Korea's shipbuilding industry has secured 45 percent of the world's ship orders commissioned in the first half of this year.
Although the total order volume shrank to a half from the same period last year, the Korean shipbuilders could retain their top position by maintaining almost the same market share as before.
According to data provided by Clarksons, Britain's shipping and shipbuilding industry research outfit, the world's first-half volume of vessel orders was 13.29 million compensated gross tons (CGT). This is less than a half of what it was a year ago when the figure was 26.99 million CGT.
During the same period, Korea's shipbuilders took in 5.92 million CGT, almost the same level as last year's when the figure was 6.17 million CGT. In terms of half-year order booking volume, Korean shipbuilders handed over their top position to Chinese rivals for 18 months before retaking it in the second half of 2014.
The Chinese shipbuilding industry became the biggest victim of the industry downturn. In the first half of the year, the Chinese shipbuilders won 2.56 million CGT, down 78.4 percent from the same period a year ago when the figure was 11.86 million CGT. It was largely because of an abrupt fall in orders of bulk carriers for transporting iron ore, coal, and grain.
The first-half order booking volume for Japanese shipbuilders also fell by more than a half to 2.68 million CGT from 6.04 million CGT in the first half of 2014. Still, they managed to move up to No. 2 by overtaking Chinese competitors, the first time in 10 years in terms of half-year order figure.