Shipberaking: Steel's Festive Fluctuations

ShipbreakingImage Source: SteelGuru


As Diwali approaches, the ship-recycling markets across the sub-continent, including India, Bangladesh, and even Turkey, are experiencing a decline, with prices cooling by approximately USD 20/LDT. However, there's a contrasting rise in steel plate prices in India and Bangladesh, fostering cautious optimism for a stronger end to the year. Turkish steel prices have also seen a boost, reflecting in improved vessel prices. Despite a global shortage of tonnage and a dip in the recycling market from previous highs, the industry is hopeful for a positive close to the year and a strong start to 2024.


The festive season brings a mixed bag of trends for the ship-recycling industry, with the Diwali period marking a time of cooling prices amidst rising inflation and weaker currencies. Yet, in a surprising twist, India and Bangladesh have reported increases in steel plate prices, offering a glimmer of hope in a market that has otherwise seen a downturn of about USD 20/LDT recently.

The uptick in global steel plate prices by 3% over the past week injects optimism into the ship-recycling industry, suggesting the possibility of firmer prices as we move towards the end of 2023. If these positive trends persist post-Diwali, we could see an elevation in vessel prices as well.

Turkey, in particular, is showing signs of recovery, with import steel prices going up by USD 11 per metric ton, which has resulted in a USD 10/MT increase in vessel prices, bringing them back to around USD 300/LDT.

However, the industry is still grappling with a shortage of tonnage, primarily due to older vessels entering the recycling phase. This supply issue is expected to change as we advance into 2024, with markets enhancing their facilities to meet the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) standards in anticipation of a surge in the volume of vessels for recycling.

After a relatively dry last quarter and a significant drop in recycling market values over the summer, stakeholders are eyeing a stable close to the year. The hope is to welcome the first quarter of 2024 with rejuvenated vigor and stability.

As of week 44 in 2023, GMS demo rankings and pricing are as follows, with India leading, despite declining sentiments, and Turkey showing improvement:

India: USD 510/LDT for Dry Bulk, USD 530/LDT for Tankers, USD 550/LDT for Containers

Bangladesh: USD 505/LDT for Dry Bulk, USD 525/LDT for Tankers, USD 545/LDT for Containers

Pakistan: USD 500/LDT for Dry Bulk, USD 520/LDT for Tankers, USD 540/LDT for Containers

Turkey: USD 300/LDT for Dry Bulk, USD 310/LDT for Tankers, USD 320/LDT for Containers


Despite current challenges, the ship-recycling market is showing signs of resilience and potential for recovery. The industry is cautiously optimistic about the closing of 2023 and the start of 2024, with a focus on stabilizing the market and adapting to higher standards for recycling facilities.

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