News & Media

20 March, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 618

SHIPPING TO PLAY A VITAL ROLE IN WORLD'S COVID-19 RESPONSE, SAYS IMO
Source Rebecca Gibson (Cruise and Ferry)
Shipping will play a vital role in helping the world to contend with the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Kitack Lim, secretary general of the IMO. Speaking in an IMO video, Lim noted that despite the current travel restrictions and border closures that have been implemented to stem the spread of the virus, the shipping industry must collaborate closely with ports and other key stakeholders to ensure essential food and medical supplies can continue to be delivered by sea. “In these difficult times, the ability for shipping services and seafarers to deliver vital goods, including medical supplies and foodstuffs, will be central to responding to, and eventually overcoming, this pandemic,” he said.  FULL STORY

FRESH VALE SETBACK BUOYS AUSTRALIAN IRON ORE MINERS
Source: Peter Ker (AFR)
Australia's iron ore miners have had another stroke of luck at the expense of their big Brazilian rival Vale, which has flagged another potential hit to its shipments into China. One month after slashing first quarter iron ore exports by 7 per cent, Vale flagged on Thursday that it may have to cut by a further 1 per cent because virus mitigation efforts in Malaysia look set to halt work at Vale's iron ore distribution hub in the country. Vale does not mine in Malaysia, but uses the hub to blend a portion of its Brazilian material before moving it to Chinese customers.  FULL STORY

CORONAVIRUS COULD DELIVER 17 MILLION-TEU BLOW TO CONTAINER SHIPPING
Source: Kim Link-Wills (Freight Waves)
SeaIntelligence Consulting CEO says impact from pandemic could total about 10% of global volumes. The impact on container shipping lines from the coronavirus pandemic could total about 17 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), according to Lars Jensen, CEO of Copenhagen-based SeaIntelligence Consulting. That amounts to about 10% of global volumes in a normal world, Jensen told wealth management firm UBS. Jensen did say he expects a strong volume rebound in 2021. Jensen told UBS during a conference call that there currently is a ripple effect from the supply crunch in China. “This consists of insufficient transport capacity for EU and U.S. exporters,” the UBS call summary said. With the rapid spread of the coronavirus in Europe and the United States, Jensen expects importers to reduce stock levels “until they see clear evidence of demand rebounding.”  FULL STORY

RESOURCE EXPORTS TO SURGE ON THE BACK OF IRON ORE
Source: Tara Hamid (Australian Minig)
Australia’s resource and energy export earnings are forecast to hit a record of $299 billion in 2019–2020 despite the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The new estimate, put forth by the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in the latest Resources and Energy Quarterly (REQ) indicates an increase of $18 billion in the commodity export value on 2018–2019. The REQ covers a five-year outlook period, highlighting the long-term structural changes that affect global commodity markets including urbanisation, industrialisation and technological change.  FULL STORY

MSC SHIP BUSTED BREAKING HFO CARRIAGE BAN
Source: Mike Wackett (The Loadstar)
MSC has become the first major ocean carrier to fall foul of the IMO’s ban on carrying non-compliant fuel. The 9,784 teu post-panamax MSC Joanna has been prohibited from operating in UAE waters for one year and its master banned indefinitely and facing legal action from the country’s Federal Transport Authority (FTA) after allegedly failing to comply with an order to debunker 700 tons of heavy fuel oil (HFO) before entering the Dubai port of Jebel Ali. Following the IMO’s 2020 0.5% sulphur cap on marine fuel for ships not fitted with exhaust gas cleaning scrubber systems, a carriage ban on non-compliant fuel came into force on 1 March, allowing operators a “grace period” in order to handle the transition.  FULL STORY

TWO CRUISE SHIPS SWAP PASSENGERS TO SOLVE PORT CLOSURE CHALLENGES
Source: The Maritime Executive
In an example of the measures that cruise lines are taking as they wind down operations, the Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) vessels Columbus and Vasco da Gama swapped their European and Australian passengers at sea Wednesday so that all could return home. The unusual transfer operation was originally slated to occur at the port of Phu My, Vietnam, where the two vessels were scheduled to take on fuel and stores while exchanging passengers. However, CMV said in a statement Tuesday that it had been granted permission to carry out the operation off the coast of Phuket instead.  FULL STORY

CORONAVIRUS POSES MAJOR CHALLENGES FOR SEAFARERS ON MERCHANT SHIPS
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has already caused the loss of thousands of human lives and the imposition by authorities of travel restrictions and lockdowns across the world. Communities across most continents and economies are currently subjected to this serious threat and resulting turmoil. During this very difficult pandemic, our Association wishes to remind societies and nations that without merchant ships and seafarers, cargoes cannot be transported between continents. Dry bulk carriers remain the workhorses of international shipping, which transports approximately 90% of world trade, serving essential needs such as food and energy: main and minor dry bulks include cereals, grains, agricultural and forest products, as well as iron and other mineral ores, coal and fertilisers, and several other basic goods serving infrastructure for the well-being of populations.  FULL STORY

MIRACLE: HOW THE CRUISE INDUSTRY GOT ALMOST 90,000 PASSENGERS HOME
Source: Peter Lynch (CruisePassenger.com.au)
In the history of seismic maritime events, the past week will be remembered as one of the biggest. When the order went out to “pause” cruising last weekend, some 40 ships and over 90,000 passengers were at sea. That meant they needed to be brought back to port immediately.  And 90,000 people sent home from locations across the planet. In Australia, 37 vessels were in our region’s waters at the time of the government’s ban on international cruise ships on Sunday.  Some 50,000 passengers had to be returned to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Fremantle and Darwin.  FULL STORY

QUEENSLAND SLAMS DOOR ON CARGO SHIPS; DESPERATELY NEEDED GOODS AT RISK
Source: Jim Wilson (Shipping Australia)
Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) late Wednesday morning banned all commercial ships from entering ports in Queensland if the ship, or any person onboard, has been in any country outside of Australia within the last 14-days. Shipping Australia understands that other port authorities are considering similar measures and strongly urges against such action. Any person who contravenes MSQ’s direction commits a criminal offence under section 191A(8) of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994. The maximum prescribed penalty for a contravention of this direction is $66,725 for an individual and $333,625 for a corporation.  The MSQ Direction may hinder the ability of everyday Queenslanders to buy goods and it also hinders the ability of ships to take new crew onboard.  FULL STORY

VICTORIAN EXPLORATION COULD HELP ADDRESS EAST COAST GAS SUPPLY CONCERNS
Source: StockHead.com.au
Despite conditions for domestic gas buyers easing as liquefied natural gas exports fall, the outlook for gas on Australia’s east coast remains uncertain.
Australian energy advisory firm EnergyQuest reported that short-term domestic gas prices in February fell to an average of $5.46 per gigajoule (GJ) in Brisbane, $5.87/GJ in Sydney and $5.95/GJ in Victoria, down from $5.96/GJ, $6.44/GJ and $6.35/GJ respectively in January. It is also far lower than the short-term prices that were near the $10/GJ mark just one year ago.  FULL STORY

NORWEGIAN JEWEL CRUISE TURNED AWAY FROM PORT — AGAIN
Source: Colin Dwyer (NPR)
The Norwegian Jewel set out from Australia late last month on a jaunt through the South Pacific. Now, just one day from its journey's original end date, the cruise ship has found itself turned away from multiple ports, and its more than 2,000 passengers are beginning to fear there may not be an end in sight. On Wednesday, after the ship had already been turned away by Fiji, New Zealand and French Polynesia, the Hawaii Department of Transportation announced that passengers would not be allowed to disembark in Honolulu. Instead, according to the announcement, passengers on the Norwegian Jewel and the Maasdam — another cruise ship seeking a port — would only be allowed to refuel and restock food supplies.  FULL STORY

ONLY ONE GRAIN PORT VIABLE
Source: Quinton McCallum (Eye Peninsula Trubune)
ONLY one of two major port projects on the Eyre Peninsula would be viable, according to a contingent of 150 graingrowers who gathered at Cummins on Tuesday. Whilst there were differing views in the room, the majority were in favour of building a multi-user facility with cross commodity access at Cape Hardy. It was largely agreed by attendees that only one of the two major projects slated - Free Eyre's grain-only Port Spencer and the multi-commodity Cape Hardy project led by Iron Road and grain partner Eyre Peninsula Co-Operative Bulk Handling - could go ahead given the existing Port Lincoln and Thevenard Viterra facilities, as well as T-Ports' grain receival sites at Lucky Bay and Lock.  FULL STORY

AUCKLAND'S PORT FACES FINANCIAL SLUMP AS TRADE SLOWS
Source: Todd Niall (Stuff.co.nz)
Ports of Auckland expects a 15 per cent slump in container traffic due to coronavirus, for the second straight month. The port reported the same dip in February as restrictions hit New Zealand's biggest trading partner China, and while it said the country was becoming more active, there were questions about other nations. Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson said they also expected the vehicle import trade would be affected in coming months, and the cruise ship business was suspended with 30 cancellations. "In our view, the impact of Covid-19 could last until September or longer," Gibson told the port's owner, Auckland Council.  FULL STORY

PORT OF TAURANGA : OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Source: Port-Tauranga.co.nz
The Port of Tauranga provides an essential service. “We have implemented extensive measures to protect ourselves, trade and the community.”
The Port of Tauranga has released a comprehensive list of measures it’s taking to combat the spread of Corona Virus. Spanning from basic hygiene through to decisions on leave entitlements for staff, the list provides a holistic view of the plan that they’ve put in place. “Any person who has travelled overseas or re-entered NZ within the last two weeks is not permitted at any of our sites. Anyone exhibiting sign of illness will be told to leave immediately.”  FULL STORY

INDONESIA TO CANCEL RULES REQUIRING DOMESTIC SHIPS FOR COAL, PALM EXPORTS
Source: MarketScreener.com
Indonesia's government will revoke rules requiring exporters of coal and palm oil to use domestic shipping companies for shipments, Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan told reporters on Wednesday. Indonesia, the world's biggest thermal coal exporter, issued regulations in 2018 requiring its coal and palm oil exporters to use domestic shipping companies, which were due to come into force this May. The government has since concluded that the rule would be disruptive for exports and President Joko Widodo has ordered it to be revoked.  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