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Shipbuilders’ success puts pressure on currency

The industry's excitement might mean anxiety for the local foreign exchange market Korea's shipbuilding industry took back its world leading position during the first half of the year, but there is one sector that might not feel so celebratory - the foreign exchange market.As shipbuilders hedge their recent boom, market watchers are wondering whether increased sales of forward exchange contracts will drive up short-term foreign debt as they have done in the past, while government officials played down concerns.Local shipbuilders locked down orders for 224 ships during the first half of this year, taking more than half the global market in terms of weight, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy."In 2011, we expect Korea's three leading shipbuilders to secure orders worth nearly the record level set in 2007 in terms of won," said Jeon Jae-cheon, an analyst at Daishin Securities.However, the industry's excitement might mean anxiety for the local foreign exchange market.It takes about two to three years between a shipbuilder getting an order and receiving final payment for a ship. Because the payments are made in foreign currency - usually dollars - if the dollar's value falls against the won in the meantime, the shipbuilder will earn less ...

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Korea announces plans to set up unmanned vessel for maritime research and surveillance

Korea is prepared to invest 20 billion won - completed by 2015 Korea has, as reported by Yonhap news agency, announced plans to set up an unmanned vessel for maritime research and surveillance. The automated vessel is planned to be completed in 2015 and Korea is prepared to invest 20 billion won.The vessel, developed by a cooperation between the Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs and the Korea Ocean Research & Development Institute, is expected to help the nation conduct maritime research and monitor its coast for illegal fishing or accidents.The Yonhap report mentions that an initial investment of 13.5 billion won is required. This is supposed to cover the design and development of a remote control system and other core technologies such as autonomous navigation, which is to be completed by 2013. Another 6.5 billion won will be used for test runs and commercialisation in 2015.It is further understood that the vessel will be able to travel at a speed of up to 90 kilometres per hour within a remote-controlled radius of 16 kilometres and avoid collisions with other vessels or obstacles.Source: Digital Ship

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Busan port expects to handle 15% more cargo this year

Due to strong imports from China South Korea's Busan container port, the world's fifth busiest, expects to handle around 15 percent more cargo this year than last due to strong imports from China and regional transhipments, a port executive said on Tuesday.Increased activity at South Korea's main port, however, was likely to soften next year because of slower global economic growth, said Boowon Kang, head of operations at Busan Port Authority ."We are seeing double-digit growth easily. Data from January to April shows that transhipments and imports are increasing a lot," he told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry conference."This means the economy is recovering from the global recession as they need materials and parts."The Busan port was expected to handle more than 15 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) this year, up from 13 million last year and 12 million in 2009.Kang declined to provide a forecast for 2012, but said growth would not be as strong.South Korea's central bank raised interest rates on Friday for the third time this year, surprising financial markets, as the government warned of rising inflation risks even as growth in Asia's fourth-largest economy cools.Source: Reuters

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South Korea eyes new LNG supply to raise prices and slow power demand growth

Prices in Asia for LNG have reached their highest as Japan and China buy more The world's second-largest LNG importer South Korea may buy gas from North America, Australia and Russia to diversify supply and plans to raise power prices to slow domestic demand growth, the Knowledge Economy Minister Choi Joong-kyung said on Tuesday.Prices in Asia for liquefied natural gas (LNG) have reached their highest this year as Japan and China buy more. Top LNG importer Japan has boosted imports to feed gas plants running hard to compensate for lost power from nuclear reactors shut after the March earthquake and tsunami."To cope with any worsening global market conditions in the wake of strengthening safety (standards) and delays in construction of nuclear power, we are preparing long-term measures to secure LNG," Choi told the Reuters Energy and Climate Summit in an email response to questions."We are considering various import sources such as North America, Australia and Russia to diversify import sources from the Middle East and southeast Asian regions that we heavily depend on, although no specific sources are yet set."TO HIKE ELECTRICITY RATES "STEP BY STEP"Despite the risk of adding to inflationary pressures, Asia's fourth-largest economy plans to slowly increase ...

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Most small and medium Korean shipbuilders feared to fall extinct

Shipbuilding crisis has already lasted over two and half years Just following the shipping crisis which started in the second half of 2008, the shipbuilding crisis has already lasted over two and half years, reaching the stage that all traditional small and medium-sized (SM) Korean shipbuilders who have played an important part of Korean shipbuilding industries for the past 20 years may fall to extinction in future, some argue.Mainly late comers in Korean shipbuilding industry including C& Heavy Industries, Jinse Shipbuilding, Orient Shipbuilding, TKS Heavy Industries and others had collapsed up to the last year without giving any big sense of crisis to other remaining SM shipbuilders here.But the worries of Korean shipbuilders are gradually mounting with the latest downfalls of several old SM Korean shipbuilding hands as follows. Dae Sun Shipbuilding (DSS) with long tradition and experiences of shipbuilding, located at Yeongdo-gu, Busan, has been delisted by KOSDAQ last March this year with its capital impaired totally. Sekwang Heavy Industries (SHI), a SM Korean shipbuilder specialized in building chemical carriers, filed for the court receivership last April followed by Samho Shipbuilding (SS) that went bankrupt failing to honor its payment this May.Besides the above-said Korea shipbuilders, there are several ...

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Korean Shipbuilders see their orders to increase

Three top Korean shipbuilders are expected to surpass $48 billion in orders this yea Korea's three largest shipbuilders have seen their new orders soar, almost reaching the level of the last industry boom in 2007.According to data released by the industry on Wednesday.Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries have won a combined US$21.7 billion in orders so far this year. That's nearly four times the $5.2 billion won by the Chinese shipbuilding industry during the period.According to a forecast by Daishin Securities, the three Korean companies are expected to surpass $48 billion in orders this year, comparable to the $57.5 billion of 2007.Despite being distant to a full recovery of the global shipbuilding industry, Korean shipbuilders' strong performance can be attributed to orders for large-sized container ships, drillships and LNG vessels, where Korean companies have taken the technological lead compared to China. Korean companies have won 17 out of 24 orders for drillships worldwide so far this year.Source: English Chosun

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