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Asia's shipbuilders flounder in a glutted market

New orders slump 90% in 2016

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A propeller is transported by truck at Hyundai Heavy Industries' shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea. New orders have fallen sharply at shipbuilders across Asia.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- Asian shipbuilders are struggling to stay afloat as orders decline to the lowest level in two decades. Analysts see no end to the pain in sight.

New orders received by builders in Japan declined almost 90% in the first 10 months of 2016 from a year earlier, according to data from BIMCO, a global shipping industry data provider. South Korean competitors similarly saw an 84.2% drop in orders by compensated gross tonnage, an industry measure of shipbuilding output that takes into account ship size and work difficulty. Their Chinese rivals counted a 58.5% decline.

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