Falling short of earlier expectations that a sudden rise in number of shipbuilding orders last year may push Korea into the top position in the global shipbuilding industry again, Korea failed to replace current leader Japan, according to recent industry data. Shipyards in Korea lagged behind those in Japan in terms of new ship orders.
According to statistics Korean shipyards received orders amounting to 9.75 million gross tons (GT) for 208 ships in 2002. Their Japanese competitors topped the global shipbuilding industry with a record of 12.94 million GT for 439 vessels. Japan's shipbuilders were also ahead in terms of compensated gross tons. In 1999 and 2000, Korea had more ship orders than Japan, but were second in 2001 and last year.