Japanese shipbuilders have seen a massive decline in the number of newbuild orders in the first part of the year, it has been revealed.

Ten listed Japanese shipbuilders received newbuild orders for only 12 vessels, which represents a decline of 69 units compared to the same period in 2008.

Of the 12 vessels, three ships are oceangoing which include two Handysize bulkers ordered from Namura Shipbuilding and one Capesize bulker ordered from Universal Shipbuilding.

Consolidated newbuilding receipts of the yards during the period was JPY115.6bn ($1.3bn) in terms of value.

By end of September this year, order backlogs at the Japanese shipbuilders stood at 554 ships with an aggregate of 33.659 million grt.