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S. Korea to expand support for shipbuilders to cushion virus pandemic

All News 10:40 April 27, 2020

SEOUL, April 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Monday it will spare no efforts to help local shipbuilders amid growing concerns that new shipbuilding orders around the globe will fall down the road amid the new coronavirus pandemic and a decline in oil prices.

"While it is a relief that local shipbuilders currently have secured orders that will allow them to operate without significant disruptions for next one or two years, we cannot still sit idle," Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo said during a meeting with representatives from shipbuilders.

S. Korea to expand support for shipbuilders to cushion virus pandemic - 1

"If the COVID-19 pandemic lasts longer, leading to a more serious global economic slump, shipbuilders may face hurdles in securing new orders as observed in 2016," Sung added.

In terms of order backlog, South Korean shipbuilders have secured 21.1 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) as of March, ministry data showed.

The amount of new orders placed around the globe, however, plunged by a whopping 70 percent on-year in the first quarter of 2020 to 2.39 million CGTs, while South Korean firms securing 400,000 CGTs.

South Korea's exports of ships reached $20 billion in 2019, down 5.1 percent from a year earlier. Ships were the ninth-largest export good for Asia's No. 4 economy, accounting for nearly 4 percent of the overall outbound shipments.

colin@yna.co.kr
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