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Bangladeshi yards beach big tankers

Photo: NGO Shipbreaking Platform Oro-Singapore-NGO-Shipbreaking.jpg
Recycling yards in Chattogram, Bangladesh are now focusing on tanker tonnage as they still lead competitors across the subcontinent on volumes and price.

Although levels have eased slightly, recyclers continue to offer high prices over what has now become a lengthy sustained period.

The latest update from GMS, the world’s largest cash buyer of end-of-life ships, reveals a series of tankers beached on high tides in Bangladesh between October 3 and October 8, including the 300,361 dwt VLCC, Hapon, ex Ghawar, (1996) and the 107,132 dwt Aframax River (2002). Several products and chemical tankers were also beached over the period.

The focus on tankers reflects that it is one sector of shipping that remains firmly in the doldrums.

The upturn in demand for tanker scrapping in Bangladesh has also coincided with an increase in serious accidents with the NGO Shipbreaking Platform reporting seven fatalities at Chattogram yards in what it described as the worst quarter in terms of number of accidents in Bangladeshi shipbreaking history. 

The market is easing in India, partly because steel plate prices dipped sharply, reversing recent gains. Another factor is the decline in value of the rupee, which has softened against the dollar, and a third factor could be the approach of this year’s Diwali religious festival which begins in early November. One reported deal of note was a high-priced bulk carrier which breakers in Alang closed, based on Hong Kong Convention Statement of Compliance requirements. 

Recycling yards in Pakistan started work on three tankers last week, including the 107,181dwt Escapade (1998) and the 68,967 dwt Panamax, Pacific Bravery 1 (1999). Meanwhile the 1995-built Sharifa 4, 95,416 dwt, is now at anchor.

Representative price indications from GMS show Bangladesh recyclers holding their lead, with typical prices of $610 for container ships, $600 for tankers, and $590 for bulk carriers. They were followed by yards in Pakistan, around ten dollars lower in each category, and then India, a further twenty dollars down. Turkish prices remained steady at $300, $290 and $280 respectively.