Orders clinched by South Korean shipbuilders jumped significantly in the first nine months of the year from a year earlier, raising hopes that the shipbuilding sector is poised to recover down the road, the government said Thursday. In the first nine months of the year, South Korean shipyards reaped orders for 10.9 million compensated gross tons (CGTs), according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The figure accounts for 36 percent of total global orders placed during the cited period but falls short of 11.7 million CGTs worth of orders clinched by Chinese shipbuilders. Still, South Korea continued to maintain its status as the world\'s top shipbuilding nation with the value of the orders won by its shipyards amounting to US$30.36 billion, up 27.2 percent from a year earlier. The total value of orders grabbed by Chinese shipbuilders came to $20.95 billion, according to the ministry. The gap between South Korea and China, in terms of monetary value, is due to a technology gap between the countries, it noted. In the January-September period, South Korean shipbuilders clinched orders for 117 of 225 tankers placed worldwide while also grabbing orders for 50 out of 120 large container ships, the ministry said in a press release. South Korean shipyards also won orders for eight drill ships; three floating, production, storage and offloading ships; and one LNG floating, storage and re-gasification unit during the cited period. The volume of ships built by South Korean shipyards in the first nine months came to the world\'s largest amount of 10.2 million CGTs, or 35.4 percent of the volume built globally.