Korean shipbuilders have lowered their new order targets for this year compared to 2003, while opting to focus on more profitable vessels. As a result of an unprecedented boom last year most companies have already accepted orders that will keep them busy for the next three years. Given the current trend plus looming shortfalls in orders and profitability, the Korean shipbuilders have decided to concentrate on profitable vessels rather than increasing the number of new orders.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipbuilder, has set its revenue target from shipbuilding orders for this year at $9.35 billion, down 4.7 percent from last year's $9.81 billion. Its shipbuilding division targets $4.45 billion in new-ship orders, which is a whopping 34.5 percent drop from the $6.8 billion last year that was the largest figure in world shipbuilding history.
Samsung Heavy Industries, which replaced Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering as the world's No.2 shipbuilder last year with an order volume of more than $6 billion, has scaled down its revenue target for this year to $3.5 billion. Samsung's order target for offshore facilities surged more than 40 percent from $700 million to $1 billion, but its new ship order target of $2.5 billion represents a drop of more than 50 percent. Similarly, Hanjin Heavy Industries has cut its ship orders goal for 2004 to $700 million from last year's $1.5 billion. Daewoo Shipbuilding, however, slightly increased its new orders target from $4.23 billion to $4.28 billion. Daewoo raised its ship orders target 12 percent to $3.58 billion, although its estimate for offshore facilities fell 32 percent to $700 million.