07 July 2013

Rupee slump puts brake on ship demolition:

Ship-broker ACM says mills are finding it increasingly difficult to meet the prices demanded by recyclers

London: A plunge in the Indian rupee to near a record is curbing demolition of obsolete merchant vessels, exacerbating a fleet surplus in the maritime industry, according to London-based ship-broker ACM Shipping Group Plc.

“Indian scrap yards buy old tonnage from owners in dollars, but sell the scrap metal to steel mills in rupees,” ACM senior analyst Marc Pauchet said in a report sent by e-mail on Wednesday. “Mills are finding it increasingly difficult to meet the prices demanded by recyclers.”

The currency of the world’s largest vessel-scrapping nation fell 1% to 60.24 per dollar as of 3.12pm in Mumbai on Wednesday, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg. That’s 0.8% away from its record low of 60.765 per dollar on 26 June. The shortfall in India’s current account, the broadest measure of trade, widened to a record 4.8% of gross domestic product in the year ended 31 March, official data show.

Ship owners are contending with a fleet surplus across the maritime industry that Clarkson Plc., largest shipbroker, estimated in March was the largest since the early-1980s. The Baltic Dry Index, an overall measure of commodity freight costs, averaged 847 points this year, its worst start on record, according to the Baltic Exchange in London. BLOOMBERG

Source: live mint.

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