Japan’s top-ten shipbuilders secured 39 newbuild orders of 672,000t in 2009 compared to 114 vessels of 4.506 million gross tons (mgt) contracted a year earlier, according to reports.

The shipbuilders completed 150 ships of 9.91mgt in the year ending 31 March, down from 169 ships, but up from 9.17mgt recorded a year ago, according to asiasis.com.

During the year the shipbuilders secured contracts mostly to build naval vessels, coasters and ferries, with only a few for merchant ships.

At the end of March the combined order backlog stood at 482 ships of 28.78mgt, 24% down from 613 ships of 37.92mgt a year earlier.

In terms of order backlog, Universal Shipbuilding ranked top followed by Namura Shipbuilding and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding.