Just as a few (positive) signs of momentum started to emerge from the industry, this week, the Supreme Court of India threw a spanner in the works of any impending recovery, by declaring that all ships arriving to Alang shores had to be freed by owners of any hazardous/toxic materials as identified by the Basel Convention.
The landmark case of the ORIENTAL NICETY (ex EXXON VALDEZ converted from tanker into Bulker) is still rumbling on amidst calls not to allow the vessel to be imported, and it is perhaps this, that has put the spotlight firmly back on the industry and its practices.
The order has yet to be fully digested or understood of course, hazardous materials inventories have been standard practice in the industry for some time now and it is still unclear what exactly is required of owners now bringing their vessels to Indian shores.
Like the Bangladeshi market closure, which lasted intermittently for one over a year and a half, nobody wants to see the largest ship recycling centre in the world closed down for any length of time as all parties will be trying their utmost to ensure that this does not happen. The next hearing is on July 19th 2012, when it is expected that more light should be shed on the situation.
Prices had otherwise shown some signs of shitting upwards, with currency stabilization amidst fluctuating steel prices in India, and some marginally firming numbers in both Pakistan and Bangladesh as well. China also was steady for another consecutive week whilst Turkey ramped up its buying once again. Container FRESENA (7329 LDT) was committed to Turkish Buyers late last week at levels region USD 320/LT, rates that almost rivaled those from competing China.
Far more buyers are now displaying their confidence to offer at these renewed levels and many are already starting to feel that the worst is over and that buying can resume subject of course to the overcoming of this most recent hurdle in India.
Source: steel guru. 11 July 2012http://www.steelguru.com/international_news/GMS_report_on_ship_breaking_industry_for_WEEK_27_2012/272874.html