On the other hand, Chinese shipbuilding companies came first, with 1.08 million CGTs to build 57 vessels, Yonhap news agency reports. Japan came third with 13.69 million CGTs.

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During January, the total global orders amounted at 2.14 million CGTs, far below 2018's 3.58 million CGTs and the monthly average of 2.48 million CGTs.

Last year, South Korean shipyards ranked first for the first time in seven years, in terms of annual orders secured. Increased orders for LNG carriers assisted Korean shipbuilders take the top spot once again worldwide.

South Korea had lost its number 1 position to China in 2012 and was second until 2017.