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India maintains lead in ship recycling league

Photo: GMS Ship recycling worker
Indian breakers have held on to their lead in the recycling table over recent days as other locations wrestle with disruptive issues.

With less than two weeks to go until the results of the country’s election are expected, ship recyclers are relatively busy and prices are firming.

GMS, the world’s largest cash buyer of end-of-life ships, believes that recycling yards in Alang are likely to continue in positive territory, with a ‘reinvigorated period’ possible. The firm believes that a likely Narendra Modi victory will provide reassurance to domestic recyclers and a boost to the domestic economy.

Elsewhere, however, the picture is not as positive. The Bangladeshi taka continues to weaken, slipping into the 117 range against the dollar last week. Meanwhile, a continuing outflow of foreign currency reserves could lead to further restrictions on letter of credit approvals from the central bank. And, to make matters worse, steel plate prices remain flat.

The story is not much more positive in Pakistan. The few workable candidates are mostly up for Hong Kong Convention recycling and the units that are available are heading either for India or, for ships arriving from the east, the more conveniently located Bangladesh.

Gadani recyclers are losing out against competitors at the bidding table, GMS said, and the anchorage mirrors this situation with every passing week. The local waterfront has not seen any new arrivals recently.  

The Turkish lira has remained relatively stable against the dollar and interest rates have been held steady for the couple of weeks. However, GMS reports that buyers in Aliaga remain on the lookout for tonnage that is not heading their way for the moment.  

Indicative prices see a ‘shaky’ Bangladesh in the lead, with containers at $560 per ldt, tankers at $540, and bulkers at $520. Indian recyclers are typically about ten dollars behind across the board, and Pakistan recyclers are in third place, a further ten dollars down. Indicative prices in Turkey are probably around $380, $370, and $360 for the three ship types respectively.