A well-known proponent of scrapping has highlighted the scant amount of bulkers sent for the blowtorch treatment this year. According to Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at international shipowning association Bimco, 2018 has been a slow year for dry bulk demolitions, with only 4.2m dwt scrapped as of 17 December, down 71.6% compared to last year. An almost total halt in panamax demolitions has been an important factor behind this fall, with demolition in every ship segment down.
While last year, panamax ships accounted for 23% of total dry bulk demolition, this year, with only two ships demolished, totalling 144,485 dwt, this segment accounts for only 3%. The last time panamax demolition was so low was in 2007 when the total came to 141,479 dwt.
“The last year in which only two panamax ships were demolished was in 2007 when the dry bulk market was booming, and panamax demolition hasn’t been in single figures since 2010. Historically, better freight rates lead to a decrease in demolition and with average earnings in the dry bulk market at their highest since 2011, owners are more likely to keep their ships sailing,” Sand said yesterday.
The average age of dry bulk ships being demolished has risen to reach 28.1 years, up from 24.7 years in 2017, according to data from Clarkson.
Speaking at the Maritime CEO Forum in Singapore earlier this year Sand quipped: ““Owners are often too attached to their vessels. I mean it’s hard to send a vessel with your mother’s name on it to the scrapyard.”