Shipyards are withholding quotes on fresh orders from shipowners for fear soaring steel plate prices will leave them delivering ships at below break-even levels.

Seaspan Corp and shipowners bidding for vessels in Equinor's tanker tenderare said to be among those hit, with several yards holding off on new quotes until “material costs stabilise”.

A bull run on boxship newbuildings has seen yards flooded with orders in recent weeks, filling up delivery slots through into 2024.

This has coincided with steel plate price rises forcing a spike in shipyard costs and newbuilding prices.