South Korea tops vessel orders

South Korea tops vessel orders

South Korean shipbuilders led the global market with orders totaling 5.6 million compensated gross tons (CGTs), in the first quarter, according to data from market analysts.

Rival Japan trailed with orders of 1.7 million CGTs for the same period.

South Korea, home to the world's largest shipbuilders, posted a 29 percent jump in orders over the same period a year ago while Japan saw orders fall by 50 percent, reported the Korea Times, citing leading brokers Clarkson and Lloyds.

The two Asian competitors have traded the top spot off and on since 1999, when South Korea ended Japan's dominance as the world's leading builder. South Korea shipyards took in record orders in 2003.

The report said the European Union boosted first-quarter orders by 80 percent to 2.3 million CGTs. China, which has plans to expand its share of the global market, saw orders fall by 33 percent to 1 million CGTs.

Of the total 10.9 million CGTs in first-quarter orders, the leading builders were South Korea, with a 51 percent share of the global market, followed by the EU, 21 percent, Japan, 16 percent, and China, 9 percent.