World’s largest shipbreaking destination throws a coronavirus curveball

Vessels bound for demolition at the world’s largest shipbreaking destination, Alang, are set for a coronavirus curveball.

Shipbroker Clarkson Platou Hellas warned in a weekly report that Indian authorities have this week held a meeting internally with various government departments and shipping agents to discuss the outbreak of the illness and the effect on crew arrivals at Alang’s anchorage. It was agreed that vessels arriving for recycling with crew nationalities from South Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran and China will not be allowed to enter India with immediate effect.

“All ship recyclers have been requested to inform their cash buyers, agents and others within the ship recycling industry of this procedure. All other nationalities will be checked out with the health department at Alang anchorage, thereafter once cleared, the usual custom formalities for inward clearance can take place,” the broker noted.

GMS, the world’s largest cash buyer for ships for recycling, noted in a weekly report, that the ruling extends not just to the crew, but to ships that had called in the countries mentioned above 14 days prior to coming to Alang.

“As the global Coronavirus fears justifiably deteriorate further, there have been fresh rulings in the subcontinent markets on permitting the import of vessels that have recently called China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran within the last 14 days (or the vessel’s crew is of similar nationality on board). With the situation changing on a daily basis, these restrictions may be further amended or modified at short notice,” GMS explained.

GMS predicted that if prices maintain their steady descent which has seen almost $50 per ldt wiped off since the peaks of earlier in the year, many owners will hold off sending their ships for demolition for the time being.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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