Greek shipowners cut new ship orders by 37 pct in 2012

Greek shipowners, who control the world’s largest merchant fleet, cut orders for new vessels by 37 percent last year and made more purchases on the secondhand market, according to Golden Destiny.

Orders for new ships fell to 116 from the 185 registered in 2011, the Piraeus-based shipbroker said on Wednesday.

Owners bought 216 used vessels, against 198 in the prior year, it said.

Spending dropped 45 percent to $5.1 billion for new ships and slid 19 percent to $3.85 billion for secondhand vessels, the report showed.