For the past year, India’s Alang shipbreaking market has seen a slight slowdown in activity amid softening demand in the international recycling market. In contrast, neighboring countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan have faced delayed softness in the markets, problems with L.C. (letter of credit) from banks, and fluctuations in exchange rates, resulting in a direct advantage for Alang. This advantage has provided some respite to the Alang yard.
With the conclusion of government projects and the resurgence of government initiatives in India, both public and private construction sectors are witnessing a surge in activities. However, the current market conditions depict a lack of momentum and sluggishness in trade.
Notably, various types of vessels, including bulk carriers, containers, and tankers, have found more favorable deals with buyers in Alang since September. After the arrival of 14 vessels in September, more than 20 ships have been purchased by industry players in Alang in October.
According to industry expert Sandip Shah, a significant influx of diverse vessels is expected in Alang in 2024, potentially driving up demand significantly during the latter half of the year. Meanwhile, the local scrap market has experienced a drop of up to 3 rupees within the last couple of days. However, the earlier influx of ships has improved the situation at the Alang yard, especially with the process of ship recycling contributing positively to the overall economic condition of the district.
The majority of large plot owners in the Alang ship recycling yard are upgrading their plots based on classification provided by the Hong Kong Convention. The central government is providing assistance up to 5 million rupees for each plot’s upgrade. This initiative has significantly improved conditions in Alang and is expected to continue providing support.
Challenges in Imitation for Bangladesh
Bangladesh, on the other hand, has been extremely busy imitating Alang’s success. The Hong Kong Convention’s implementation deadline in 2025 looms, but Bangladesh has been grappling with imitation attempts and upgrading challenges, causing significant busyness and disruptions in their industry.
While international markets face uncertainties, Alang’s ship recycling yard stands as a beacon of stability, largely due to its strategic advantages and government support. The challenges faced by neighboring countries have inadvertently benefited Alang, highlighting the importance of a stable regulatory environment and strategic planning in the globalized ship recycling industry. As Alang moves forward, continued government support and proactive industry initiatives will be crucial in maintaining its leading position in the global shipbreaking market.