SEOUL-- South Korean shipbuilders won half of new global ship orders in the first quarter of the year to take the top spot in the world, industry data showed Wednesday.
Local shipyards, led by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., clinched 4.57 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) in new orders in the January-March period, or 50 percent of the global total at 9.2 million CGTs, according to data from global market researcher Clarkson Research Service.
It represents the first time in seven years that South Korean shipbuilders have ranked first in new global orders in the first half.
It also marks the first time since 1996, when Clarkson began data tracking, that their first-quarter global market share has reached 50 percent.
Chinese shipbuilders garnered 3.86 million CGTs in the three-month period, taking up 42 percent of the world total.
In March alone, South Korean shipbuilders obtained 1.64 million CGTs, or 51 percent of the global total at 3.23 million CGTs. Chinese firms came second with 1.36 million CGTs.
Global order backlogs stood at 94.71 million CGTs at the end of March, up 1.55 million CGTs from the previous month.
South Korea's order backlog expanded by 1.12 million CGTs over the cited period, with that for China growing by 610,000 CGTs. Japan's order backlog, however, fell by 240,000 CGTs.
Clarkson's Newbuilding Price Index, a barometer of price changes in newly built ships, stood at 156.17 in March, up 2 points from a month earlier and gaining for 16 months on end, according to the data.
Source: Yonhap News Agency