The competitiveness of mainland shipbuilders has been eroded by regional rivals, whose currency devaluations have made their exports cheaper, according to a newspaper report. Yards have received few new orders from foreign firms since the financial crisis began last year, the China Daily said. 'We feel it is difficult to compete with our counterparts from Japan and South Korea,' it quoted Chen Jinhai, president of the Shanghai-based Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co, as saying. 'Prices of bulk cargo ships have dropped by 30 per cent,' Mr Chen said. 'Competitors' prices are too low.'. Hudong Shipbuilding Group general manager Zhou Zhenbai said the firm's overseas sales had been stagnant due to the sharp depreciation of the yen and won. Jiangnan and Hudong are among the mainland's largest shipbuilders, exporting 90 per cent of ships. To reduce the impact of the crisis on business, Jiangnan planned to boost its output of vessels to carry containers, liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas, Mr Chen said. Although these ships required higher technology, their prices had dropped only 10 per cent, he said. Mr Chen said Jiangnan would build a total of 320,000 tonnes of ships for the US and Europe this year, worth a total of about US$362 million. Jiangnan was building a $723 million shipyard in Shanghai's Pudong area as the existing Huangpu River Shipyard was 133 years old, the newspaper said.