SOUTH KOREAN SHIPBUILDERS POST INCREASE IN FOREIGN ORDERS

SOUTH KOREAN SHIPBUILDERS POST INCREASE IN FOREIGN ORDERS

Foreign orders for South Korean shipbuilders during January were at 242,000 gross tons, the Trade and Industry Ministry reported Wednesday.

This was well above the 5,000 gross tons in January 1991, when foreign orders virtually dried up amid the Persian Gulf war.Daewoo Shipbuilding and Heavy Machinery Co. received an order for a 280,000-deadweight-ton crude carrier from French Provence Shipping Inc.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. won an order for a container ship with a capacity of 3,800 20-foot equivalent units on a bareboat-charter basis. The identity of the ship owner was not revealed.

Hanjin Heavy Industries Co. also received orders for two 44,000-dwt. crude carriers from Shipping Corp. of India.

At the end of January, South Korean shipbuilders' total backlogged orders stood at 7.909 million gross tons, valued at more than $7.7 billion, the ministry said.

South Korean shipbuilders' total 1991 orders were an annual record of 5.43 million gross tons, valued at more than $5.5 billion, up 23.9 percent

from the previous year in volume.

Ministry officials attributed the surge of 1991 orders to cooled labor disputes in South Korean shipyards and the recovering world shipbuilding market.