Great uncertainty over shipping demand and environmental rules have taken hold of newbuilding markets, with the dearth of orders expected to persist in the coming quarters.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rampage around the world, 2020 has turned out to be even worse than newbuilding brokers feared as ship investors have pulled back.

Amid limited orders across the sectors, data from Clarksons Research shows newbuilding orders for 281 ships — worth $16.7bn — were placed in the first 10-and-a-half months of the year.