News & Media

03 January, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 607

GLOBAL REFINERS RAISE CLEANER SHIPPING FUEL OUTPUT FOR IMO 2020
Source: Reuters
Global oil refiners have upgraded processing units and adjusted operations to raise output of low-sulphur residual fuels and marine gasoil (MGO) for stricter shipping fuel standards that kicked in on Jan. 1. The new International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules prohibit ships from using fuels containing more than 0.5% sulphur, compared with 3.5% through the end of December, unless they are equipped with exhaust-cleaning "scrubbers". The shipping industry consumes about 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of marine bunker fuels, and the rule changes will impact more than 50,000 merchant ships globally, opening a significant new market for fuel producers.  FULL STORY

2019 IN REVIEW: SHIPPING
Source: Max Schwerdtferger (Port Technology)
The past 12 months have seen significant change in the maritime industry. Shipping has seen major progress in a number of areas including the expansion of the global mega-ship fleet, examination of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) and US-China trade all continuing to affect the fortunes of ports, carriers and stakeholders. Port Technology International (PTI) has been on hand to report on all the biggest developments on sea, land and throughout the global supply chain. Among the major developments which followed on from 2018 was the growth of so-called ‘mega-ships’, vessels which can carry carry more than 20,000 TEU.  FULL STORY

WELL-TRAINED CREW WILL BE ASSETS IN SHIPPING’S GREENER FUTURE
Source: The Maritime Executive
Seafarers are set to be viewed as an asset rather than a commodity in the future as the global maritime sector embraces greener technology that requires a more skilled workforce. That’s the view of crewing specialist Henrik Jensen, Managing Director and Founder of Danica Crewing Services. Jensen says: “New technologies and smarter vessel operating systems will require crew with much more explicit competencies and skillsets than today.  FULL STORY

PIRACY ALONG MALACCA-SINGAPORE STRAITS JUMP NEARLY FOURFOLD
Source: Piracy and Security News (Hellenic Shipping News)
Piracy has surged this year along Southeast Asia’s straits of Malacca and Singapore, one of the world’s busiest trade routes, according to a watch group that tracks maritime security. Incidents along the shipping choke point have risen to 30, from 8 last year, according to data from ReCAAP ISC, a piracy information group with 20 member nations, mostly in Asia. That’s highest figure since 104 incidents in 2015, according to the group’s data. ReCAAP warned in a Dec. 25 note of the possibility of further attacks as the perpetrators haven’t been arrested and that it’s “seriously concerned” over the increase in piracy incidents.  FULL STORY

BHP CLOSES IN ON DEAL FOR WORLD'S FIRST LNG-POWERED SHIPPING FLEET
Source: Nick Toscano (The Sydney morning Herald)
Australian miner BHP is preparing to award a landmark contract as early as March for the world's first fleet of bulk ships fuelled by liquefied natural gas after reviewing 17 bids from gas producers, shipbuilders and financial institutions. As the shipping industry braces for its biggest overhaul in decades with new rules slashing sulphur levels in maritime fuel from January 1, BHP, the largest charterer of bulk carriers in the world, has revealed it is close to deciding who will win a tender to design and supply LNG-powered ships to transport up to 27 million tonnes of its iron ore exports to Asia. BHP maritime vice-president Rashpal Bhatti said the introduction of bulk carriers running off LNG rather than diesel would eliminate NOx (nitrogen oxide) and SOx (sulphur oxide) emissions as well reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 25 per cent. FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA TO BECOME BIGGEST LNG EXPORTER IN 2019
Source: Freight News (Hellenic Shipping News)
Australia’s LNG exports are expected to rise to 79 million tonnes (87 million tons) by the end of this year, making the country the top LNG exporter in the world, according to the country’s new Resources and Energy Quarterly (REQ).  REQ contains the Australian Office of the Chief Economist’s forecasts for the value, volume and price of the country’s major resources and energy commodity exports. According to REQ, Australia’s exported 75 million tonnes of LNG in 2018 but thanks to the latest two LNG projects, Prelude and Ichthys, this is expected to increase to 78 million tonnes by the end of 2019.
“Export volumes are forecast to hold steady at 81 million tonnes in 2020–21,” according to REQ economists. The report revealed that throughout 2019, Australia and Qatar competed for the title of the world’s largest LNG exporter.  FULL STORY

PORTS AND SHIPPING: WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2020
Source: Beth Maundrill (Port Technology)
As the globe enters a new decade the Port Technology International (PTI) team explores the future and what can be expected for the next decade of ports and shipping. Digitization will continue to be a key driver for ports going forward. With the past decade seeing a lot of new technologies enter the market these will likely be rapidly adopted and established going forward.  Speaking during Smart Digital Ports of the Future 2019, Trelleborg said some of the key technology trends it sees include any technologies that help bigger ships come into ports. Big Data will also continue to be a predominant trend as industry looks carefully at how to analyze and make use of the millions of data points that are now being gathered. Port-centric logistics will also be a key drive going into the next decade as there is a growing demand for distribution facilities to be located at ports.  FULL STORY

OUTLOOK 2020: OCEAN SHIPPING FINANCE TO TIGHTEN FURTHER
Source: Greg Miller (Freightwaves)
Keep a close watch on ship finance in 2020. The amount of capital available to shipowners next year will determine vessel capacity growth in the medium term, and thus, future freight rates. In addition, near-term service reliability can hinge on funding access. If shipping companies cannot refinance maturing debt, ocean services can plunge into chaos, a la the 2016 Hanjin Shipping insolvency. If 2019 is any indication, there will be even less capital available to ocean shipping in 2020, it will be more costly to access and capital providers will be more discerning on who gets it.  FULL STORY

DRY CONDITIONS IMPACT WA LIVESTOCK SECTOR
Source: Aidan Smith (Farm Weekly)
IT HAS been a challenging season for the cattle industry in Western Australia in 2019. Animal welfare issues could be seen as bookends to 2019 after the year didn't get off to a good start with reports at Christmas 2018 and early January of cattle deaths on Noonkanbah and Yandeyarra stations due to malnutrition and mismanagement. This was followed up recently with anti-live export activist footage released of alleged mishandling and other issues of livestock treatment on Kilto station, causing reputational issues for the industry at home and abroad.  FULL STORY

CHALLENGING YEAR FOR AUSTRALIAN GRAIN MARKET
Source: Malcolm Bartholomaeus (Queensland Country Life)
2019 has been a tricky year for the Australian grain market. It started with some very high grain prices carrying over from the 2018 drought. In fact, WA was the only state to have a decent crop in 2018. It looked as though the equivalent of the entire SA wheat crop would have to move east to cover domestic shortfalls. To achieve that, prices were still above $450 a tonne in the Newcastle zone as we came back from the New Year break. Those price levels did two things. They made it attractive for wheat to be imported, and that pipeline was opened, with high protein wheat coming in from Canada for industrial processing. Secondly, they kick started the shipping trade from WA around to Brisbane.  FULL STORY

ARDENT OCEANIA WILL HAVE A TEAM OF 25 PEOPLE WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK TO RECOVER CONTAINERS FROM SEA FLOOR
Source: Matthew Kelly (Port Lincoln Times)
The company contracted to recover 60 shipping containers that have been stuck on the ocean floor off the Hunter coast since last year says it is confident of success. Sydney-based Ardent Oceania recently completed a similar clean-up operation off the coast of Holland. The company will bring a specialist salvage vessel from Asia for the Hunter job, which will involve a team of 25 who will work around the clock. Managing director Drew Shannon, who oversaw the salvage of the Pasha Bulker from Nobbys Reef in 2007, said he was optimistic the containers lost from the YM Efficiency could be salvaged.  FULL STORY

INLAND RAIL SET TO LINK MELBOURNE-BRISBANE
Source: Mark Phelps (Queensland Country Life)
IT is promoted as nation building at its best. A 1700km high-speed rail line that promises to deliver a reliable and efficient freight transport system, connecting Melbourne and Brisbane in less than 24 hours. Based on the 10-year delivery program released in 2015, the first official double-stack container train is expected to operate in 2025. Almost two thirds of the Inland Rail project takes advantage of existing rail corridor - particular in NSW and Victoria - building on decades of investment by the Australian government and the states in the Australian rail freight network.   FULL STORY

CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER FALLS FROM SHIP NEAR MAHIA
Source: RNZ
The search for a man who fell off a cruise ship last night in Hawke's Bay has resumed this morning. The man was reported overboard from the Norwegian Jewel near the Mahia Peninsula about 7pm. Two helicopters - from Hawke's Bay Rescue Helicopter Trust and Eastland Rescue Trust - arrived on the scene an hour later. Overnight, two container ships, an Air Force helicopter and two yachts searched for the man.  FULL STORY

CYCLONE SARAI: DAMAGE IN FIJI EXTENSIVE
Source: Pacific/Fiji (RNZ)  
Fiji's Emergency Operations Centre has indicated damage from Cyclone Sarai is extensive. The storm battered large areas of Fiji for three days but overnight the system moved on. It is now over Tonga, though it has weakened considerably. The Centre reports teams would be sent to the affected communities on Wednesday to fully assess Sarai's impact. It said it had reports of damage to houses across all four divisions, with some homes completely demolished by the cyclone.  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