2011 “Shipbreaking” collection

7 Feb 2012

1020 ships for scrap in 2011, a new record

Unit Tonnage of scrap metal Category

1 India 458 (45%)

2 Bangladesh 145 (14%)

3 China, 142 (14%)

4 Pakistan, 108 (11%),

5 Turkey, 72 (7%),

6 United States, 19 (2%)

1 India 3,5 million t (43%)

2 Bangladesh 1,6 million t (19%)

3 China, 1,4 million t (17%)

4 Pakistan 1 million t (13%)

5 Turkey 206.000 t (3%)

6 United States 131.000 (1%)

1 bulk carrier: 334 (33%)

2 general cargo: 234 (23%)

3 tankers : 209 (20%)

4 reefers : 50 (5%)

5 container ship : 48 (5%)

For the third consecutive year, cleaning continues in the shipping world as over one thousand ships are disposed of. With 1020 units going for scrap, 2011 beats the 2009 record (1,006 ships). The demolition market grew by 7% compared to the previous year in terms of the number of ships and by 27% by volume of recycled metal. The size of the scrapped vessels is significantly greater with 268 ships over 200m against 168 in 2010. 24 vessels over 300m in length were sent for scrap among which two thirds of tankers and particularly double hulled VLCCs (Very Large Crude Carriers) some as young as 13 to 16 years of age.

Among the vessels scrapped in 2011, 385 (38%) measure less than 150m , 367 (36%) between 150 and 199m , and 268 (26%) over 200m . The ages range from 9 years for the general cargo carrier S Gabriel, damaged off the Azores, to 70 for the veteran Sperry, a US Navy submarine tender..  The average age is almost stable at 30.

The evolution radically differs depending on the category of vessels observed. Bulk carriers are three times more likely than in 2010 to be scrapped and at 33% represent the number one category of vessels scrapped ahead of general cargo carriers (23%). The tankers altogether only represent 20% of scrapped vessels and container ships 5%, a decrease in units of -35% for each of these families.

India remains number 1 in volume and units to be demolished, for the 4th consecutive year. Bangladesh retains 2nd place despite the ban on the import of ships to be demolished for half of the year. The ranking is identical to 2010 (except for TURKEY where the number of vessels received in their yards fell). The United States, in full pussy-footing mode, are locally dismantling old hulls from their Reserve Fleet, but sends the bulk of merchant vessels to Asia. All the more easy as it is no longer the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who are in charge of controlling the export of hazardous materials (TSCA – The Toxic Substances Control Act), but the Maritime Administration who tend to release the fugitive vessels to the detriment of local yards.  Europe is getting nowhere, with the exception of Belgium and Denmark who are consolidating their positions.

The total tonnage of metal scrapped in 2011 exceeded the 8 million mark.

365 (36%) were under a European flag or belonged to companies established in the European Union or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and 38% were built in those countries. 586 (57%) have been detained in previous years with their crews in ports worldwide, in Europe but also in Russia and Asia for non-compliance with international safety regulations. 981 ships (96%) were demolished in Asia.

The purchase prices moderately fluctuated in 2011. After an upward trend before the summer, prices returned to levels comparable to the end of last year, of about $475 to 500 per ton in the Indian subcontinent; $400-430 in China and $330 in Turkey. The prices offered by some European and American sites are rarely disclosed, but the prices were announced as over  $200  per ton in Denmark and the United States. The most expensive ship, Sun Bridge, was bought by India at $726 per ton, a price blown out of the water by the Canadian Miner  which will be cut and dismantled in situ at a cost of $24 million after her catastrophic towing and grounding- i.e. more than $2,000 per ton, excluding the cost of environmental damage…




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