Orders received by the Korean shipbuilding companies have been on a downward trend during the first quarter. According to the Korea Shipbuilders Association, the shipbuilding firms got orders for 55 vessels, equivalent to 1,700 compensated gross tons (CGT) from January through June. This figure represents a decrease of 32.6 percent from the same period last year when orders amounted to 74 vessels for 2,518 CGT. In terms of the shipbuilding volume, however, Korean shipyards have been enjoying boom, registering 54 ships for 1,852 CGT, up 24.1 percent from a year earlier.
Remaining orders for the Korean shipbuilders stood at 504 vessels for 16,270 CGT, an increase of 21.1 percent year-on-year, which means that the companies have secured operational volume enough for the coming two and a half years. Regarding the reason behind the relatively modest receipt of orders, an association official cited the record prospering business performance last year rather than the failure in receiving new orders briskly for the year. The domestic shipbuilders have also begun to focus on profits and added value rather than sticking to quantity.
In the meantime, Japanese shipbuilders received orders for 90 vessels for 3.86 million gross tons in the first quarter, up 46.6 percent from a year earlier. The rise in Japanese yards' orders is attributed to the lack of shipbuilding docks for Korean companies, which prodded customers to turn to the Japanese companies for new vessels.