London: A stronger, government-prompted second half of the year has seen Chinese shipbuilders surpass their Korean rivals in compensated gross tons terms in the annual tit-for-tat race to be crowned top shipbuilding nation.
According to Clarkson data, Korean shipbuilders signed 5.67m cgt (181 vessels), totalling $24.57bn, of new orders in the first 10 months of the year, while the Chinese bagged 6.11m cgt (350) worth $12.84bn.
The gap has widened as the year has worn on. For instance, in October, Korean yards only managed six ship orders worth $1.78bn and equating to 0.19m cgt while the Chinese booked much more – 36 ships equating to 0.54m cgt worth $1.44bn.
However, the Koreans’ dogged pursuit of higher value ships, offshore contracts and gas-related infrastructure has paid off, because despite the smallness in cgt terms, Korean orders in the first ten months are worth more than twice the orders the Chinese have taken.
However, both nations are struggling in the downturn. Korean and Chinese shipbuilders' overall new orders declined by 56% and 34% each year-on-year, in cgt terms, during the first ten months. [12/11/12]