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Back to No. 1! China's shipbuilding industry "narrowly beat" South Korea in terms of orders received for the year

Back to No. 1! China's shipbuilding industry "narrowly beat" South Korea in terms of orders received for the year

Column:Industry News    Date:2021/1/4 8:21:13    Viewed:


Faced with the fierce counterattack of South Korean shipping enterprises "a wave" at the end of last year, with the first half of the "times kill" South Korea's lead, China's shipbuilding industry was finally able to narrowly defeat South Korea, after two years to regain the throne of the world's first order intake.

Chinese shipbuilding companies narrowly beat South Korea in terms of order intake, regaining the world's first place after two years

According to VesselsValue, a global ship data provider and ship valuation service provider, on Jan. 1, South Korea and China will account for 39% and 40% of the global share of new ship orders in terms of corrected gross tons (CGT) in 2020. In the fierce competition for the first place in the world in terms of new ship orders received, China narrowly won and returned to the first place in the world after two years, while South Korea lost. While the market share of South Korea and China continued to rise, Japan's market share continued to decline, gaining only about 10% share and ranking third.

VesselsValue said that the total number of new ship orders received globally in 2020 is 16.37 million CGT, which is about 35% less than in 2019. This is because the global shipbuilding market has not only been affected by factors such as the intensifying new international maritime environmental regulations and the trade dispute between China and the U.S., but has also been hit by the outbreak of the New Crown pneumonia outbreak and its global spread as the biggest variable, causing the market to sink further.

At the same time, according to Clarkson's latest statistics as of January 2, 2021, Chinese shipbuilders accounted for 44.5% of the global market share of new orders in 2020, while South Korean shipbuilders received 37.6% of the orders, Chinese shipbuilders are still ahead by a large margin. However, considering that Clarkson data are often adjusted, the final data will change, but it is unlikely that Korean shipbuilders will overtake.

In 2020, according to vessel types, new ship orders for bulk carriers, tankers, container and LNG vessels, LPG vessels, car carriers and other vessel types as a whole decreased compared to the previous year. Among them, South Korea still performs strongly in the field of LNG carriers, oil tankers and LPG carriers.


According to statistics, China's new ship order book in terms of CGT surpassed and led South Korea for seven consecutive years back in 2011, but was overtaken by South Korea again in 2018 and 2019.

According to the data released by Clarkson, the global new ship orders for the whole year of 2018 totaled 28.92 million CGT, up 5.2% compared with 2017. Among them, South Korea received orders totaling 12.36 million CGT, accounting for 42.7%, significantly ahead of China to take the world's first crown; China received orders of 9.31 million CGT, accounting for 32.2%, ranking second in the world; Japan received orders ranking third in the world, totaling 3.69 million CGT, accounting for 12.8%.

The global new ship orders for the whole year of 2019 amounted to 25.29 million CGT, a decrease of 12.5% compared with 2018. Among them, South Korea took orders totaling 9.43 million CGT, accounting for 37.3% of the total global new ship orders, ranking first; the second ranking took orders of 8.55 million CGT, accounting for a global share of about 33.8%; and Japan ranked third, taking orders of 3.28 million CGT, accounting for a global share of about 13.0%.

VesselsValue said that the global shipping shipbuilding market bottomed out in 2020 due to the impact of the New Crown Pneumonia epidemic, but the situation is expected to recover in 2021 compared to 2020, so there are expectations for an increase in the volume of new ship orders.

VesselsValue noted that in 2021, the global newbuilding market is expected to show signs of recovery as the container ship market recovers and the ordering of previously delayed LNG vessels begins to advance, coupled with rising demand for bookings arising from the decline in newbuilding prices for bulk carriers and tankers.

Although the Korean shipbuilding industry lost out to China in terms of new ship orders in 2020, Korean shipbuilders still ranked high and performed well in terms of the number of orders received by individual shipbuilders," said Hongfan Park, president of VesselsValue Korea. Among them, the country that ordered the most new ships in South Korean shipyards is Greece."

The first half of the year, China took a significant lead in the volume of orders received, the second half of the year, South Korea grabbed orders to narrow the gap

Since 2020, the global shipbuilding industry as a whole has remained in the doldrums due to the dual impact of market uncertainty and the epidemic. In the first half of the year, Korea's shipbuilding industry lagged far behind China in terms of order intake, with Chinese shipbuilders receiving a total of 3.51 million CGT, while Korea only received 1.18 million CGT, less than half of China's.

However, since the second half of the year, with the rich experience and strong technical capability accumulated in the field of ship design and construction, coupled with the "price war", the Korean shipbuilding industry has gradually reversed the declining trend of order intake since the beginning of the year, and has been narrowing the gap between the order intake and Chinese shipbuilders.

In the five-month period from July to November, Korean shipbuilders exceeded China for five consecutive months to become the world's number one shipbuilder, and the cumulative order intake in the second half of the year increased by 186% compared with the first half, while the order intake of Chinese shipbuilders in the second half of the year dropped by 35% compared with the first half. ranked first in the world; South Korea accumulated 137 new orders with a total of 5.02 million CGT, accounting for 35% of the global share and ranking second, narrowing the gap with China to 11% from 39% at the end of June.


Since December last year, especially in late December, South Korea's three major shipbuilders launched the final sprint, won a large number of LNG ships, large container ships, LPG ships and other large shipbuilding contracts, almost to overtake China later. From Dec. 22 to Dec. 24, the three major Korean shipbuilders took at least 1.5 million CGT of new ship orders, including a total of 17 LNG ship orders, while Chinese shipbuilders received zero orders for LNG ships.

South Korean industry insiders pointed out that the reason why the three major shipbuilders were able to maintain strong performance in the second half of this year is that the three shipyards almost monopolized the global LNG ship, VLCC and other high value-added ship orders. Among them, this year, the global LNG ship orders total 63 new ships, of which the three major Korean shipbuilders received 46, accounting for 73%, including 21 Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, Samsung Heavy Industries 16 and Daewoo Shipbuilding 9, in the global total of 63 LNG ship orders accounted for 73%, while China's LNG ship orders received only 5.

In addition, this year, the global total of 42 new VLCC orders, South Korean shipping companies received 34, accounting for 81%, including 27 of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group and Daewoo Shipbuilding 7, while Chinese shipping companies VLCC orders for only 5, Japan only 1. With increasingly stringent environmental regulations, the demand for LNG-powered VLCCs continues to increase, and the Korean shipbuilding industry sees this as an important opportunity. About 20% of the VLCCs currently in operation are older vessels over 15 years old, and the demand for VLCC fleet renewal is increasing. Daewoo Shipbuilding recently signed a letter of intent with a European shipowner for 10 LNG-powered VLCCs, with a total value of more than $1 billion.

Looking ahead to next year, South Korean shipbuilding industry sources predict that, unlike last year, which relied only on LNG ships, orders for container ships and oil tankers are also increasing, and the global newbuilding market will also usher in about 100 large container ship orders by the first half of next year, so the current wave of orders from South Korean shipbuilders is expected to continue into the first half of next year.

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