South Korean state export credit bank, the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank), will provide 5.2 trillion won (US$4.1 billion) in financial aid to Korean shipbuilders amid reduced newbuilding orders in the coronavirus crisis.
Under the programme, Eximbank will provide shipbuilders with loans for early payment to suppliers and contractors. The bank will also raise the limit for a loan programme to be made available to the supply chain of shipbuilders to 1.9 trillion won from the previous 1.6 trillion won. Eximbank met representatives of ten Korean shipbuilders and contractors to discuss various measures to help the ailing industry stay afloat.
New shipbuilding orders have been sharply reduced by depressed global demand after coronavirus-driven damage to economies. South Korea’s top three shipyards won only US$2.1 billion worth of new vessel orders in the first three months of this year. The volume is about 6% of their annual target and more than 50% lower than same period in 2019.