The newbuild price index fell to 136.1 points in January 2010, the lowest since July 2004, according to the latest figures.

The price has fallen for 16 consecutive months and is about 30 points, or 18%, lower than it was a year earlier, according to a monthly report by Clarkson Research.

The report World Shipyard Monitor said further declines in the index can be expected as contracting activity is still not at a level that shipyards would like to see.

Benchmark prices in the containership sector are still the most affected, with up to a 41% year-on-year decrease, it said.

A total of 104 vessels of 9.6m dwt and 2.5m cgt were reported delivered in January which is down the average monthly deliveries of last year.