracted in the first half of the year, compared to $2,284 a year earlier.
The companies also achieved a 12.1 percent increase in building capacity through the use of floating docks, construction on land and other innovative methods, the ministry said. The gain in capacity allowed 182 ships totaling 5.57 million CGTs to be built in the first half of the year.
Korea has been building more than 2 million CGTs worth of ships every quarter since the January-March period in 2004.
The ministry's latest findings showed that Korean yards had backlogged orders for 1,346 ships or 43.81 million CGTs, enough to keep the yards building ships for four years.
The backlogged orders, worth $121.6 billion, were 14.3 percent higher than in the first half of last year, the report said.
Korean yards are also setting export records, government figures released yesterday showed exports topping $16.5 billion as of last month, a 33.4 percent increase on the same seven-month period in 2006.
High prices for vessels such as LNG ships tankers and drill ships, are expected to push up this year's Korean shipyard exports to $28.2 billion, a 28 percent gain from the record $22.1 billion last year.