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Major builders’ Q1 orders fall 10%

New orders won by South Korean major builders dropped 10 percent in the first quarter from a year ago mainly due to a slump in the domestic market, a trade association said Tuesday.

According to the Korea Federation of Construction Contractors, 31 builders won new orders worth 18.8 trillion won ($17.6 billion) in the January-March period, compared with 20.9 trillion won a year ago.

The builders’ domestic orders came to 11.6 trillion won in the period, down 7.8 percent from a year ago, while their overseas orders fell 13.5 percent to 7.16 trillion won.

“A fall in orders from the public sector led to lower domestic orders,” the KFCC said in a statement.

Domestic orders from the public sector plunged 34.1 percent in the first quarter from a year ago as the government scaled back its expenditures in the sector, it said.

The first-quarter drop in overseas orders was attributed to a one-off factor. South Korea and the UAE signed a $20 billion contract to build nuclear power plants in December 2009, which was recorded as an order for the first quarter of 2010, the KFCC said.

Compared with the first quarter of 2009, the builders’ overseas orders rose 53 percent in the first quarter of 2011, the KFCC said. 

(Yonhap News)