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Japan newbuilding orders fall

NEWBUILDING orders at Japanese shipyards fell 20.7% in 2008, the Japan Ship Exporters’ Association said. Total orders dropped to 8.8m gt after strong trading to the summer of 2008 dried up in the third quarter when the credit crisis reached Japan. By December, orders had come to a virtual standstill with just 127,400 gt recorded, 10% of the figure from a year earlier and the lowest level since February 2002. In the last month of 2008, just six ships were ordered: four bulk carriers, one pure car/truck carrier, and
one mid-size tanker. Only 10 bulk carriers were ordered in Japan in November 2008. Japan’s shipbuilders had a total order backlog of 1,392 vessels as of December 31.





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