China overtakes SKorea as world''s top shipbuilder in 2010

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Seoul, Jan 13 (Yonhap) For the second straight year Chinahas emerged as the world''s leading shipbuilding nation and isway ahead of SKorea which has come a distant second, datashowed.

According to London-based market researcher ClarksonResearch, South Korean shipbuilders won a combined 11.77million compensated gross tons (CGTs) in new orders last year,while Chinese shipbuilders clinched a total of 15.9 millionCTGs.

But in terms of order value, South Korean shipbuildersoutpaced Chinese rivals.

South Korean shipbuilders won deals valued at a combinedUSD 30.61 billion last year, higher than the comparable figureof USD 28.29 billion for Chinese shipyards, the researchinstitute said.

South Korean shipyards'' order backlogs came to 44.88million CGTS, far lower than 52.72 million CGTs for Chineseshipbuilders, according to Clarkson.

"For the year, South Korean shipyards are expected to winmore orders for large-scale container vessels and offshorefacilities in line with economic recovery, which will helpnarrow gaps with Chinese rivals," said an official at HyundaiHeavy Industries Co, South Korea''s leading shipbuilder.

In 2003, South Korea became the world''s top shipbuildingnation by outstripping Japan in three key categories --shipbuilding volume, order backlogs and new orders.

But Chinese rivals outpaced South Korean shipyards in thenumber of new orders received and order backlogs in 2009 asChinese shipbuilders gobbled up new orders at cheap prices,while their South Korean counterparts have continued to focuson high-priced vessels and offshore facilities. (Yonhap)

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