Who is Shipbuilding Leader – South Korea or China?



With the emergence of ‘LNG as fuel’ and ‘Ultra Large’ container ships – there is always a great challenge for the shipyards to secure more shipbuilding orders to sustain in the business.

South Korea – the World shipbuilding leader faces a tough competition from the increasingly confident Chinese yards. Korea Herald reports that the South Korean shipbuilders failed to strike a single deal selling OSVs (Offshore Support Vessels) in January-April period. Around three quarters of the OSVs sold worldwide during the period were sold by Chinese shipbuilders.

OSV’s Sales (Worldwide):


According to Clarksons Research:

  1. China’s OSV order book jumped nearly fivefold over the last five years
  2. It accounts for almost 50% of the total global market.

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However, the Financial Times reports that the demand for tankers and ultra-large container ships is helping South Korean yards cope during the current shipbuilding slump. It is to be noted that Maersk signed a $1.8 billion order with Daewoo Shipbuilding this month.

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Tankers and container ships are a key market for South Korean shipbuilders. Chinese shipyards, by contrast, are struggling with slowing demand for dry bulk carriers, their flagship product, says the Financial Times.

As a result, South Korean shipyards have recaptured lead in new orders, with a market share of 41 percent, compared with Japan’s 28.9 per cent and China’s 24 per cent, according to Clarksons.

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