According to the data compiled by global research firm Clarkson Research Institute, local shipbuilding companies clinched new orders worth a combined 306,000 compensated gross tons last month to build nine vessels.
Chinese rivals came next with 295,000 CGTs, or 13 ships. Japanese shipyards' orders came to nil.
Globally, new ship orders totaled 869,000 CGTs (29 ships) in July, or 46 percent of the 1.89 million CGTs (66 vessels) recorded for the previous month.
In the first half of the year, South Korean shipyards ranked second worldwide in terms of new orders after intense competition with Chinese shipbuilders.
As of end-July, the world's total order backlog came in at 74.69 million CGTs, down from 76.09 million CGTs a month earlier and hovering below the 80 million mark for five months running.
China held the largest order backlog of 25.87 million CGTs, followed by South Korea with 16.47 million CGTs and Japan with 16.24 CGTs.
South Korea's three major shipyards -- Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Samsung Heavy Industries Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. -- are struggling to turn around after suffering huge setbacks last year due to a tumble in new orders, order cancellations and increased costs. (Yonhap)