China and South Korea are competing fiercely to gain a larger share of the shipbuilding industry, which is considered critical for China’s industrial growth and technological advancement, as reported by SCMP.
Advanced LNG tankers
Despite China’s progress in producing advanced LNG tankers, experts believe it will take years before it can rival South Korea’s dominance in the sector. However, there is growing talk of potential cooperation between the two nations’ shipbuilding industries, which could have positive effects on the global industry as a whole.
“There is almost no technological gap [between South Korea and China] in terms of bulk carriers or container ships,” said Woo Jong-hun, a professor of naval architecture and ocean engineering at Seoul National University (SNU). But there are numerous distinctions between ships like LNG carriers.
South Korea’s technological advancements
In March, global orders for shipping vessels increased by 3% from February, with 79 orders totalling 2.44 million compensated gross tonnage (CGT), but this marked a 49% decline from March 2022, according to data from Clarkson Research. China had the largest market share at 39% with 950,000 CGT, while South Korea ranked second with a 33% market share and 800,000 CGT. However, in the first quarter of 2022, South Korea led the global market with 3.12 million CGT and a 44% market share, despite only receiving orders for 65 vessels, compared to China’s 110 vessels and 2.59 million CGT, accounting for 37% of the market.
The discrepancy in order volume between the two nations is a result of South Korea’s considerable technological advantage in shipbuilding.
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