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South Korea's overseas construction orders fall to 10-year low

Staff Writer |
South Korea's overseas construction orders dipped to a 10-year low last year, due partly to low global oil prices that led to a sharp drop in orders placed by oil-producing countries in the Middle East.

In 2016, overseas construction orders clinched by South Korean builders amounted to some $28.19 billion, the lowest since $16.47 billion posted in 2006, according to the data compiled by the International Contractors Association of Korea.

From a year earlier, the 2016 tally also marks a 38.9 percent plunge. The drop also followed a 30.1 percent on-year dip in 2015.

Such a drop was partly attributed to a sharp decline in orders placed by Middle Eastern countries, previously the world's largest market for South Korean construction firms.

Construction orders from Middle Eastern countries had easily accounted for more than 70 percent of all overseas orders won by builders here.

In 2016, orders from Middle Eastern countries plunged more than 35 percent on-year to some $10.7 billion won, accounting for only 38 percent of the total, according to the data from the association.

Orders from Asian countries also tumbled 35.7 percent on-year to $12.67 billion.

Amid a steady decline in overseas orders, local builders are apparently being forced to shrink their overseas business.

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