Chinese shipowners have begun their year-end clear-out of unwanted ships, a move that is bringing modest relief to hungry ship recyclers on the Indian subcontinent.

Six Chinese-controlled ships were reported as sold for recycling over the past week, a mix of container ships, panamax bulkers and a reefer.

While brokers expect the pace of scrapping to pick up as Chinese owners purge older tonnage from their balance sheets before the end of their financial years, indications are that they are opting to hold on to their largest ships.

“What we are seeing are older bulkers used in the domestic coal trade being made available for recycling. We are not seeing the bigger Chinese-owned capesize vessels yet,” said a Singapore-based broker.

According to other market sources, owners of bulkers in the larger size segments have expressed their interest in recycling capesize vessels, with a condition of waiting for prices to increase.

For now, it appears the Chinese panamaxes are on the chopping block.

Dongguan Haichang Shipping was reported to have sold its 69,500-dwt bulk carrier Xin Dong Guan 3 (built 1996) to cash buyers on an “as is” basis for $473 per ldt, or $4.6m.

Cosco Shipping Qingdao also ditched one of its panamaxes, selling the 66,400-dwt bulker Jin Yuan Xin 16 (built 1977) to a Hong Kong-based cash buyer on an “as is” basis in Hong Kong for an undisclosed price.

Compatriot Cosco Shipping Bulk sold the 71,300-dwt Ya Tai 1 (built 1995) on an “as is” basis in Guangzhou for onward resale to Bangladesh. The ship was sold for $465 per ldt, or $4.8m.

Rounding out the list of Chinese cast-offs were Dalian Trawind International’s 2,227-teu container ship Xin Feng Ningbo (built 1995), sold to cash buyers “as is” in Zhoushan at $480 per ldt, or $4.9m, along with Hongkong Shunze International’s 12,700-dwt reefer vessel Shun Ze Leng 6 (built 1991), sold “as is” in Zhoushan for an undisclosed price, and the small general cargo ship Chuan Ze (built 2005), which was sold to Bangladesh for $475 per ldt, or $1.3m. TradeWinds was unable to find any further details of the Chuian Ze or its owners as the ship is not listed in international registers.

Chinese shipowners were not the only companies shedding panamaxes.

India’s Apeejay Shipping was reported to have sold the 74,100-dwt bulk carrier APJ Uma Kismat (built 2001) on an “as is” basis in Colombo for $510 per ldt, or $5.3m.

In other reported deals, Dutch aggregates trader Bontrup was reported as selling its 42,900-dwt open-hatch bulk carrier Bontrup Maldives (built 1984) for environmentally compliant recycling at Alang, in accordance with the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. The vessel was sold for a reported $547 per ldt, or $6m, with the price reflecting 350m tonnes of bunker fuel remaining on board.

Taiwan’s Her Wen Fishery Co’s 2,500-dwt reefer vessel Her Wen No 1 (built 1988) was sold to cash buyers on an “as is” Singapore basis.

Outside of the Indian subcontinent, Turkish liner company Arkas Holdings was reported to have sold its 907-teu feeder container ship Casablanca A (built 1996) to a compatriot ship recycler at Aliaga at $410 per ldt, or $1.9m.

P&O Ferries’ 30,600-gt ropax Pride of Kent (built 1992) was another vessel recently acquired by Turkish ship recyclers. Sold for an undisclosed sum, the ship was beached at Avsar Gemi Sokum’s recycling facility in Aliaga on 23 October.