South Asia’s shipbreaking activities are struggling to find a foothold after taking a pause amid COVID-19 lockdowns. Though restrictions were eased in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, demolition work remains slow. These three markets account for 70pc of global shipbreaking activity. Subdued activities have made it difficult to solicit offers above $300/LDT, according to GMS weekly.
In India, 70pc of the workforce working at shipbreaking yards in Alang, Gujarat have left for their hometowns on special government arranged trains. Deals which have already missed cancellation dates were recommitted at lower levels, mainly since ship owners and cash buyers are facing a liquidity crunch.
A few vessels which entered Bangladesh’s waters last month have secured permission/NOC’s to anchor this week. Activities, however, are likely to remain subdued amid COVID-19 lockdown and ongoing Ramadan month till May end. Prices have been dropped by nearly $100/LDT for prompt beaching since the outbreak. Some owners refused to accept the price drop and chose to return deposits to depart Bangladesh, states GMS. A similar situation persists in Pakistan as reduced working hours on account of Ramadan fasting held back demolition work and banking services leading to delays in issuing LCs.