Big three shipbuilders fail to win orders in April

Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, and Samsung Heavy Industries won no ship orders last month as they contemplated mass layoffs.

Industry insiders on Sunday said the nation’s top three shipbuilders won only three vessel orders during the first four months of this year.

Hyundai Heavy won one order for an LPG transport ship in February and two petroleum carriers in March, while Samsung Heavy has had none since October.

Daewoo said it won orders in March for two tankers, but they are being built by Romanian subsidiary, Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries and brought to Korea after the subsidiary failed to deliver the ships on time. In effect Daewoo has not won any new orders either.

In their heyday the three shipbuilders used to win around 100 orders every quarter, but the load proved too much and they buckled.

The outlook for May remains bleak since the main reasons for the industry slump — low international oil prices and a global economic slowdown — are showing no signs of improving.

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