Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

Chinese shipbuilders trumped their South Korean counterparts in 2020 as their annual shipbuilding orders narrowly exceeded Korean’s to regain the top spot after a gap of two years. Towards the end of the year, the two countries fought fiercely to receive maximum orders, after China lead in the first half of the year.  


In 2020, South Korea and China’s share in the global shipbuilding market stood at 39pc and 40pc, respectively, in terms of new ship orders, according to data provided by VesselsValue, a global ship data provider. The market share of South Korean and Chinese shipbuilders continued to rise as Japan lost share with only 10pc of the market at third place.


Global new ship orders in 2020 are expected to be 16.37mn CGT, 35pc lower than in 2019. New international maritime regulations, Sino-US trade frictions and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has declined new orders.


According to Clarkson’s data quoted by China Iron and Steel Association, Chinese companies’ new orders accounted for 44.5pc of the global market share, while Korean accounted for 37.6pc. The data points are yet to be fine tuned but Korean are unlikely to overtake.


Orders for bulk carriers, container, oil tankers, LNG ships, LPG ships and automobile carriers fell from the prior year. South Korea continued to be a strong performers in the LNG ships, oil tankers segment.


The global shipbuilding market has bottomed out in 2020 due to the pandemic but is expected to recover in 2021 thereby boosting new orders, said VesselsValue. 


Tough, Korean industry will lose in terms of the number of new ship orders, on the basis of number of orders received by a single yard, Korean shipbuilders still top the chart. The country that procures most new ships at Korea is Greece.

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