Shipbreaking: Faltering End to 2023: Market Dynamics



The concluding weeks of 2023 witness subdued markets across the subcontinent, dampening hopes for a bustling year-end. With sluggish demand and restrained sentiments, deals trickle in amidst a largely muted trading scenario. Notable regulatory shifts, including Pakistan's adherence to the Hong Kong Convention and the UAE's surprising regulations on vessels destined for demolition, stir the maritime landscape. Amidst this, the UAE's ruling setting criteria for recycling procedures raises questions, particularly its apparent exclusion of subcontinent and Turkish ship deliveries, leaving stakeholders seeking clarity on its implications and objectives. This development arrives on the backdrop of what seems to be a slow yet anticipated transition in the recycling sector after a comparatively quieter phase in 2022 and 2023. In the 50th week of 2023, GMS demo rankings illustrate the market dynamics across various locations, reflecting nuances in sentiments and pricing within the shipping recycling industry.


As the year draws to a close, the subcontinent markets face a subdued finale, bucking the expectations of a thriving culmination to 2023. Market activities echo this sentiment, with scarce deals being struck amidst persistently sluggish demand and muted sentiments. The tepid trading scenario has only witnessed a solitary container deal amidst a last-quarter rush, while dry bulk supply has halted, attributed to an unexpected spike in trading markets. Many vessel owners appear to be adopting a cautious stance, possibly waiting for potential improvements in recycling prices or charter rates as the new year looms ahead.

The regulatory landscape has seen intriguing shifts recently, with Pakistan's early adherence to the Hong Kong Convention, slated to come into force in 2025, and a surprising announcement from the UAE regarding vessel demolition regulations. The UAE's ruling, effective March 2024, mandates vessels calling UAE ports or flying the UAE flag to undergo HKC recycling exclusively. However, the directive's seemingly contradictory language has raised queries, particularly regarding the exclusion of ship deliveries to the subcontinent and Turkey.

This pivotal ruling marks an uncertain phase for stakeholders, necessitating a clearer understanding of its motives and implications before navigating the recycling landscape in the imminent years.

The GMS demo rankings for week 50 of 2023 shed light on the prevailing sentiments and pricing across various locations in the shipping recycling sector.


The conclusive chapters of 2023 paint a picture of restrained market activity across the subcontinent. Regulatory shifts, notably the UAE's stringent rulings, bring uncertainty to vessel recycling procedures, influencing stakeholders' strategies and decisions. This year's end not only marks a slower phase but also hints at an evolving landscape poised for changes in the recycling sector in the upcoming years.

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