South Korea stays top shipbuilding nation

South Korea took the No. 1 ranking in the global shipbuilding industry in terms of new orders, order backlogs and the volume of vessels built in 2007, a London-based market researcher said Wednesday. According to Clarkson Plc., the nation’s shipbuilders such as Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. won a combined 32 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) in new orders last year, accounting for 40.4 percent of all global new orders.

Consequently, South Korea has maintained the top spot in terms of new orders since 2003. Chinese shipbuilders took the second spot with orders totaling 29.2 million CGTs last year, outpacing Japanese rivals which won a combined 6.5 million CGTs. Clarkson said South Korean shipbuilders’ combined order backlogs totaled 64.4 million CGTs, making up nearly 36.1 percent of 178.2 million CGTs in global backlogs. China followed with order backlogs of 52.4 million CGTs and Japan with 30.3 million CGTs. South Korean shipyards built one in every three newly-constructed vessels in the world last year, totaling 11.2 million CGTs, which accounts for 34 percent of the global total.