Two months ahead of the third anniversary since the sinking of the Stellar Daisy with the loss of 22 lives, the ship’s owner, Polaris Shipping from South Korea has decided to condemn to history all of the sister ships of the converted ore carrier.
Splash understands Polaris has contracted with GMS, the world’s largest cash buyer for vessels for demolition, to send a total of 10 converted ore carriers for scrap. The ships had been on a 10-year charter to Vale, hauling ore from Brazil to China in a contract that has just come to a close.
The ships will be replaced by nine newbuilds that Polaris will take delivery shortly from Hyundai Heavy, New Times and Shanghai Waigaoqiao.
In the wake of the Stellar Daisy disaster, faults were also found on a number of other ageing converted ore carriers in the Polaris fleet.
The appetite to send older, large bulkers for scrap is growing around the world. Clarkson Research Services noted in its most recent weekly report that owners are adjusting themselves to new fuel bills in the IMO 2020 era and capesize rates have had a dire start to the year.
“Overall, the positive sentiment in the recycling market looks set to continue following a bright start to 2020, with many in the industry predicting a more active year compared to a disjointed 2019,” Clarkson noted, adding that it predicted a significant volume of dry cargo tonnage entering the recycling market for the rest of the year.
“The concern will be whether having a large amount of units in the market simultaneously has a negative impact on the currently firm price indications,” Clarkson warned.
Lion Shipbrokers in Athens, meanwhile, noted in its most recent weekly report that the Subcontinent market remains firm, paying rates in the region of $390-$400 per lt for larger tonnage.