As per ISRI’s recently released Member Alert: “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a national lockdown on March 25 in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In a country of 1.3 billion, it is a very consequential directive being immediately felt by the Indian people and made all the more chaotic as it was imposed without many detailed guidelines
The Indian Government's lockdown order has been amended several times to ensure that essential goods and services – including food and medicine – are provided to communities. But it is clear that recycling and many manufacturing industries that consume scrap are not deemed essential, and thus, your Indian customers are closed.
Furthermore, seaports have been directed to stay open to allow for imports of critical goods, but the clearance of these consignments – as well as offloading and clearances of scrap and many other "non-essential" goods that had already been en route to India – is slowed by workers not reporting to work as port operators, truck drivers, and other functions key to the supply chain. We are hearing that ships cannot offload because of this slowdown. An article in India's Business Standard gives a snapshot of the Indian recycling industry's challenges.
Our partners at the Materials Recycling Association of India (MRAI) immediately began daily petitions to the government to seek relief from shipping demurrage and other fees associated with the inability to offload containers or release containers from the ports because their operations were closed. As a result of these efforts, the Directorate General of Shipping of India today issued an order "advising" shipping lines to consider not imposing demurrage charges through April 7. This follows decisions we hear have been made by Maersk, MSC and Safmarine to suspend demurrage charges until that date.
Furthermore, a news report said yesterday Adani Ports, which runs the Ports of Mundra, Tuna and Dhamra, has declared force majeur. We are looking into this as it is not yet understood how this could impact the scrap trade other than to declare the ports "not responsible for any claims, damages, charges etc." arising from the impact on port operations during the national lockdown, according to the article.
ISRI will continue to keep you informed on these developments. Contact Adina Renee Adler at (202) 662-8514 with questions or information gathered from your trade network.