By Nam Kwang-sik
SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shipbuilders outpaced their Chinese rivals to regain the top spot in global new orders of ships in May, industry data showed Thursday.
South Korea lost their No. 1 ranking to China in April, nine months after grabbing the top ranking in July 2020.
South Korean shipbuilders led by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. obtained new orders of 40 ships, or 1.42 million compensated gross tons (CGTs), beating their Chinese rivals with 37 ships, or 880,000 CGTs, according to the order book data provided by global market researcher Clarkson Research Service.
Chinese rivals were followed by Japan's shipbuilders, which won orders for five ships, or 110,000 CGTs.
Of the 89 ships, or 2.42 million CGTs, ordered across the globe in May, South Korean shipbuilders took up 59 percent and Chinese shipbuilders accounted for 36 percent.
During the five-month period, South Korean shipbuilders bagged orders for 212 ships, or 8.32 million CGTs, with Chinese shipbuilders winning orders for 321 ships, or 8.92 million CGTs.
South Korean shipbuilders' new orders rose nearly sevenfold on-year to 1.09 million CGTs in the period between January and May, which marked the highest level in 13 years after they reached 9.67 million CGTs in the first five months of 2008.
In particular, South Korean shipbuilders won orders for 31 ships propelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG), taking up 46 percent of 67 LNG-powered ships ordered this year.
Of the 48 ships powered by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), 36 were obtained by South Korean shipbuilders.
Global order backlogs dropped by 710,000 CGTs, or 1 percent, to 77.38 million CGTs in May from April.
Chinese shipbuilders' order backlogs reached 29.85 million CGTs, or 39 percent of the total, followed by South Korean shipbuilders with 24.4 million CGTs and Japanese shipbuilders with 8.32 million CGTs.
Clarkson's Newbuilding Price Index, indicating price changes in newly built ships, came to 136.1 points in May, the highest level since it touched 137.8 points in December 2014.
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