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Korean builders score heavily

Korean builders score heavily

Seoul: New orders secured in the first half of this year by Korean shipbuilders leaped 33.4% to 9.61m compensated gross tonnes over the equivalent period last year.

Orders for all ship types except container ships surged says the Korea Shipbuilders' Association, with orders for LNG carriers particularly strong at 29 against 23 vessels in the whole of last year. Tanker orders dominated first half activity with 123 orders totalling 3.7m cgt compared with 74 vessels totalling 1.88m cgt in the first half of last year. In last year's first half container ships dominated the order book with131 vessels totalling 4.4m cgt accounting for 61% of the new orders. This year has been much quieter with 50 container ships ordered totalling 2.1m cgt but the KSA reports a surge in orders towards the end of the period. No orders for bulk carriers have been taken in the last eighteen months. Ship completions also rose in the period - by 17.5% to 5.74m cgt - with container ship and LNG carrier completions up 74% and 59% respectively but tankers down 25%.

At the end of June, the order backlog was over 1,000 ships totalling 40m cgt- up 12% in cgt terms over the position at end-June 2005. Some 425 of those vessels are tankers, 407 container ships and 103 LNG carriers. Meanwhile, the Japan Ship Exporters' Association reports 305 export ordersin the first seven months of this year totalling 13.345m gross tonnes (6.6mcgt). In sharp contrast to the picture in Korea, bulk carriers predominate with 187 orders totalling 7.38m gt. Deliveries were 205 ships totalling9.97m gt or 4.85m cgt.

July brought in 28 export orders totalling 1.3m gt - in line with volumes the previous three months. (23/08/06).