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South Korea regains 'top shipbuilder' crown

Seoul: South Korea overtook China to regain its status as the world's top shipbuilder in the first four months of this year thanks to a rise in demand from European shipping lines, writes AFP quoting a government statement.

The knowledge economy ministry said orders won by local shipbuilders, such as Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, totalled 2.4m compensated gross tons (CGT) in January-April -- 43.6% of orders placed worldwide.

The ministry said this was 500,000 CGT more than runner-up China, which secured 1.90m or 34.5% of the total. Japan and European countries won orders for 200,000 CGT.

South Korea was the world's top shipbuilder from 2003-2008 but lost the title to China last year.

A ministry spokesman said there had been a drop in orders from Chinese yards by the country's shipping companies, but a sharp rise in orders from European lines for the South's ships.  [29/06/10]

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