News & Media

07 June, 2019

Australian Newsletter - Issue 557

AUSTRALIA: FREIGHT COSTS ARE CRIPPLING COMPETITIVENESS
Freight and logistics have been identified as the largest single cost item in the production of many agricultural products. This fact has led to concerns about Australia's competitiveness on the international commodities market. A report by Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by AgriFutures Australia, investigated farm transport costs from paddock to port for a sector that sees roughly two-thirds of food and fibre exported. AgriFutures Australia managing director, John Harvey, said freight costs were critical to maintaining Australia's global competitiveness and would continue to impact agriculture's export performance into the future: "In Australia, freight costs are highest for grains at 27.5% of gross income, and fruit and vegetables at 21%. FULL STORY

BOTANY SEEKS DETAILS OF HISTORIC NEWCASTLE CONTAINER TERMINAL PLANS AS IT DEFENDS ACCC CASE
THE operator of Port Botany and Port Kembla has obtained a Federal Court order for the Port of Newcastle to hand over any plans it has for a container terminal going back as far as 2012.
The order is one of three last week in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's case against NSW Ports for an allegedly anti-competitive agreement with the NSW government that the ACCC says would "prevent or hinder" the development of a container terminal in Newcastle by making it uneconomic.  FULL STORY

PORT KEMBLA GAS TERMINAL CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT AWARDED
The Port Kembla Gas Terminal (PKGT), owned by Australian Industrial Energy (AIE), has reached an important milestone with the wharf facility and pipeline construction contract being awarded. 
The Contract was awarded to the SCSB joint venture, which comprises Spiecapag and Soletanche Bachy, which are international specialists in the core construction works required to build the PKGT wharf facility and pipeline connection to the Cringila Eastern Gas Pipeline connection point just six kilometres from the wharf. Both companies have extensive experience in major pipeline and infrastructure projects in Australia and around the world.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA: FREIGHT COSTS ARE CRIPPLING COMPETITIVENESS
Freight and logistics have been identified as the largest single cost item in the production of many agricultural products. This fact has led to concerns about Australia's competitiveness on the international commodities market.
A report by Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by AgriFutures Australia, investigated farm transport costs from paddock to port for a sector that sees roughly two-thirds of food and fibre exported.  AgriFutures Australia managing director, John Harvey, said freight costs were critical to maintaining Australia's global competitiveness and would continue to impact agriculture's export performance into the future: "In Australia, freight costs are highest for grains at 27.5% of gross income, and fruit and vegetables at 21%.  FULL STORY

DEEPWATER PORT PLANNED FOR SA’S EYRE PENINSULA
THE PURCHASE of a site at Port Spencer on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula has put the state on the path to getting its first new deepwater grain port in decades.
To be developed by FREE Eyre Limited subsidiary Peninsula Ports Pty Ltd, the Port Spencer facility has been designed to receive, store and export up to 1 million tonnes of grain. FREE Eyre and Peninsula Ports chairman John Crosby said Port Spencer was aiming to receive its first grain next year.
“On behalf of our 475 Eyre Peninsula farming family shareholders, we are thrilled to have reached this important milestone,” Mr Crosby said. “We’re aiming for first deliveries in 2020.” FULL STORY

MERSK EVALUATING TIMARU PORT FOR FUTURE GIANT SHIP BERTHS
The world's largest shipping and logistics company looks set to drop its anchors in Timaru following a visit from the largest ship ever to berth at the port.  
The town's port would definitely see more ships like the massive Rio de Janeiro, which berthed here on May 26, if that trial run proves successful, Maersk says. Maersk Oceania area product manager Greg Paradine said it had recently customised its services to accommodate New Zealand ports such as Tauranga, Napier, Lyttelton and Port Chalmers. Timaru could be next on that list after the Rio de Janeiro's stop over late last month, he said.  FULL STORY

ASIA PACIFIC REMAINS TOP SHIPPING LOSS REGION DESPITE LOWEST LOSS FIGURES GLOBALLY THIS CENTURY
Asia Pacific waters remain the top shipping loss region, accounting for 45% of losses globally in 2018, according to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE’s Safety & Shipping Review 2019.
In 2018, 21 total losses of vessels were reported in Asia Pacific, down from 46 losses in the 12 months earlier, driven by a significant decline in activity in the global loss hotspot, South East Asia, and weather-related losses after quieter hurricane and typhoon seasons. While this plummet in total losses is encouraging, the number of reported shipping incidents overall in Asia actually increased by 22% in the past four years, according to analysis of data from 4,000 insured vessels by AGCS. However, this is more due to the sheer volume of ships that pass through the region, rather than below-par safety standards.  FULL STORY

NEW PILBARA PORT AUTHORITY BOSS ANNOUNCED
Former Perth Airport boss Brad Geatches has been named as the man to take over as chairperson of the Pilbara Port Authority. 
Mr Geatches replaces Ken Pettit, who served in the position for eight years.  Mr Geatches other accolades include a five-year stint as chief executive of the Cairns Port Authority and working as director of Brisbane Airport Corporation. He said he was thrilled the Government had seen fit to hire him as overseer of such a crucial authority and it would be business as usual for the PPA.  “WA is a wonderful place, but it is just so important to the nation as a whole and I feel privileged to be involved,” he said. Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced the appointment of Mr Geatches and said it was vital the PPA had strong leadership. FULL STORY

AUSTRALIAN IRON ORE EXPORTS CLOSE TO RECORD IN MAY
In this regular update we use high frequency shipping data to analyse current trends and drivers of bulks exports from Australia and assess the impact of macro and micro economic factors on demand and prices. 
Our initial forecasts for iron ore exports volumes from Australia in May is 78.7mt up +13.5%mm and up +21% versus the average of the last 3 months. This reflects a further normalisation in exports after the impact from TC Veronica in March. Total exports all but equalled the record seen in December 2017, with all 3 ports that we track having close to record months. Port Hedland saw its strongest month of exports since June 2018; Cape Lambert since May 2018 and Port Dampier since Feb 2018.  FULL STORY

SHELL’S GIANT FLOATING LNG FACILITY PRELUDE SET TO SHIP FIRST CARGO WHEN MOORING ISSUES RESOLVED
The giant Prelude floating LNG facility is close to exporting its first LNG, almost two years after it arrived in Australian waters from Korea during which it has had several problems bringing vessels alongside. 
Shell director of gas and new energies Maarten Wetselaar yesterday told investors that Prelude had been producing LNG for more than a week and the first shipment of LNG was imminent. The Spanish LNG carrier Valencia Knutsen, which was moored off Darwin for some days, yesterday moved to the vicinity of Prelude, 475km north-east of Broome, according to vessel tracking site Marine Traffic. FULL STORY

PORT OF WEIPA DREDGING PROJECT NOW UNDERWAY
NORTH Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) has just announced that the Port of Weipa maintenance dredging project is officially underway. 
NQBP added that dredging will also be completed at Amrun on behalf of Rio Tinto. According to the announcement, the dredging work will be underway until 17 July. Dredge vessels TSHD Brisbane and Oranje will work within the Port of Weipa and Amrun over the next two weeks to complete the project, reported NQBP. NQBP manages the annual maintenance dredging program at the Port of Weipa – a program that has run for more than 30 years.  FULL STORY  

ABX SIGNS MOA WITH BUNDABERG PORT AUTHORITY FOR SHIPMENT OF BINJOUR PROJECT BAUXITE
Australian Bauxite Limited (ABx) updated investors on progress at its Binjour Project yesterday. 
The Project, which it considers to be a prime source for gibbsite-trihydrate (THA) metallurgical-grade bauxite in the state of Queensland, continues to undergo testing in hopes that extraction at the site will prove commercially viable. Per the firm, it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Port Authority at the Port of Bundaberg agreeing to partner in an investigation of the feasibility of exporting bulk quantities of bauxite ore through the port.  FULL STORY

WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH AUCKLAND'S PORT?
Every year roughly 300,000 vehicles land at Ports of Auckland, 1500 ships call, and almost 1 million containers pass through. No wonder it’s bursting at the seams.
Everyone seems to have an opinion about its future -  the cars should be moved to Northport; the whole operation should all be moved and replaced with a stadium, apartments and parks; the city wants it to stay; Auckland needs the income. The port supports 700 workers and another 160,000 jobs are estimated to hang on the port’s operations, including freight forwarding businesses. A working group is due to report back to the government this month on the future of freight forwarding in the upper North Island.  FULL STORY

MARITIME CONSTRUCTIONS TAKES DELIVERY OF DAMEN DREDGER AND MULTI CAT
Damen Shipyards Group has delivered a Cutter Suction Dredger (CSD) 500 and a Multi Cat 1506 to Maritime Constructions of Port Adelaide, Australia. 
The two vessels have been put to use on a port extension project in Onslow, Western Australia. Maritime Constructions has been awarded the contract to carry out capital dredging works for the Onslow Marine Support Base Channel Dredging project, which will see the modification and expansion of the Beadon Creek Harbour Approach Channel, Swing Basin and Berth Pocket. This involves the dredging and reclamation of up to 950,000m3 of sediment.  FULL STORY

INSPECTOR-GENERAL – BATTLING BUGS NEARLY BROKE BIOSECURITY BORDER
Australia’s border biosecurity system was stretched “close to breaking point” and had “severe impacts on sections of the shipping and exporting industries” during the recent Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) season, finds the Inspector-General of Biosecurity.
Costs and delays in unloading ships and releasing cargo from biosecurity controls were “significant but unavoidable” because of the need to deal with large numbers of pests. The BMSB is a serious agricultural pest that can feed on more than 300 different crop and fruiting plants.  FULL STORY
 

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, Inchcape Shipping Services accepts no liability nor makes any representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to its completeness, accuracy, reliability or suitability.