The dip in newbuilding orders pointed to owners holding back on ordering too many new ships in a market that is suffering from excessive tonnage and slow pick up in demand.
The sluggish Chinese shipbuilding industry, impacted by insufficient work and tight cash flows, also recorded a 15.6% fall in completed tonnage at 35.32m dwt last year.
The combined orderbook as at 31 December 2016 stood at 99.61m dwt, down 19% compared to the previous corresponding period, Cansi figures showed.
China’s 2016 shipbuilding figures showed that the completed tonnage, new orders received and order backlog accounted for 35.6%, 65.2% and 43.9%, respectively, of the global market share.
The association further revealed that over the January to November 2016 period, 1,459 local shipyard enterprises generated a total revenue of RMB697.57bn ($101.54bn), a dip of 1.6% compared to the same period of 2015.
Among the total revenue, the shipbuilding business took the lion’s share of RMB342.19bn, followed by shipbuilding equipment taking up RMB93.61bn, offshore equipment accounting for RMB67.55bn and ship repair on RMB18.47bn.
Over the first 11 months of last year, the 1,459 enterprises reaped a combined net profit of RMB14.74bn, down 1.9% year-on-year.