SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) — South Korean shipbuilders held on to their global No. 1 status in terms of new orders of ships in January, outpacing their Chinese rivals for the seventh straight month, industry data showed Tuesday.

According to the data provided by global market researcher Clarkson Research Service, South Korean shipyards bagged new orders totaling 910,000 compensated gross tons (CGTs), representing 54 percent of the 1.7 million CGTs ordered globally in January, or 24 of 66 ships.

The South Korean shipbuilders were followed by Chinese shipbuilders with 510,000 CGTs, or 30 percent, and Japanese shipbuilders with 260,000 CGTs in the month.’

In particular, the Korean shipbuilders’ new orders for January compared with 70,000 CGTs, or two ships, a year ago, it said.

Global new shipbuilding orders for January rose 14 percent to 1.7 million CGTs from 1.49 million CGTs a year ago.

Global order backlogs slightly fell by 1.92 million CGTs, or 3 percent, to 69.78 million CGTs in January from December.

Chinese shipbuilders’ order backlogs reached 24.59 million CGTs, or 35 percent of the total, followed by South Korean shipbuilders with 21.88 million CGTs and Japanese shipbuilders with 8.39 million CGTs.

Clarkson’s Newbuilding Price Index indicating price changes in newly built ships was up 1 point to 127 points in January, rising for the second consecutive month.