Chinese shipbuilders’ order backlog dropped this year mainly as a result of the prolonged global economic recession, a report by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology claimed.

Compared with the corresponding period in 2010, China’s shipbuilders reported a combined backlog of orders totalling 169Mdwt at the end of September, reporting a decrease of 14.5% compared with the end of December.

During the January to September period the country’s shipbuilding capacity increased 18.3% year-on-year to 51Mdwt, while the new orders were down 42.8% year-on-year to 29Mdwt.

In 2009 China overtook South Korea in the number of new orders received, becoming the world’s top shipbuilder.

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According to global market researcher Clarkson Research Services, in the first half of 2011 South Korea regained its position of having the most new shipbuilding orders by receiving deals for large, value-added vessels.