Containership demolition sales fall to 17-year low in 2022
Containership demolition sales fell to a 17-year low in 2022, with only six fullycellular container vessels for a total capacity of 10,904 teu sold to recyclers, the weakest level since 2005.
Recycling sales in 2022 were lower than the 16,500 teu scrapped in 2021, an already poor year, and a far cry from the nearly 200,000 teu recycled two years earlier in 2020. The record years of 2016 and 2017 which saw respectively 655,000 and 417,000 teu of tonnage torched have meanwhile become a distant memory.
The main reason for the demolition lull in 2022 was the highly remunerative charter and freight markets which until the summer prompted both non-vessel operating owners (NOOs) and liner operators to keep trading their older vessels and steer clear of the recycling scene, despite attractive demolition prices.
The first eight months of 2022 saw zero container vessel sales if we exclude the disposal of the 1,727 teu, MATSONIA, a 1973-built Jones Act roro container vessel sold for recycling in the US. However, the fall in freight tariffs, which gathered pace during the summer, the collapse in charter rates in September and rising uncertainties regarding the
new 2023 carbon regulations changed the momentum, prompting owners to look again at the demolition market for their older tonnage.