South Korea is sure to lose its status as the world's leading shipbuilder to China this year as it lags far behind the neighboring country in key indicators, industry sources said Sunday.
According to London-based market researcher Clarkson Research, South Korea completed shipbuilding of 13.36 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) in the first 10 months of this year, or 31.8 percent of the global total.
In contrast, China's shipbuilding volume reached 14.81 million CGTs, 35.3 percent of the world's total ships completed and delivered during the January-October period.
South Korean shipbuilders won a combined 9.81 million CGTs in new orders during the period, 37.9 percent of the world's total, while Chinese shipbuilders clinched a total of 11.71 million CTGs, or 45.3 percent.
As of Nov. 1, South Korean shipyards' order backlogs came to 45.39 million CGTS, far lower than 51.67 million CGTs for Chinese shipbuilders, according to Clarkson.
"In light of the current pace, China is sure to overtake South Korea and emerge as the world's largest shipbuilding country this year," an industry source said.
In 2003, South Korea became the world's top shipbuilding nation by outstripping Japan in the three key categories -- shipbuilding volume, order backlogs and new orders.