The ship recycling market seems to have slowed down considerably over the past week. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Clarkson Platou Hellas said that “the recycling market feels like summer has finally arrived as a lack of sales candidates and some uncertainty to the steel markets with the oncoming monsoon season seems to have slowed in the industry down. Whilst the general consensus is that the markets are stable, the domestic steel prices in the Indian sub-continent have weakened slightly bringing rates for India and Bangladesh back towards the low 500s, although a smaller sized unit should still expect to achieve the mid-500s from Bangladesh. We are also edging closer to the Bangladesh budget, expected early June, and therefore local recyclers may now refrain from offering to determine the outcome unless there is a unit that can give delivery prior to the announcement”.
In a separate note, shipbroker Allied added that “the ship recycling market remains stable across India and Bangladesh – and in the sense that Pakistan remains out of the market until the political situation stabilizes. Last week was noticeably better for higher LDT vessels, with sales having an average LDT of little over 5,000 this week. Golar’s ‘Gandria’ has been much discussed over the past week, with reports stating that it will be delivered in September once the Monsoon season has passed. The flurry of sales in the past week in combination with limited new arrivals at Alang or Chittagong, perhaps indicates that breakers are pushing to purchase what they can before the typically subdued summer months. Prices offered held steady for another week despite a mixed week for Indian steel prices and softening prices in Bangladesh.
Expectation of stimulus has provided a floor for prices for Chinese steel so far in May, and hopefully will translate into higher prices from steel mills across the Indian Sub-Continent as the number one exporter becomes less competitive. In Aliaga, the 30 year old LPG tanker ‘Taurogas’ will arrive for demolition following a sale at US$ 404/LDT, a decent price level for the current Turkish market”, Allied noted.
Meanwhile, GMS (www.gmsinc.net), the world’s leading cash buyer of ships added that “markets have been on an upward trajectory over the last couple of weeks as tonnage continues to remain at bare minimums, especially over the traditionally quieter summer / monsoon months and charter rates remain at acceptable enough levels for Owners to keep their various vintage vessels in the trading lanes. Some of the recent market declines of about USD 50 – USD 60/LDT and struggles on L/Cs in the Bangladeshi and Pakistani markets (in particular) may have spooked Sellers and Cash Buyers alike, and for those that were willing to sell above USD 600/LDT, they may now be unwilling to enter the market as they are being greeted by new lower realities in the USD 500s/LDT. Sales have therefore been at a premium in recent times, although several older bulkers were committed and one 1977 built LNG carrier was confirmed this week basis an ‘as is’ Labuan delivery for an HKC resale only.
Increasingly, most high-profile Sellers are looking to sell for HKC recycling only, and the bulk of the major container owners such as Maersk, MSC, Wan Hai, and Evergreen have committed vessels this year for strict HKC recycling into India. It is certainly encouraging that certain yards in Bangladesh – three now in total – have managed to obtain class NK HKC certification and have made major upgrades to their facilities in order to encourage other yards to improve likewise. Discussions will be taking place this coming week in Bangladesh, in order to ratify the Hong Kong convention and we will certainly be keeping a close watch on events to see what finally transpires, and the impact it will have on the industry moving forward. Finally, while Pakistan remains in the dumps with no new fixtures or fresh arrivals at the waterfront, the Turkish market, though weaker, is distracted with the ongoing Presidential elections in the country”, GMS concluded.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide