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Smaller Shipyards' Orders Hit 3-Year High in Q1

South Korean small and medium-sized shipbuilders clinched record orders in the first quarter of the year in three years, as demand for mid-sized tanker ships increased, data showed on Monday.

According to Export-Import Bank of Korea, SPP Shipbuilding Co., Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., and six other small and medium-sized shipyards won a combined 601,000 compensated gross ton (CGTs) in the January-March period, the biggest since the first quarter of 2011 when the comparable figure was 764,000 tons.

Their combined orders accounted for 23.4 percent of 2.56 million CGTs in total won by local shipbuilders, including industry leader Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and other bigger rivals, the data showed.

The smaller shipyards' orders reached 24,000 CGTs in the first quarter of 2012, 30,000 CGTs in the fourth quarter of last year, the data showed.

Their combined order backlog reached 3.19 million CGTs in the first quarter,up 0.5 percent from the previous quarter, the data showed. The first-quarter order backlog keeps them busy for around 14 months.

"It is too early to say that their business performance is set to recover," said Yang Jong-seo, a researcher at Export-Import Bank of Korea.

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Source: Yonhap News (Apr. 29, 2013)
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