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Monthly Infographic: Korean Shipbuilders

South Korea claims top spot in 2020 global shipbuilding orders

Feb 10, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

South Korean shipbuilders won the most shipbuilding orders worldwide in 2020, overtaking China and claiming the lead in the global shipbuilding industry. Korea accounted for 42.6% of the global orders – the highest figure in the past decade – despite a drop in orders due to the COVID-19 crisis. The impressive performance is owing to the Korean shipbuilding industry’s outstanding technology and quality.

South Korean shipbuilders won the most shipbuilding orders worldwide in 2020, overtaking China and claiming the lead in the global shipbuilding industry. Korea accounted for 42.6% of the global orders – the highest figure in the past decade – despite a drop in orders due to the COVID-19 crisis. The impressive performance is owing to the Korean shipbuilding industry’s outstanding technology and quality.

Source: Global market research firm Clarkson Research Service

Global shipbuilding order volume in 2020

Global shipbuilding order amount in 2020

Global shipbuilding order development and 2021 outlook
(Unit: 10,000 compensated gross tons, CGT)

Global shipbuilding orders have been declining since 2018, with orders dropping to 19.2 million CGT in 2020 from 29 million CGT in 2019. But Korea has fared well, with its domestic shipbuilding industry securing 100% of the global orders placed for 21 LNG carriers; 100% of the global orders placed for VLCCs; and 10 out of 16 orders placed for large container ships. According to Clarkson Research, global shipbuilding orders in 2021 may reach 23.8 million CGT, up by 23.7% from last year. Among the orders, LNG carriers and container vessels are likely to account for 3.2 million CGT and 6.3 million CGT, respectively.

Korea’s shipbuilding industry is set to improve via the adoption of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in 2022, and the Energy Efficiency from Existing Ships Index (EEXI) in 2023.

Shipbuilding orders must be in line with global environmental regulations, such as regulated greenhouse gas emissions. Due to this, efficiency and performance will become even more important, leading to increased orders for the Korean shipbuilding industry, according to a report issued by the Overseas Economic Research Institute of the Export-Import Bank of Korea.

The institute also stated that the European Parliament has voted to pass an amendment that includes the shipping industry in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. The regulation is set to take effect in January 2022 and will cover ships over 5,000 gross tonnage (GT) that call into ports in the European Economic Area. Also, increased fuel prices due to the International Maritime Organization’s regulations on sulfur oxide (SOx) in 2020, alongside the emission costs set to take place in 2022, may lead to a rise in early retired vessels.

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