China’s shipbuilders have seen an even more rapid decline in new orders compared to their foreign competitors, state media reported. According to a report by Clarkson Research Studies, Chinese shipyards have reported a 44% decline in new orders, compared to the global average of 37%. South Korean orders dropped by 29% and Japanese new orders dropped by 11%. Outstanding orders also are being cancelled. For example, Nantong Rongsheng Heavy Industry Group, one of China’s largest shipbuilders, says that US$1.6 billion in new orders have been cancelled this year. Demand for bulk carriers has seen the quickest decline, which is particularly painful for Chinese shipyards as they tend to specialize in less sophisticated ships. The International Monetary Fund has predicted an even grimmer year in 2009, estimating that new orders will fall 40% from this year’s level. Analysts say the downward trend will last for two to three years and that the industry will have to restructure to survive.