No orders were recorded for bulk carrier or gas carriers in January, while only six tankers over 10,000 dwt were ordered.
In contrast to 2016, an already dire year for newbuild orders, 16 tankers, five containerships, four bulk carriers and two gas carriers were on the orderbooks of shipyards around the world, the report said, adding that it was the first time vessel orders had fallen to these levels since 1991.
Most orders currently being placed are for specialised, high-value ships, such as the three box ships ordered by Eimskip/Royal Arctic Line for operation in Arctic conditions and outside mainstream, over-tonnaged markets.
"The very few 'conventional' ship orders placed in January, such as a pair of VLCCs for Norwegian owner DHT, represent a savvy owner with a long-term viewpoint taking advantage of very low newbuilding pricing," the report noted.
Tankers and gas carriers are still facing capacity issues in the short to medium term, resulting in a slowdown in vessel orders. The shift in oil and gas prices has put economic pressure on the upstream energy business, while crude and product demand have not risen as steeply as the industry would have liked.
In addition, the increased capacity of tankers resulting from the delivery boom in mid-to-late 2016 has exerted negative pressure on oil and gas shipping.