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Ship recycling facing challenging times as market amidst uncertainties

Ship recycling facing challenging times as market amidst uncertainties

In recent weeks, the ship recycling market has experienced a period of limited activity as more old ships remain active instead of being sold for scrap. The industry is grappling with uncertainties surrounding future “green” technologies and limited newbuilding deliveries, which have contributed to this prevailing trend.

According to a weekly report from shipbroker Clarkson Platou Hellas, the ship recycling industry continues to face lackluster conditions. However, in contrast, the world of sports offers a welcome diversion with various events like the Ashes, Formula 1 racing, the Women’s Football World Cup, and the British Golf Open Championship capturing attention. Despite the sports entertainment, price levels are reportedly declining further in India due to the monsoon season hampering the destination and a weakened domestic steel market. There are also rumors of several vessels being re-routed from Chattogram to India due to ongoing Letter of Credit restrictions, and financing challenges in Bangladesh persist, especially for tonnage over 10,000 ldt. Additionally, the absence of Pakistan from the bidding table adds to the sense of concern during these summer months, creating a shortage of available tonnage.

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However, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. GMS predicts that Pakistan is ready to re-enter the ship recycling market, potentially overtaking the lackluster Indian market, which has been receiving lowball offers of below USD 500/LDT with limited success for all parties involved. Although Pakistan may face some time to resolve Letter of Credit issues, the return of competitive offers is encouraging.

The supply side of the market sees an influx of vessels, primarily from the Dry Bulk sector, especially older Panamax and Handy units built in the 90s, which are likely overdue for retirement from their respective fleets.

In Bangladesh, obtaining Central Bank approval on fresh Letters of Credit has become more challenging post-budget. However, the situation has eased slightly recently as local buyers re-emerge, coinciding with an increase in tonnage flow. Meanwhile, Turkey’s ship recycling market has faced considerable difficulties, with declining steel plate prices, the depreciation of the Lira, and falling vessel prices. Some vessel indications have reportedly even dropped below USD 300/MT.

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Overall, the ship recycling market is grappling with a significant number of unsold vessels, including those in the hands of cash buyers. This surplus, combined with the prevailing uncertainties and market shifts, may result in muted sentiments and demand for some time, at least until the monsoon season subsides.

In conclusion, the ship recycling market is facing challenging times due to various factors. The uncertainty surrounding future environmental technologies, limited newbuilding deliveries, and market shifts in different regions are creating an atmosphere of caution among stakeholders. However, the emergence of Pakistan as a potential player and fluctuations in local market conditions offer glimmers of hope for the industry’s recovery. For now, the ship recycling market must weather these difficult times until a more favorable environment emerges.

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