Ship recycling: lack of tonnage is a major problem

A the lack of available tonnage continued to hamper demolition activities throughout the Southeast Asian region. In its latest weekly report, ship broker Clarkson Platou Hellas said that “with Diwali celebrations in full swing this week, industry watchers are taking advantage of this time to spend time with their families without disruption to the movement of tonnage. It was a particularly poignant year with the UK announcing another prime minister (its 3rd this year alone), Rishi Sunak being the first Asian leader in the House of Commons, making it a particularly special coincidence. It is hoped that it will now bring much-needed stability to the domestic economy, which will help sustain what is an extremely chaotic state of global monetary affairs. Many industry players have gone home, after the aforementioned Tradewinds Ship Recycling Conference last week, which was initially deemed a success due to all of the stakeholders debating and discussing the market, after the covid pandemic. However, activity has not picked up since then due to firm freight markets across all sectors and the rest of the year looks just as quiet and close to what is likely to be the calmest on record. …Despite murmurs in the local market of lower steel prices, there should still be demand from steel mills, which will help establish a strong pillar for the market in India and Bangladesh, the former being the most stable of the three main recycling destinations. It is expected that steel plate prices for ships for the foreseeable future are unlikely to be able to drop significantly, with such an empty tonnage menu for buyers to choose from,” the shipbroker concluded.

Clarkson Platou Weekly Report

In a separate note, Allied Shipbroking added that “the ship recycling market has been hovering in uninspiring territory for some time, which is quite evident when you consider the lack of momentum seen in terms of transactions. Additionally, as we see widening gaps between price ideas among end buyers, cash buyers, and homeowners, the market is likely to remain firmly in a state of disarray for the period ahead. Separate major demonstration destinations, in Bangladesh things have remained rather stagnant, with most local buyers seemingly unable to compete at relatively “achievable” levels.Current steel plate prices and exchange levels, coupled with still restrictive L/C levels being put on the market, have created poor conditions for a rapid recovery at this stage.In Pakistan, activity is also slow. relatively sluggish, with the actual distribution of scrap metal price levels leaving little room for a more sustainable flow of transactions. Finally, in India, in the middle of the Diwali holiday, things remained fairly calm once again.”

Allied Naval Brokerage Report

Allied Naval Brokerage Report

Meanwhile, GMS (, added that “activity and action remain sparse across all recycling destinations, with very few (market) sales to speak of, including minimal firm interest or serious numbers from end buyers who can incentivize owners/spot buyers to engage in meaningful negotiations Fundamentals, which remain the main drivers of current volatility, remain in a precarious balance across all venues, with volatile steel prices /falling and currencies still struggling to find a stable footing.As a result, a sort of two-tier market has emerged, one where spot buyers, brokers and owners expect the market to be at one level, and another where local recyclers seem to be intentionally positioning prices well below requested levels, and both are around 50 USD/LDT apart right now. Privileged ones, such as tankers built in Russia or small specialized LDT units in good condition, are greeted with acceptable figures in the markets, especially from a picky Bangladesh. Standard Handy, Panamax Bulk Carriers and Capes are seeing their prices hover around 550 USD/LDT (if at all), as the number of end buyers with the ability to establish viable L/Cs across the sub- continent continues to decline. The Diwali holiday in India has given the market there a breather, but the lingering inertia evident in Pakistan and Bangladesh has turned into prolonged unease and gives cash buyers no confidence to bid on the small number of candidates available for retraining, instead preferring the much more bullish commercial sector as a viable alternative,” GMS concluded.


Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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