2018 has been a slow year for dry bulk demolitions, with only 4.2 million DWT scrapped (as of 17 December), down 71.6% compared to last year. An almost total halt in Panamax demolitions has been an important factor behind this fall, with demolition in every ship segment down.
While last year, Panamax ships accounted for 23% of total dry bulk demolition, this year, with only two ships demolished, totalling 144,485 DWT, this segment accounts for only 3%. The last time Panamax demolition was so low was in 2007 when the total came to 141,479 DWT.
“The last year in which only two Panamax ships were demolished was in 2007 when the dry bulk market was booming, and Panamax demolition hasn’t been in single figures since 2010.
Historically, better freight rates lead to a decrease in demolition and with average earnings in the dry bulk market at their highest since 2011, owners are more likely to keep their ships sailing,” Peter Sand, BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst, says.
No month in 2018 has experienced more than 0.8 million DWT of dry bulk demolition, compared to last year in which ten months saw demolition above 0.8 million tonnes. January saw the highest levels this year at 748,666 DWT. April was the lowest month, during which only one Supramax ship was demolished.
Small ships live longer lives
The average age of dry bulk ships being demolished has risen to reach 28.1 years, up from 24.7 years in 2017 (Source: Clarksons). The highest average age of demolished ships was observed in May, peaking at 31.7 years. The average age for demolished Capesize ships over the course of the year was 23.8 years old, and Panamax ships were on average demolished at 21.6 years of age. The smaller ship sizes had a higher average age at demolition of 29.8 years and 31.9 years for Handymax and Handysize ships respectively.