Singapore: Ship recyclers continue to struggle to break even amid very depressed prices, warns the boss of one of the world’s leading cash buyers for scrapped ships.
Rakesh Khetan (Billu) is the CEO of Singapore’s Wirana Shipping Corporation, which typically negotiates between 100 to 150 vessels annually.
“The market for ship recycling is quite dull as prices are quite low. This is a result of commodities slump and oil prices dragging it down further,” Khetan says.
Khetan expects that prices have at least bottomed out and should range between $350 to 400 per ldt in the next six to12 months.
The biggest challenge facing the industry at the moment, Khetan reckons, is the dumping of Chinese steel into the subcontinent markets where ship steel is sold.
“It is very difficult for the ship recyclers to compete when imported steel is cheaper than the ship steel,” Khetan explains. While local governments have tried to stop this dumping, they have failed as Chinese sellers drop their prices and have absorbed the increase in duty on imported steel.