News & Media

24 April, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 623

IMO AND WCO URGE PORTS AND CUSTOMS TO MAINTAIN GOODS SUPPLY
Source: Ship Technology
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) have requested ports and customs to maintain the supply of essential goods amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and WCO Secretary General Dr Kunio Mikuriya issued a joint statement to ask customs administrations and port state authorities to maintain a proactive approach to ensure that the supply of goods is not disturbed. The statement added that many ports are closed and have denied entry to ships to stop the spread of Covid-19. Such restrictions can lead to negative social and economic effects as it may hinder the supply of necessary goods.  FULL STORY

TANKERS: A RETURN TO NORMALITY OR MORE HEADWINDS MOVING FORWARD?
Source: Nikos Roussanoglou (Hellenic Shipping News)
Tanker owners will have to answer a series of questions in order to determine future demand for their services, once the global economy returns to some sort of normality, after the lockdown measures adopted by dozens of countries worldwide.
The hope will be that not too much structural change in oil consumption patterns, will have occurred. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking said that “in the midst of these troubling economic conditions, the tanker market has enjoyed a renewed tail wind in its sails. The brawl that spawned between Russia and Saudi Arabia in late March has as a consequence caused the complete opening of the “taps” by some of the largest oil producers in the world, with Saudi Arabia itself saying it would ship an astonishing 12.3m barrels a day in April”, said the shipbroker.  FULL STORY

DRY BULK’S OVERCAPACITY WOES EXACERBATE ROAD TO DEMAND RECOVERY
Source: Jasmina Ovcina (Offshore Energy)
Over ordering of bulk carriers over the past ten years has set the tone for the upcoming decade as overcapacity hinders shipowners’ battle with low demand further constrained by the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 413 million DWT has flooded the market since the turn of the decade, bringing the world dry bulk fleet to 878.6m DWT at the start of 2020, an 88.8% increase from the start of 2010, BIMCO’s data shows. During the same period, demand grew at less than half that rate at 40.3%.   FULL STORY

OIL PRODUCTS IN FLOATING STORAGE MORE THAN DOUBLE IN PAST MONTH -VORTEXA
Source: Ahmad Ghaddar (Reuters)
The volume of key oil products held in floating storage around the globe has more than doubled in the past month to about 68 million barrels, according to data from oil analytics firm Vortexa. The figure, which includes gasoline, diesel and jet fuel as of April 22, compares with around 30 million barrels in the previous month, Vortexa said. With available space on land storage tanks scarce, traders around the world have been rushing to book tankers of different sizes to store oil products as lockdowns around the world to tackle the coronavirus pandemic hammer oil demand.  FULL STORY

GLOBAL DEMAND FOR COAL IMPORTS MAY DECLINE 7% – NOBLE
Source: Dry Bulk Market (Freight News)
Global demand for seaborne thermal coal imports could decline 7% this year to 927m tonnes amid the Covid-19 pandemic and stiff competition from gas, an analyst at Noble Resources said this week. “China and India are backing out from the market due to ample domestic supply,” said Noble’s head of research, Rodrigo Echeverri, in a Coaltrans webinar. International shipments of coal have declined over the past two months as governments around the world imposed social distancing and other measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.  FULL STORY

HMM DEPLOYING WORLD’S LARGEST CONTAINER SHIP
Source: Kim Link-Wills (FreightWaves)
Imagine the Empire State Building laid on its side. The newly christened HMM Algeciras is more than 60 feet longer than the New York City landmark is tall. A walk around the world’s largest container ship would be about half a mile. A naming ceremony was held Thursday for the HMM Algeciras, which has a capacity of 24,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), at a Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard in Geoje, Korea. The Algeciras is scheduled to depart from Qingdao, China, on its maiden voyage Monday. First Lady Kim Jung-sook served as godmother of the container ship and cut the ropes to officially christen  the Algeciras, named for the Spanish port city, during the ceremony, which was attended by such dignitaries as South Korea President Moon Jae-in as well as HMM President and CEO Bae Jae-hoon.  FULL STORY

AVZ REVEALS STUNNING PROFIT PROJECTIONS FOR GIANT LITHIUM PROJECT
Source: Matt Birney (The West Australia)
The wait is over and the market now knows just how much money you can make from the world’s largest undeveloped hard rock lithium deposit and the answer- AUD$600m a year for at least 20 years - is truly spectacular. Perth based AVZ Minerals tabled a definitive feasibility study for its giant Manono lithium project in the Democratic Republic of Congo this week and it doesn’t much matter what angle you look at it from, there are crazy numbers jumping from almost every page.  FULL STORY

PORT OF MELBOURNE WORKS TO KEEP SUPPLY CHAIN OPERATIONAL
Source: Kim Ho (Infrastructure Magazine Aus)
Port of Melbourne’s latest statistics show that COVID-19 has not significantly impacted its supply chain, with container volumes consistent with 2019 figures. The port’s Chief Executive Officer, Brendan Bourke, said it was pleasing that the port supply chain has continued to operate through Stage 3 restrictions, though noting that the Victorian Government had extended the State of Emergency until 11 May. Port of Melbourne continues to collaborate with industry to ensure that the efficiency of its port freight and logistics systems is not overwhelmed by current impacts of the pandemic.  FULL STORY

SPIRIT OF TASMANIA TO MOVE TO GEELONG PORT
Source: Ethan James
The Spirit of Tasmania will be moving its Victorian operations from Melbourne to a new port at Geelong as it looks to expand services. Operator TT-Line announced on Thursday the Bass Strait ferry service will shift from Port Melbourne to a yet-to-be-built 12-hectare site at Corio Quay. A date for the move hasn't been set, with TT-Line holding a lease to use Station Pier in Port Melbourne until November 2022. The new site at Geelong will include a purpose-built passenger terminal building, marshalling area for 600 cars, more efficient vehicle check in and a pet exercise area.  FULL STORY

CORONAVIRUS-HIT RUBY PRINCESS DEPARTS PORT KEMBLA FOR INTERNATIONAL WATERS
Source: Bellinda Kontominas (ABC News)
The Ruby Princess has commenced its departure from Port Kembla, south of Sydney, breaking its moorings on the start of a highly anticipated journey out of Australian waters. Since it first docked in Sydney Harbour five weeks ago, 21 Australians who were connected to the coronavirus-afflicted cruise ship have died. As of this week, about one in every 10 cases of coronavirus in Australia could be linked to the Ruby Princess. As it left the dock, a huge banner hanging off the stern of the ship read: "Thank you Illawarra", referring to the location where the cruise ship has been docked since April 6.  FULL STORY

MORE GAS FOR PORT KEMBLA GAS TERMINAL
Source: Imogen Hartmann (Energy Magazine Aus)
The New South Wales Government has approved Australian Industrial Energy’s (AIE) application to modify the existing Development Consent for the Port Kembla Gas Terminal (PKGT). The modification will allow increased volumes of gas to flow through the Terminal, satisfying the market need for more gas during winter months. This will be achieved by increasing the permitted output of the Terminal, as well as increasing the number of LNG cargoes able to be received by the Terminal. With the additional capacity now approved, AIE will continue working with government agencies to complete post-consent requirements and with customers to firm up supply contracts.  FULL STORY

NSW STEPS UP PRESSURE ON STEVEDORES OVER PORT FEES
Source: Jenny Wiggins (AFR)
Stevedores are under pressure to hold off on planned fee increases, with NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance warning against raising charges to use container ports during the COVID-19 outbreak, saying they should work with trucking and freight companies to relax payment terms. "Given the unprecedented situation posed by the coronavirus and the crucial role of all parties involved in the supply chain and in moving freight during this pandemic, it is the NSW government’s strong view that now is not the time to increase charges," Mr Constance said in a letter to the Freight & Trade Alliance, which represents importers and exporters.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIAN COAL PORTS STRUGGLE WITH DEBT LOADS
Source: Argus Media
The future of three of Australia's main coal export terminals is uncertain amid lower throughput and high debt levels looming for Queensland's Abbot Point port, Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) and the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (Wicet) at Gladstone. The Covid-19 pandemic has had little impact on the daily operations of Australia's coal mining industry. But it has forced many to reconsider development plans that were already under pressure from plateauing exports and expected reduced demand over the medium term. This restraint in committing to growth projects is creating uncertainty for the highly indebted ports. Gladstone, DBCT, Hay Point and Abbot Point operated at a combined utilisation rate of just 75pc in 2019 and the distribution was uneven.  FULL STORY

ASP SHIPS GROUP BUYS INTO COASTAL BULK SHIPPING
Source: Spash247.com
Australia ship management and services firm ASP Ships Group has acquired a 50% shareholding in New Zealand’s Coastal Bulk Shipping (CBS). CBS owns and operates the 820 dwt general cargo vessel Anatoki. “ASP will greatly assist the company to further explore and develop a number of opportunities the company has identified over recent times. With ASP as a major shareholder CBS will have important and key access to a strong network of marine logistics, ship management and technical support services through ASP’s network of offices in New Zealand, Australia and worldwide,” said Doug Smith, CBS’s general manager.  FULL STORY

NOT DROWNING, WAVING: WHERE TO FOR CRUISE TOURISM POST-COVID-19?
Source: Joseph Cheer (Monash University)
Until the emergence of COVID-19, cruising, as a holiday choice, faced little widespread public scrutiny, and largely maintained its allure. But in the space of several weeks, no amount of public relations has been able to avert the public gaze away from the predicament of passengers and crew of several cruise ships stranded across various jurisdictions. Cruising as a category of leisure travel has a long history, pre-dating the arrival of the jet engine, harking back to a time when long, languid journeys aboard cruise liners to exotic destinations were de rigueur. 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