Hong Kong Convention compliant ship-breaking is receiving more green recycling enquiries, especially for container ships, according to a Braemar shipbroker analyst.
One of the ships that has been sent to Hong Kong for scrapping is reportedly Costamare’s 4,900TEU container vessel, Singapore Express. The Greek shipping company has agreed to sell the 2000-built boxship in Hong Kong for US$7.3 million (US$365/ltd), according to reports.
Singapore Express, which came off a time charter with Hapag-Lloyd in July, is one of the oldest ships in the company’s fleet. Its sale will be the fourth demolition move for Costamare in 2020 and the 13th since May 2018.
If the reported price is precise, Costamare has achieved a deal at a slightly higher price than the average for the Indian Subcontinent, which is US$245-350/ltd. The broker analyst told Container News, “prices, in general, have increased since May. We estimate that since the 2020 low-point in May, demolition prices for container ships have increased by about 20%.” However, they remain 17% lower compared to the beginning of the year.
The container ship demolition sector has been active over recent months as the recycling facilities have re-opened in the Indian subcontinent, according to a container market analyst.
Global chartering and S&P (sale & purchase) shipbroking specialist, Braemar estimates that as of 31 July, 65 container ships have been sold for demolition in 2020, with 47 of those ships being scrapped in June and July.
In the third quarter, container ship charter rates have improved noticeably for vessels from traditional-Panamax, and above. The Braemar analyst expects fewer demolition sales in these bigger size bands in the short-term.
The sector attracting the most demolition sales in 2020, is the feeder 1,000-1,999TEU sizes. In particular, 34 of the 65 demolition sales in the year have fallen in that size band, representing over half of the annual demolition sales.
“We expect demolition to gain momentum for older feeders especially if the offered prices continue the upward momentum,” added the broker analyst.
Looking at the age profile in the size bands up to 4,000TEU (sub-Panamax), according to Braemar’s estimations, there are in the region of 800 trading vessels aged 20 years or more, with 260 of those aged 25 years plus. Consequently, there is plenty of demolition candidates in the sub-Panamax fleet.
The age profile for traditional Panamax vessels suggests that future demolition could be limited. Braemar believes that only 38 traditional-Panamax in the size band 4,000-5,099TEU are aged 20 years or more.
For the next size band up, 5,100-7,499TEU, the age profile suggests there could be some additional demolition interest going forward. Braemar estimates there are 48 vessels in this mid-sized sector which are aged 20 years or more.
Most of the ageing vessels in this post-Panamax sector are sized 5,500-6,500-TEU and about 50% are liner owned. This liner-owned vintage tonnage is likely to be considered for demolition over the next few years.
In terms of TEU capacity, the broker analyst expects 1.3% of the container fleet to be demolished in 2020, compared to 0.9% of the fleet removed in 2019. For the past five years, the average fleet removal by demolition is 1.6%/year.
Source: Container News