S. Korean shipbuilders’ order backlog hits 6-year high in April

SEOUL-- South Korean shipbuilders' order backlog touched a six-year high in April on the back of brisk orders from global shipping companies, industry data showed Tuesday.

Local shipyards had 32.68 million compensated gross tons (CGTs), or 688 ships, in unfulfilled orders as of the end of April, the largest tally since the same month six years earlier, according to global market researcher Clarkson Research Service.

In April, South Korean shipbuilders clinched 820,000 CGTs, or 16 ships, in new orders, the second-largest in the world. Chinese shipyards took the top spot with 1.54 million CGTs, or 45 vessels.

Global new ship orders stood at 2.51 million CGTs, or 71 ships, last month, down 36 percent from a year earlier.

In the first four months of the year, South Korean shipbuilding firms obtained 5.81 million CGTs in cumulative orders, which was up 11 percent from a year ago and accounted for 46 percent of the global total.

South Korean shipyards' per-vessel order price amounted to US$143 million in April, 66 percent higher than $86 million for their Chinese rivals, as they won most of the global orders for high-value added ships, like liquefied natural gas carriers.

Clarkson's Newbuilding Price Index, a barometer of price changes in newly built ships, came to 157.78 in April, up 1.6 points from a month earlier and having risen for 17 months on end, according to the data.

Source: Yonhap News Agency