206 Ships Broken in 1Q: NGO Shipbreaking Platform
Of the 206 ships broken in the first quarter of 2018, 152 were sold to the beaches of South Asia, according to the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.
Ship owners continue to sell their ships to the beaching yards despite documented hazardous and even deadly conditions as the prices offered for ships this first quarter have been high in South Asia, especially when compared to the figures of last year. While a South Asian beaching yard can pay about $450/LDT, Turkish and Chinese yards are respectively currently paying $280/LDT and $210/LDT. This has led to a significant decrease in the number of vessels recycled in China, where only seven vessels were scrapped this quarter.
South Korean and UAE ship owners have sold the most ships to South Asian yards the first quarter of 2018 with 14 beached vessels each, followed by Greek and Russian owners. Shipping companies from the U.S. beached five vessels.
Following the ban on the import of tankers to Pakistan due to major explosions that occurred in 2016 and 2017, no tankers were sold to the Gadani yards this first quarter. However, Pakistan has re-opened to the import of tankers this week.
Only three ships had a European flag – Belgium, Italy and Norway – when they arrived on the beach. Most ships sold to the beaching yards pass via the hands of scrap-dealers, also known as cash-buyers, that often re-register and re-flag the vessel on its last voyage. In this regard, flags of convenience, in particular those that are grey- and black-listed under the Paris MoU, are used by cash-buyers to send ships to the worst breaking locations.
Almost half of the ships sold to South Asia this quarter changed flag to the grey- and black-listed registries of Comoros, Niue, Palau and St. Kitts and Nevis just weeks before hitting the beach. These flags are not typically used during the operational life of ships and offer ‘last voyage registration’ discounts. They are grey- and black-listed due to their poor implementation of international maritime law.