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Ships’ Demolition Under Quarantine

Ships’ recycling activity has been virtually impossible over the past few days, as a result of strict lockdown and quarantine measures around the world, most notably the Southeast Asia region. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Clarkson Platou Hellas said that “with Bangladesh announcing this week it is increasing its lockdown period for a further 7 days until 14th April, with rumours of an extension for a further indefinite period, it looks as if this non-active period will push on into the Holy month of Ramadan (due to commence from 23rd April)”.

Source: Clarksons Platou

“Whilst many in the industry now observing their religious holidays, it is becoming more apparent that it is going to be some time before any ‘normality’ will return to the market and, possibly months before a vessel is finally allowed to beach as Governments across the globe try to tackle this unprecedented virus. One overlooked hurdle by many is the repatriation of crew – there are currently still no international flights allowed from either of the three sub-continent recycling destinations and is another reason Governments feel they cannot allow the actual recycling destinations to re-open at this time as the disembarked crew would have to wait somewhere, however local hotels have all been closed. With the Easter holidays now upon us, any dialogue between Owners, brokers, cash buyers, recyclers have all but receded and as many settle into the long weekend, we would like to take this opportunity of wishing you and your families safe”, Clarkson Platou Hellas concluded.

Meanwhile, Allied Shipbroking added that “this is was another week with no new transactions taking place, as all Indian Sub-Continent markets remain closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has obliged local governments to take strict measures to limit the spread of the virus. These measures include the closure of their ports to vessels with foreign crew. As a result, we do not expect any fresh interest to be witnessed in the market in the following weeks, or at least until these measures are to be reconsidered later this month. However, looking back at the first quarter, we can see that 44 dry bulk carriers were scrapped, an impressive rise compared to the first quarter of 2019, when 20 units had been sent to breakers’ yards. It is also worth mentioning that more than half of these 44 units were Capesize vessels, showing the pressure that owners of this size segment felt earlier in the year. In the tankers market, things did not change essentially this past quarter compared to the respective period in 2019, as 11 units have been recycled, a figure close to the 8 vessel that were scrapped during the same time frame last year. Interest now is focused on how much of a rebound in activity we can expect to witness after the end of the COVID-19 situation. However, given that freight markets are recovering for most market segments as of late, it is still questionable if activity will return to the figures we were seeing in the first quarter”.

Source: Allied Shipbroking

Meanwhile, in a separate note, GMS, the world’s leading cash buyer noted that “with all subcontinent locations still under a strict lockdown and virtually all global ports similarly observing quarantine measures, the deal flow for both trading and recycling markets have expectedly ground to a halt. With so many countries now refusing entry & exit of international crew and indeed denying vessels anchoring permissions at the various as is ports, it is virtually impossible to take over any ‘as is’ vessels any more. Moreover, there is no way to get vessels delivered into the various recycling destinations, with recycling nations imposing similar restrictions on incoming units with international crew. Consequently, there is a growing backlog of units into India & Bangladesh (as evident from the respective port positions) and anxious Ship Owners and Cash Buyers wait for news on a market reopening as they desperately try to salvage failing deals due to force majeure conditions or cancelling dates coming sharply into view as arrivals and inward clearances are severely restricted. With thousands of lives being lost every day in the grim battle against Covid-19, it would be churlish to suggest that shipping and deals are at the forefront of people’s minds at present. Saving lives and sacrificing for the greater good have become the priority in recent times and nowhere has that come under the microscope more acutely than in India, where Prime Minister Modi has enforced the largest ever lockdown, with 1.34 billion people ordered to stay at home, in an effort to curb the rampant spread of this virus”, GMS concluded.

Source: GMS

Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

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