News & Media

03 April, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 620

SHIPPING VENTURES ARE FACING HEAVY CORONAVIRUS PERILS
Source: International Shipping News
Maersk, the world’s leading container shipping company, on Monday confirmed five crew members aboard the Gjertrud Maersk container ship have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, casting shadows over the possible impact on China’s shipping industry amid the growing pandemic. A source close to COSCO Shipping told the Global Times on Monday that the impact is yet to be seen. But she said that information might not be available in a timely manner, since operations and inspection procedures have become more complicated amid the outbreak.  FULL STORY

MARITIME UNIONS AND CHARITIES STEP UP TO HELP SEAFARERS THROUGH THE CRISIS
Source: Handy Shipping Guide
As the Virus Takes its Toll on Sailors Key to Supply Chain Help is at Hand WORLDWIDE – As the world faces up to the pandemic the very people upon who we all depend for our essential supplies, those working at sea to keep society fed, are often to be found in dire straits themselves. Now unions and charities are striving to support seafarers and their families.  Firstly, the ITF Seafarers’ Trust (ITFST) is launching an emergency fund to address the impact of the virus and aims also to provide a lifeline for welfare services at risk due to the financial impact the virus has had on business and fundraising and activities.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA'S LIVE SHEEP EXPORTERS WIN MAY, SEPTEMBER APPROVAL
Source: The Maritime Executive
The Australian Department of Agriculture’s final Regulation Impact Statement proposes to maintain a prohibition on live sheep exports from June 1 to September 14 but allows voyages to continue in May, the latter half of September and October. The RSPCA has responded saying that this validates its opposition to live animal exports and will not prevent the ultimate demise of the “cruel trade.” The debate on live export in Australia has been ongoing after whistleblower footage was released in April 2018 of thousands of sheep dying of heat stress on the Awassi Express on a voyage from Australia's winter to the Middle Eastern summer.  FULL STORY

FEEDGRAIN FOCUS: RAIN DROPS NEW-CROP, NEARBY MOSTLY STRONGER
Source: Liz Wells (Grain Central)
NEW-CROP values for wheat and barley have eased this week on rain which is improving prospects by the day for a big winter-cereal planting in eastern Australia, while price movements in nearby markets have been mixed. In southern Australia, export demand continues to jack up prices for wheat and barley. In northern markets, values are factoring in the bullish possibility of sorghum exports against the bearish reality of falling numbers of cattle on feed.  FULL STORY

BARLEY SALES TO CHINA TIGHTEN DOMESTIC SUPPLY
Source: Grain Brokers Australia
China's appetite for Australian feed barley appears to have been stoked in recent weeks with as many as six cargoes booked by the Middle Kingdom for nearby delivery. The sales are reported to have been concluded at around US$220 cost and freight (C&F). This is in line with Chinese feed barley values of around US$210 C&F, taking into account the 3 per cent tariff benefit Australia enjoys over alternative origins and maybe a small quality premium.  FULL STORY

MORE ANGER IN AUSTRALIA AS DP WORLD ANNOUNCES HIGHER TERMINAL ACCESS FEES
Source: Sam Whelan (The Load Star)
DP World Australia (DPW) is to increase terminal access fees for import containers from May, prompting fierce criticism from transport operators already “bleeding” from the coronavirus crisis.
Sometimes referred to as port infrastructure surcharges, DPW has announced increases at its Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney terminals, bringing them in line with those set by rival Patrick Terminals this month. In Melbourne, for example, Patrick’s import container fee is A$125.80 (US$76.63), and from 1 May, DPW will increase its surcharge from A$98 to match.  FULL STORY

SHIPPING AUSTRALIA CONDEMNS ROGUE UNION’S REFUSAL TO UNLOAD CARGO VESSEL IN MELBOURNE
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
Shipping Australia condemns the rogue action of the Victorian branch of the Maritime Union of Australia who have refused to unload a cargo vessel in Melbourne on the pretext of utterly spurious health and safety claims. The Union’s claims that the vessel is breaching any sort of regulation and presents an abnormal risk is an outright campaign of lies. At a time of national crisis when all other Australians are feeling the pressure, the Victorian branch of the MUA is engaging in a blatant attempt to whip up panic and fear for their own selfish ends.  FULL STORY

CORONAVIRUS: NSW GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS MILITARY-STYLE OPERATION TO TEST CREW ON CRUISE SHIPS OFF AUSTRALIA'S COAST
Source: The Guardian Australia
International Transport Workers’ Federation has called on the government to repatriate 15,000 crew members from the cruise ships off Australia’s coast The NSW government may use a military-style operation to test all cruise ship crew members currently off the coast of Sydney and Wollongong in an attempt to end a maritime standoff involving multiple ships which were ordered to leave Australian waters by police.  FULL STORY

MEDICAL TEAM BOARDS RUBY PRINCESS OFF SYDNEY COAST TO ASSESS HEALTH OF 1,100 CREW
Source: The Guardian Australia
New South Wales police have said anchored cruise ships must return to home ports but federal government says it has a duty to provide healthcare NSW Police’s Marine Area Command has provided an escort for NSW Health and an independent medical team to board the stricken cruise ship, Ruby Princess, off the coast of Sydney earlier Thursday to assess the health of more than 1,100 crew and whether they are infected with Covid 19.  FULL STORY

COAL PRODUCERS CAN COLLECTIVELY NEGOTIATE WITH PORT OF NEWCASTLE
Source: Mirage News
The ACCC has granted interim authorisation to the NSW Minerals Council and 10 coal producers to collectively negotiate with Port of Newcastle Operations (PNO) on terms and conditions of access to the port for coal exports, including prices. The 10 coal producers that export coal through the Port of Newcastle are Glencore Coal, Yancoal Australia, Peabody Energy Australia, Bloomfield Collieries, Centennial Coal, Malabar Coal, Whitehaven Coal, Hunter Valley Energy Coal, Idemitsu Australia, and MACH Energy Australia.  The interim authorisation does not allow the producers to enter into collectively negotiated agreements with PNO, or allow them to share individual coal projection volumes, customer pricing information or marketing strategies.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA KEEPS ON TRUCKING DESPITE STATE BORDER CLOSURES
Source: James Thornhill (Intermodal News)
Australia’s truckers have reported no major delays on the country’s highways after the industry was given an exemption from border closures in some states to guard against the spread of coronavirus. “By and large freight is flowing reasonably well,” said Gary Mahon, chief executive officer of the Queensland Trucking Association. Queensland closed its borders with neighboring states on March 26, but freight was still “free-flowing,” after the state government gave it essential service status, Mahon said. Border restrictions have also been implemented by South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania, though similar exemptions are in place for freight, and drivers report “no major bottlenecks or delays,” the Australian Truckers Association said in an email.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIAN WHARFIES REFUSE TO UNLOAD SHIP
Source: The Maritime Executive
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) says three container ships that departed foreign ports in recent days are due to dock in Darwin this week, despite failing to undertake the 14 day coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine period. The union says the ships pose a clear health risk to workers and the community, and its comments come after union workers in Melbourne refused to unload another vessel. The Singapore-flagged Kota Harum, which departed Hong Kong on March 25, will dock in Darwin on April 3 after eight days at sea. FULL STORY

CARNIVAL CRUISES BOSS SLAMS DECISION TO FORCE PACIFIC EXPLORER SHIP OFF SHORES
Source: Vanessa Brown (news.com.au)
The boss of one of Australia’s most popular cruise liners has hit out at NSW police, after they made an “unprecedented” decision against one of his ships. The head of one of Australia’s most popular cruise liners, P&O, has lashed out at police over a decision he’s branded “disappointing” and a “vital blow to the tourism industry”. On Wednesday, President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia, Sture Myrmell, said a new order to force flagship cruise liner Pacific Explorer to set sail – despite Sydney being this cruise liner’s home port.  FULL STORY

CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS MEANS THESE CRUISE SHIPS HAVE BEEN TOLD TO LEAVE AUSTRALIAN WATERS — HERE'S WHY THAT'S UNLIKELY TO HAPPEN
Source: Amy Greenbank (ABC News)
Two situations are developing off the east and west coasts of Australia — both involve cruise ships and coronavirus. We asked a top international law expert and a maritime lawyer what Australia is and isn't allowed to do. Here's the situation in Perth: A German cruise ship is defying orders to leave the port of Fremantle Foreign crew on board reported feeling unwell after a COVID-19 outbreak. The ship wants to stay docked for two weeks to be close to a hospital.  FULL STORY

FONTERRA KEEPS THE MILK FLOWING DESPITE COVID-19
Source: NZHerald.co.nz
The Covid-19 outbreak has brought into focus the importance of dairy nutrition across Fonterra's international markets says Mike Cronin. "Things change and markets are all different around the world, but our products are leaving New Zealand and being prioritised through international ports" the Managing Director for Co-operative Affairs at Fonterra told The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum.  FULL STORY

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