News & Media

14 February, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 613

OPINION: CHILLING EFFECT OF THE CORONAVIRUS IS TURNING UP IN THE SHIPPING NEWS
Source: Stephen Bartholomeusz (SMH.com.au)
If you want to track the damage being done to global economic activity and growth by the coronavirus, just keep an eye on commodity prices and declarations of force majeure by Chinese companies. Both are showing increasing signs of the stress.
With one of China’s major manufacturing centres and transport and logistics hubs locked down and nearly 40,000 people in China already infected, the virus is having an increasingly more chilling effect on economic activity there. That in turn is flowing through to demand for the raw materials and disrupting the supply chains that feed the world’s largest manufacturing centre.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIAN IRON ORE, GAS AND LAMB EXPORTS TO BE HIT HARD AS CORONAVIRUS CRISIS CONTINUES
Source: Freight News (Hellenic Shipping News)
Australian exporters heavily dependent on China are braced for the full impact of the coronavirus on Australian exports, from iron ore and LNG, to lobster and lamb, and bionic ear technology. The global death toll from the virus outbreak has passed 1,000, and more than 40,000 people have been infected, 99% of those in mainland China. Vast swathes of China’s massive economy remain in lockdown. While China’s senior medical adviser Zhong Nanshan has forecast that the outbreak may have peaked and could be over by April, the director of the World Health Organisation said a vaccine could be 18 months away, and warned of the potential economic and social consequences if the virus outbreak is not brought under control.  FULL STORY

ASIAN GAS PRICE POLEAXED
Source: David Llewellyn-Smith (Australian LNG)
The impact of China’s coronavirus outbreak on LNG market is expected to worsen in coming weeks as economic activity in key manufacturing hubs struggles to rebound, keeping a lid on natural gas demand and triggering more LNG trade flow disruptions. China’s state-owned CNOOC has declared force majeure on LNG contracts. CNOOC remains most affected due to the suspension of many factories and transport restrictions, and many domestic LNG terminals were running with high inventories due to the fall in gas demand. FULL STORY

PORTS WORK TO PROTECT AUSTRALIA FROM CORONAVIRUS
Source: Kim Ho (Infrastructure Magazine)
Ports around Australia are implementing measures to ensure Australia and its maritime industry do not fall victim to an epidemic of novel coronavirus. Peak industry body, Ports Australia, has been at the forefront of the conversation since the first concern was raised. It is working to facilitate dialogue between industry and department to ensure the safety of maritime staff around the country. A spokesperson for Ports Australia said the coronavirus situation has proven how valuable the diversity of its members’ industry knowledge is.  FULL STORY

PORT HEDLAND IRON ORE EXPORTS DOWN 3% IN JANUARY
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
Pilbara Ports Authority has delivered a total monthly throughput of 55 million tonnes (Mt) for the month of January 2020.
This throughput was a 1% decrease compared to the same month in 2019.vThe total throughput for the 2019/20 financial year to date is 411.3Mt, an increase of 1% from the same time last year. The Port of Port Hedland achieved a monthly throughput of 41Mt, of which 40.4Mt was iron ore exports. The monthly throughput was a 3% decrease from January 2019. Imports through the Port of Port Hedland totalled 191,000 tonnes, an increase of 97% from the same month in 2019.  FULL STORY

KALMAR SIGNS FIRST AUSTRALIAN PARTS CARE CONTRACT
Source: PortTechnology.org
Kalmar has signed a Kalmar Parts Care agreement with Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT), marking the first Parts Care agreement in Kalmar Australia. The agreement signed in December 2019 is for three years and covers the availability of Kalmar genuine spare parts for the terminal’s fleet of Kalmar equipment. VICT is Australia’s first fully automated container terminal located at the Port of Melbourne that welcomed its first vessel in March 2017. Kalmar’s OneTerminal deployment at VICT includes the Kalmar Automatic Stacking Crane (ASC) system with 20 ASCs, 11 Kalmar AutoShuttles, Kalmar Automated Truck Handling (ATH), Kalmar Terminal Logistics System (TLS) and the Navis N4 Terminal System. Kalmar is also responsible for the maintenance and support of the automated container handling software solution operating at VICT as well as technical support.  FULL STORY

YANG MING BOX SHIP RELEASED BY AUSTRALIA AFTER 'UNNECESSARY' ARREST
Source: Gavin van Marle (The Load Star)
Taiwanese shipping line Yang Ming has said normal cargo operations had resumed on the YM Eternity, which had been arrested in Sydney on Sunday. “YM Eternity has been released from arrest on 10 February and normal cargo operation has been resumed immediately,” a corporate communique said today. The carrier apologised to customers and claimed the Australian Maritime Safety Authority had arrested the YM Eternity “in a way that caused unnecessary and maximum inconvenience to Sydney customers on a Sunday and without any notice”. FULL STORY

WOLLONGONG INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY TO REMAIN ITS STRONGEST MARKET IN 2020: HTW INDUSTRIAL
Source: Property Observer
The industrial sector has been the best performing real estate asset class in the region over the past two years and we expect this performance to continue throughout 2020, according to the February 2020 report from valuation firm Herron Todd White.
The property valuation firm found that the main risk in this sector will be one of overheating. Most of the activity in the industrial market is being driven by the Port of Port Kembla with logistics a rapidly developing sector particularly in new vehicle transportation.   FULL STORY

OPERATION RECOVERY YM EFFICIENCY CONTAINERS OVERBOARD
Source: News of the Area – Modern Media
ADDRESSING a dozen interested residents Wednesday 5 February in Tea Gardens, Scott Wilson from Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) set out the next stage of Operation Recovery YM Efficiency containers overboard. The project team from AMSA, NSW Roads and Maritime Services and Ardent salvage who are contracted to recover 60 identified containers of the 81 that went overboard, five have already been recovered with another sixteen yet to be located, were on hand to update the community and take questions. Scott said, “AMSA is committed to get these containers out of the environment and make the ocean bed cleaner than what it is now.”  FULL STORY

CHEAP GAS, REALLY? WHY GAS — FROM COAL SEAMS OR SHIPS — MAY NOT MEAN LOW POWER PRICES
Source: Stephen Long (ABC News)
Think about this — Australia is now the world's biggest exporter of natural gas, yet we're looking at importing gas to deal with a domestic "shortage". If this happens, Australia will be using huge amounts of energy and spending large sums of money to compress, liquify and ship its abundant gas reserves to markets overseas. Then gas will be shipped back, with all the costs and resources involved, to supply the local market. Does that make sense? Go figure. But there's money to be made from it.  FULL STORY

PORT OF GLADSTONE: TUG BOAT MAINTENANCE UNDER FIRE FOLLOWING ENGINE EXPLOSIONS
Source: Maritime Union of Australia (Mirage News)
Maritime workers have blown the whistle on a series of engine explosions on tug boats at the Port of Gladstone during the past six month, accusing exclusive towage services provider Smit Lamnalco of putting safety at risk by outsourcing maintenance to a business without any marine qualifications. Workers held a protest outside the multinational company’s Gladstone office this morning to highlight their concerns following three engine explosions on board the company’s fleet of 12 tugs, with the damage on each occasion so severe the engine needed to be replaced. In each case, an explosion blew the con rod out of the engine, caused oil spills in the engine room and set off fire alarms.  FULL STORY

SOUTH PORT POST $4.6M HALF-YEAR PROFIT
Source: Stuff.co.nz
South Port New Zealand has posted a net profit after tax of $4.6 million for the first six months of the financial year.
Port chairman Rex Chapman said considering recent market conditions it is a pleasing start to the financial year, which ended December 31. "Bulk cargoes, particularly logs and fertiliser came under pressure due to market conditions and inclement weather patterns respectively," he said.  FULL STORY

CHINA BOUND: FORESTRY COMPANIES RESTART LOG HARVESTING
Source: Rnz.co.nz
The Forest Owners Association says despite a significant slump in prices, logs bound for China are starting to be harvested again by many large forestry companies. The novel coronavirus outbreak, combined with an already oversupplied market, resulted in logs backing up at Chinese ports. In response, many forestry companies in New Zealand last week cut back or completely stopped harvesting, leaving some contractors without work. Te Uru Rākau deputy director-general Julie Collins told Morning Report this was usually a quiet period for log exports to China - but the coronavirus had exacerbated that. FULL STORY

SETTING SAIL: THE RISE OF AUSTRALIA’S DOMESTIC CRUISE INDUSTRY
Source: Varsha Saraogi (Ship Technology)
Cruise operators are increasingly offering bite-sized breaks along the coast of Australia for domestic travellers keen to explore the island continent. Varsha Saraogi takes a look at this growing market and how cruise lines can capitalise on it. Cruising has become the quintessential modern holiday with an estimated 32 million passengers taking to the seas globally in 2020, according to Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) predictions. In particular, Australia’s love of cruise ships has continued to grow at a significant pace, with a total of 1,240 cruise ships visiting the country in 2018.  FULL STORY

UPDATED: CRUISE LINES REROUTE SHIPS BECAUSE OF CORONAVIRUS
Source: Johanna Jainchill (Travel Weekly)
Cruise lines with ships operating Asia itineraries have been scrambling this week to reroute their ships because of the coronavirus outbreak in China. All cruise ships are skipping ports in China, while some are also avoiding Singapore and Japan. Celebrity Cruises cancelled the Celebrity Millennium's remaining 2020 Asia cruises, which were to depart Feb. 15 and 29, March 14 and 28, April 10 and 21 and May 10. Celebrity said the ship will reposition to the West Coast of the U.S., where it is scheduled to sail later this year.  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