Markets - Recycling - Buyers resist higher levels

Oct 18 2019

After a brief spike in the markets, there now appears to be renewed resistance from local recyclers to improve price offers any further.

Some of the recent deals even crept past the $400 per ldt mark, GMS said in its weekly report.

India continued its downward spiral, with very few open and aggressive buyers and some ‘insulting’ numbers quoted for any worked units.

The Rupee continued to trade almost in excess of Rs 71 against the US dollar, whilst local steel plate prices have yet to gain any significant momentum, to make up for the huge losses that saw over $70 per ldt wiped off vessel prices over the summer months.

GMS expected that very few vessels will be heading towards a barren and bleak Alang market – particularly as freight rates in nearly all sectors have been pushing on to an impressive degree.

Pakistan has also talked up a revival for several months, but there is little to show for this rhetoric. Instead, the opposite appears to be happening, as when a sale comes close, end buyers retreat into their shells.

Even Turkey is struggling in its new found healthier state, with prices quoted that no sellers were keen to accept for their units, even though the falling fundamentals have steadied over recent weeks.

Bangladesh appears to be the only serious market in operation today, as ships finally start to shift from yards after a long and arduous monsoon season.

However, even here they are starting to scale back numbers, as local sentiments and steel prices struggle to recapture their previous highs, GMS concluded.

According to a new report, there were a total of 122 ships broken up in the third quarter of 2019.

Of these, 73 were sold to the beaches of South Asia. Between July and September, 11 workers have lost their lives and 20 were severely injured when breaking ships in Bangladesh and India, the NGO Shipbreaking Platform claimed. 

Thus far this year, the NGO has recorded 19 deaths and 30 severe injuries in South Asian recycling yards.

Two of the fatalities took place in separate incidents at scrapyards that had applied to be included in the EU list of approved ship recycling facilities and are promoted by the industry as ‘safe and green’.

In September, Dutch TV revealed the dire working conditions at a yard owned by Priya Blue, and trafficking of false inventories of hazardous materials to hide high levels of mercury on board offshore units, the NGO said.

Almost half of the ships sold to South Asia this quarter changed flag to Comoros, Gabon, Palau and St. Kitts and Nevis registries just weeks before arriving on the beach.

This high number of flag changes at end-of-life seriously compromises the effectiveness of legislation based on flag state jurisdiction only, such as the EU Ship Recycling Regulation, the NGO claimed.

Elsewhere, EMSA has issued Guidance on inspections of ships by the port states in accordance with Regulation (EU) 1257/2013 on ship recycling.

The aim of this guidance is to assist the member states and their designated inspectors in their efforts to fulfil the requirements of Ship Recycling Regulation (SRR) and PSC Directive, in relation to inspections covering the respective requirements of these two instruments.

It is a reference document that provides both technical information and procedural guidance, thus contributing to harmonised implementation and enforcement of the provisions of the SRR and the PSC Directive, EMSA said.

In addition, Bureau Veritas Solutions Marine & Offshore said it was encouraging the shipping industry to embrace higher standards in ship recycling and was offering guidance to help meet the challenge of compliance.

BVS, with a network of trained experts worldwide, provides shipowners, ship managers and ship recycling facilities with a full scope of services to support compliance, it claimed, both during the operational life of a vessel and through the end-of-life phase.

Speaking at a Bureau Veritas briefing during London International Shipping Week, Paul Shrieve, BV President, Bureau Veritas Solutions, said: “Ten years on from the Hong Kong Convention, we have undoubtedly seen improvements in standards at recycling yards across the world, even ahead of its entry in force.

“The EU Ship Recycling Regulation has also accelerated improvements in a way that is very welcome. Nevertheless, these are not straightforward pieces of legislation. The requirement for EU flagged newbuilds and, from 31st December, 2020, existing vessels, to have an IHM and a Statement of Compliance raises considerable challenges for owners. These challenges are becoming pressing, with Port State Control already enforcing IHM and end-of-life requirements.”

“With our ‘Ten Compliance Tips’, we are providing shipping companies with a clear, simple roadmap towards understanding how and when they are affected by the Hong Kong Convention and EU requirements, what they are required to do, the steps to take to develop and maintain an IHM, and the benefits and risks to consider in their end-of-life recycling decisions.

“We also encourage owners to then publish their IHM and recycling policies, in order to share the benefits of a more transparent and progressive approach to ship recycling,” he said.

Recently, brokers reported the sale of the 1988-built Handysize ‘Ursu’ to Bangladesh breakers for $393 per ldt.


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