South Asian shipbreaking still on the increase; accidents continue

Fatal accidents and injuries were continuing to occur far too frequently at shipbreaking yards in South Asia, reports NGO Shipbreaking Platform. It noted that 73% of all end-of-life ships were beached for dismantling at the yards in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan during Q1 2022

The pressure group reported that 13 workers suffered accidents on South Asia’s shipbreaking beaches during the quarter, where 94 ocean-going commercial ships and floating offshore units ended up for dismantling. The majority of ships (44) were beached, followed by 35 in Bangladesh and 15 in Pakistan.

During Q1 2022 there were 129 ships  dismantled worldwide, of which just 15 were demolished in the EU, 15 in Turkey and two in China.

Data from market intelligence firm SteelMint Research showed that cash buyers on the Asian subcontinent continued to offer higher cash prices in order to secure tonnage.

Shipbreaking import prices rose by $10 per light displacement tonnage (ldt) in India to hit $690 per ldt and $5 per ldt in Bangladesh to reach $675 per ldt in mid-April, with prices in Pakistan holding stable at $690 per ldt.

SteelMint said that “offers from recyclers in Pakistan are going strong at present. In fact, these are topping the price charts in the subcontinent, since shortage of stock in the yards is driving buyers to secure tonnage”.

Breakers in India were eager to buy more tonnage because domestic demand remained strong, but inventory levels at the yards were falling. This had resulted in offers increasing by about $10 per ldt.

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform report stated that Bangladesh led in reported cases of fatalities and accidents, with two deaths and four injuries. One death was reported in India, with three injuries, but no fatalities, in Pakistan.

The group reports that cases of illegal exports of end-of-life floating storage units (FSOs) and floating production storage and offloading units (FPSOs) into South Asia beaches for dismantling were increasing.

NGO said that some 200 floating structures had been identified as scrapped globally since 2015, with an estimated 40% of the assets ending up in South Asia.