Korean Shipbuilders Take Top 4 Spots in World Shipbuilding Market


In 2023, Korea lost the top spot to China in global shipbuilding orders for three years in a row but it maintained its pride by holding the first through fourth positions in terms of order backlog (shares) by shipyard. Although the nation lost in shipbuilding order quantity, it fared well in terms of shipbuilding order quality by increasing its share of the orders for high-value-added ships such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, experts say.

Korean shipyards claimed all of the first through fourth positions in the global shipbuilding market as of the end of November 2023, according to Clarkson Research, a U.K.-based shipbuilding and shipping market analysis organization on Jan. 1.

Samsung Heavy Industries came in first with 145 ships and 10.56 million compensated gross tons (CGT), accounting for 8.5 percent of the total global shipbuilding orders. HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) followed with a share of 8.1 percent (157 ships and 10.09 million CGT).

In third and fourth place were Hanwha Ocean and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries. They posted shares of 6.5 percent (8.14 million CGT) and 5.1 percent (6.347 million CGT), respectively.

The fifth through ninth spots were all claimed by Chinese shipyards. Hudong-Zhonghua had the highest share among Chinese shipyards at 3.6 percent, followed by Jiangnan Shipbuilding at 2.9 percent. New Times Shipbuilding (2.6 percent), Shanghai Waigaoqiao (2.3 percent), and Yangzi Xinfu (2.2 percent) also entered the top 10 club. Rounding out the top 10 was HD Hyundai Group’s Hyundai Mipo Shipyard.

Compared to a year ago, the gap widened between the fourth- and fifth-ranked companies. In November 2022, Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries stood fourth with 57.68 million CGT and Hudong-Zhonghua fifth with 52.72 million CGT, but this year their gap grew to nearly 20 million CGT. The first through fourth places are expected to remain unchanged even when December shipbuilding orders, which will be tallied in early January, are added.

In 2023, Korea’s shipbuilders lost the top spot to China in global shipbuilding orders for the third consecutive year, with their orders down 18.7 percent from 2022. Korean shipbuilders won 24 percent of all the world’s orders last year, far behind China, which posted 59 percent.

Samsung Heavy Industries and Hanwha Ocean also failed to meet their order targets set at the beginning of 2023. Samsung Heavy Industries won US$6.8 billion, 72 percent of its US$9.5 billion target while Hanwha Ocean only US$4 billion, 57.3 percent of its US$6.98 billion target.

Instead, the market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers considered high-value vessels was dominated by Korean shipbuilders. Out of a total of 5.54 million CGT, Korea’s share reached 80 percent, compared to China’s 20 percent.

Note: Article by Michael Herh - Businesskorea (https://www.businesskorea.co.kr)

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