By Nam Kwang-sik
SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shipbuilders lagged sharply behind their Chinese rivals in terms of new orders in September, losing the top position that they had maintained for the last four months.
Local shipbuilders led by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. grabbed a combined 910,000 compensated gross tons (CGTs) in new orders last month, accounting for 28 percent of 3.28 million CGTs of global orders, according to data provided by global market researcher Clarkson Research Service.
Chinese shipbuilders far outpaced Korean shipbuilders, winning 1.95 million CGTs in new orders, representing 60 percent of the total, with Japanese shipbuilders winning orders totaling 260,000 CGTs or 8 percent.
However, the average price of orders for ships obtained by Korean shipbuilders stood at US$170 million per ship, three times higher than that of orders for ships won by Chinese shipbuilders, which is worth $60 million per ship.
In the January-September period, new shipbuilding orders around the globe came to 37.54 million CGTs, up nearly threefold from 13.22 million CGTs a year ago.
The nine-month figure was far higher than 10.53 million CGTs in the same period of 2016, when the global shipbuilding industry was in a severe slump.
Orders for container carriers led the remarkable growth in the new orders during the period, growing over 16 times the amount from the same period a year ago.
Global order backlogs amounted to 87.63 million CGTs at the end of September.
South Korea's order backlog stood at 28.56 million CGTs, with China's coming to 35.37 million CGTs and Japan's 9.40 million CGTs.
Clarkson's Newbuilding Price Index, indicating price changes in newly built ships, rose to 149.1 in September, up three points from the previous month.
EU's probe suspension leaves S. Korean shipbuilders' biz combination in limbo
S. Korean companies go big on future of hydrogen
Theaters abuzz with return to pre-pandemic level
Kakao, Naver in neck-and-neck race for 3rd most valuable firm in S. Korea
(News Focus) Housing policy at risk of further losing credibility, public support