Vessel exports for the first nine months of the year are expected to hit a record high of $11.32 billion, a 26.8 percent increase from the same period last year, according to a report by the Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy. Exports in the shipbuilding industry have already exceeded 2003 figures, which stood at $11.1 billion, and are expected to reach $13.8 billion by the end of this year. This boom is attributed to the increased orders for value-added shipbuilding such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers.
The report predicted the industry would see a business boom for the next three years with demands for LNG vessels expected to maintain upward momentum thanks to worldwide LNG consumption affected by soaring crude oil prices.
Thanks to the LNG tankers boom, Korean shipbuilders obtained 39. 5 percent of global orders for new vessels for the first half of this year, widening the gap with Japan, the world’s second largest shipbuilder, which took 26.7 percent. China remained as the world's third-largest shipbuilder with a 10.3 percent market share in global shipbuilding orders in the same period.