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Ship Recycling Market Has Hit a Roadblock

The ship recycling market is barely moving over the past couple of weeks, with activity being rather sluggish. In its weekly report, shipbroker Clarkson Platou Hellas said that “like many global markets this week across the commodity, currency and stock sectors, we saw a complete free fall of pricing as sentiment across the world was further impacted by the effects of the war in Ukraine and record levels of inflation. Many Buyers this week were even reluctant to offer on the sparse units that were on offer for recycling as they waited to see where the land lies, instead of chasing the market down. The dreaded attempted renegotiations have sadly resurfaced with the recyclers in the sub-continent, reportedly particularly from Pakistan, are trying to create unnecessary problems for the cash buyers when tonnage is arriving to their shores. The currency devaluation and domestic steel prices have ensured price indications locally have plummeted and have now settled in the USD 620-650/ldt levels. This looks to have stabilised as of today due to the lack of market vessels, which has prevented the market falling further. We shall see how the sentiment opens on Monday and into next week to ascertain if there will be any further amendments. The market will now need sales across the main sectors after this correction for us to fully realise where the recyclers pricing now lies”, the shipbroker concluded.

Source: Clarkson Platou (Hellas) ltd

In a separate note, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking said that “the ship-recycling market did not witness much change this week with activity appearing quite sluggish. Pressure has been mounting on breakers, with support for high demo prices having been flushed out by recent shifts in fundamentals in the Indian Sub-Continent, while at the same time these current price levels seem too soft to really attract ample tonnage to be retired. Amongst the different ship recycling destinations in the Indian Sub-Continent, India continues to show the most potential and appetite for business at this point.

Source: Allied Shipbroking

Though even here we witnessed a drop this week in the prices that were being offered. In Pakistan, the recent political and economic instability have taken away some of the markets momentum in recent weeks, while the slump in local steel prices have left little support for any firm competition to emerge right now. Bangladesh on the other hand, has consistently lagged behind its other two main competitors for a fair while now, though things may be on the verge of a shift, as the shortage of vessels being beached starts to push end buyers to compete more aggressively in the market. Turkey’s market also appeared extremely pessimistic, recording significant depreciation in its currency and a further drop in domestic steel plate prices”.

Meanwhile, GMS , the world’s leading cash buyer of ships said that “another woeful week of declining sentiments has left all of the major global ship-recycling markets on edge as the industry approaches the summer / monsoon months in the sub-continent. Moreover, it seems doubtful (at present) that any more noteworthy deals will likely be concluded, especially with the industry in such a state of disarray. Depreciating currencies and maddeningly plummeting steel plate prices (especially in Pakistan this week alone) have left nearly all of the major recycling markets looking at a near USD 100/LDT decline in prices since the peaks of over USD 700/LDT (and nearly USD 500/MT in Turkey) seen several weeks ago. As a result, it is unlikely that Cash Buyers with inventory to sell or Ship Owners looking at fresh deals should be willing to take this hit, and may prefer to trade their vessels a little further, especially with freight markets now starting to improve.

Source: GMS,Inc.

A lack of supply may see sub-continent recyclers return to the table, and it has been a quieter overall last few months in terms of new candidates, as an improving freight sector and ongoing holidays (including the Holy month of Ramadan) have started to tell. Notwithstanding, at this stage it is impossible to tell where the bottom of the market may be, as once prices start to cool-off at key recycling locations, they tend to drop like a stone and Owners would be strongly advised against chasing down a market that appears to be hitting new lows with each passing day. It would be better to monitor market movements instead and wait for some stability / positivity to return before dipping back in at these new levels, wherever they may end – bearing in mind this is a sector that has almost tripled over the previous few years and some form of error correction was always in the books because what goes up eventually comes back down!”, GMS concluded
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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