Japanese shipowners ordered 22 handysize bulker newbuildings at local yards in December, according to the Japan Ship Exporters’ Association.

Japanese yards won a total of 42 orders amounting to 1.4m gt last month. Around 84% were placed by domestic shipowners.

At the end of December, the orderbook stood at 487 ships of 21.7m gt, with deliveries stretching into 2026.

The end-of-year order rush appears to have been prompted by owners taking advantage of offers from yards as the yen hit a 30-year low against the US dollar.