MSC Federica / Source: VesselFinder

The world’s two largest liner operators have continued to scrap aged ships as the freight market has normalised to pre-Covid-19 levels.

Shipbrokers said that this month, MSC has sold the 1993-built 3,720 TEU MSC Erminia and 1999-built 1,837 TEU MSC Lana II for US$505/ldt and US$520/ldt respectively. As with the 1990-built 4,814 TEU MSC Federica, which was sold for US$515/ldt, the ships were sold into India for recycling. Year to date, MSC has scrapped seven ships.

Additionally, Maersk Line sold the 1998-built 2,890 TEU Maersk Patras for an undisclosed price, on an “as is” basis, with the buyer arranging to collect the vessel in Jebel Ali port. So far this year, the Danish carrier has scrapped three vessels.

Greek broker Intermodal stated that in India, local steel prices rose slightly last week, but this is not expected to be sustained as the monsoon season continues and steel mills are experiencing disruptions.

“Local breakers have seen vessels for scrap ending up in other destinations as offer prices in India remain high,” observed Intermodal.

Cash buyer Wirana Shipping Corporation said that traders are avoiding restocking steel for post-monsoon orders.

Wirana said, “In view of lack of finished steel demand, it would need to be seen whether the increase in billet prices and local steel plate prices seen this week are sustainable for secondary steel mills and whether they continue at same levels in coming weeks.”

Besides the vessels sold by MSC and Maersk, intra-Asia carrier Straits Orient Lines has continued to trim its fleet, selling the 1997-built 1,730 TEU SOL Straits into Bangladesh for US$592/ldt. The firm price was due to the ship having 250 tonnes of leftover bunkers, although Bangladeshi recyclers have not been able to buy many vessels due to the scarcity of letters of credit issued by banks there. In January, Straits Orient Lines sold 1995-built 1,728 TEU SOL Delta for US$587/ldt for recycling in India.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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