Shipbreaking activity in Bangladesh has dropped by 50pc from Jan-Sep amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for ship plates from local mills in Bangladesh was lower compared to the prior year period.
Total ship scrap collected in Jan-Sep this year is 1.35mn mt compared to 2.70mn mt collected in the full year 2019. This year till date a total of 102 ships were purchased including several large ships while the number of ships dismantled last year were 260, according to Bangladesh Shipbreakers and Recyclers Association (BSBRA). Demand for scrap is still low and the available tonnages are enough to meet the current demand. Prices which fell to $270/ldt in Apr-June but rose to $400/ldt in September.
At lower breaking cost and a high proportion of ship scrap consumption, Bangladesh and subcontinental markets dominate the global ship breaking industry. Around 47pc of scrapped vessels get dismantled in Bangladesh which makes it a leading market player, followed by India with 25.6pc, Pakistan with 21.5pc, Turkey with 2.3pc and China 2pc, respectively.
The pandemic has disrupted imports of ships creating a low supply of scrap in the local markets and on the other hand demand for ship scrap has also not yet picked up. There are 40 active steel mills in Bangladesh with a total capacity to produce 9mn mt of steel per year.