Tankers being recycled in Bangladesh, Pakistan

China’s slowing steel industry points to increased shipbreaking activity on the Indian subcontinent.

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September 23, 2021

Retired liquid bulk tanker vessels are keeping ship dismantlers busy, according to an analysis by a shipping industry trade publication. With China’s steel industry slowing after years of growth, most of those tankers are finding a home on the Indian subcontinent.

“The lackluster tanker market is motivating ship owners to sell some of their vintage tonnage for scrap,” writes Hellenic Shipping News in a Sept. 22 article. The publication quotes a brokerage of retired ships as saying China’s slowing steel sector has made Pakistan the winning bidder more often than not for ship dismantling and scrappage services.

“For the time being, Pakistan is now at the forefront of their competitors and certainly appear willing to outbid their counterparts for any available larger tanker unit. India looks set to seek tonnage,” London-based ship brokerage Clarkson Platou Hellas tells Hellenic Shipping News.

The publication and brokerage list recent winning bids for two large tankers, with one going to Pakistan and another to Bangladesh. Adds Hellenic Shipping News, “Bangladesh seems to have been able to attract once again several candidates, despite the presumed pressure that domestic players are facing over the current offered prices and the already amassed stockpile [of vessels].”