An MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company container ship that caught fire while anchored off Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port in June has been sold for recycling.

Brokers reported that the 8,034-teu MSC Rita (built 2005) has been sold on an “as is” basis at Khalifa Port for an undisclosed sum.

It will be delivered under tow for green recycling at an MSC-approved yard at Alang in India.

The fire was said to have damaged the engine room. TradeWinds understands that although the ship was not declared a constructive total loss, MSC decided to scrap it because the cost of repairs was deemed financially unfeasible.

MSC has been the most prolific recycler of container ships this year. In mid-November, it was reported as having sold its 2,078-teu MSC Chiara (built 1987) to an approved facility at Alang for $535 per ldt, or $7.7m.

The sale of the MSC Rita brings the number of ships the Swiss liner giant has sold for recycling this year to 15.

Container ship recycling volumes during 2023 have remained lower than expected given the market downturn. Most vessels sold were older feeder-size ships.

One such ship matching this description, Xiamen Qiyuan Shipping’s 2,480-teu Ze Hong (built 1995), was reported sold to cash buyers last week for $520 per ldt, or $6m on an “as is” Zhoushan basis with 200 tonnes of fuel on board.

Two bulkers were also reported as sold for recycling over the past week.

Subdued markets

Vietnam Ocean Shipping’s 25,400-dwt Neptune Star (built 1996) reportedly went for $512 per ldt, or $2.8m on a delivered Alang basis.

The Marshall Islands-registered African Express is said to have sold its 42,500-dwt open-hatch bulk carrier Diamond Way (built 1995) to a recycling facility in Alang for an undisclosed price.

According to market sources, buying by recyclers on the Indian subcontinent remains subdued due to a decline in Indian domestic steel prices that has fostered negative sentiment, while banks in Bangladesh are said to again be tightening the issuance of letters of credit.