The accumulated orders won by major South Korean builders in the first three quarters dropped 2.9 percent from a year ago due mainly to a contracted demand in public projects, a trade association said Monday. According to the Korea Federation of Construction Contractors (KFCC), 31 leading builders won new orders worth 79.8 trillion won (US$71.1 billion) in the January-September period, compared with 82.1 trillion won a year ago. The domestic orders for these large builders came to 46.1 trillion won in the same period, down 10.8 percent from a year earlier, while their overseas orders rose 10.6 percent on-year to 33.7 trillion won. The drop in the domestic orders is attributable to a lower number of orders from the public sector, down 15.9 percent over the period, the KFCC said. It predicted that the slump in the public sector is unlikely turn around in the near future as the government scales back its expenditure in the sector. Despite massive uprisings in the Middle East and the ongoing debt crisis in Europe, the country\'s large builders have successfully clinched big plant orders from the regions, it said. Meanwhile, the total orders won by all South Korean contractors abroad dropped 29 percent during the same period.