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Shipbuilders' order backlog hits over 13-year low

All Headlines 15:12 January 06, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- The order backlog held by South Korean shipyards fell to the lowest level in over 13 years in December amid a protracted slump in the global shipbuilding sector, industry data showed Friday.

According to the data compiled by global research firm Clarkson Research Services, the shipbuilding order backlog held by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and its other local rivals stood at 19.89 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) as of end-December, the lowest since June 2003, when the comparable figure was 19.14 million CGTs.

Chinese players held a combined 30.49 million CGTs order backlog at the end of last month, while Japanese rivals' order backlog reached 20 million CGTs, the data showed.

In December alone, the local shipyards clinched new orders worth 86,000 CGTs to build one vessel, the data showed.

The shipbuilding industry, once regarded as the backbone of the country's economic growth and job creation, has been reeling from mounting losses caused by an industrywide slump and increased costs.

The country's top three shipyards suffered a combined operating loss of 8.5 trillion won (US$7.4 billion) in 2015 due largely to increased costs stemming from a delay in the construction of offshore facilities and the industrywide slump, with Daewoo Shipbuilding alone posting a 5.5 trillion-won loss.

The shipbuilders have drawn up sweeping self-rescue programs worth some 11 trillion won in a desperate bid to overcome a protracted slump and mounting losses.

This photo dated June 8, 2016, shows Hyundai Heavy Industries Co.'s shipyard in Ulsan, South Gyeongsang Province. (Yonhap)

sam@yna.co.kr
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