News & Media

08 May, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 625

THE COLLAPSE OF THE OIL AND BUNKER FUEL MARKETS IN EARLY 2020
Source: Peter Sand, BIMCO (Hellenic Shipping News)
The sulphur regulation from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that came into force on 1 January 2020 took the centre stage in the shipping industry at outset of the new decade. Four months on, the spotlights have turned to the coronavirus and the OPEC+ oil price war. The outlook for global economic growth remains bleak as the world is faced with the largest recession since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Commodity prices have declined across the board and most recently, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) reference oil future drew headlines as it crashed into negative territory at USD -37.63 per barrel on 20 April 2020.  FULL STORY

IMO ISSUES 12-STEP PLAN TO GET CREWS HOME
Source: Splash247.com
To assist governments to put in place coordinated procedures to facilitate the safe movement of seafarers, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a 12-step plan to 174 member states yesterday, providing them with a road map to free seafarers from Covid-19 lockdown and allow appropriate exemptions for them to join or leave ships. The 55-page roadmap has been advanced by a broad coalition of seafarer unions, and international shipping industry associations, with input from airline industry representatives, international organisations, and the insurance sector, to provide a comprehensive blueprint of how governments can facilitate crew changeovers and resolve safety concerns throughout the entire process.  FULL STORY

SCORPIO TANKERS POSTPONES 19 SCRUBBER INSTALLATIONS AMID DETERIORATING ECONOMICS
Source: International Shipping News (Hellenic Shipping News)
Scorpio Tankers is postponing the installation of 19 exhaust gas cleaning systems, or scrubbers, as the spread between 0.5% sulfur fuel oil and scrubber-worthy 3.5% S FO narrows, the company said Wednesday. The installation of these scrubbers is now expected to begin not earlier than 2021,” Scorpio said in an earnings report. Vessels not equipped with scrubbers cannot burn fuel with a higher sulfur content of 3.5%, as mandated by the International Maritime Organization. The IMO-compliant fuel commands a premium over high sulfur fuel oil.  FULL STORY

GREATER PROPORTION OF AUSTRALIAN IRON ORE SHIPPED TO CHINA
Source: SMM (news.metal.com)
SHANGHAI, May 7 (SMM) – A total of 86 vessels carrying 12.84 million mt of iron ore arrived at major Chinese ports during April 26-May 2, SMM estimates. This was up 1.63 million mt from the prior week, but down 990,000 mt from the same period last year. For the same week, iron ore deliveries leaving Australian ports declined 1.15 million mt on the week to 17.68 million mt, some 1.13 million mt higher than the same period last year. The shipment volumes of Australian iron ore destined for China edged up from a week ago, as their proportion among overall deliveries rose to 88%.  FULL STORY

SAL URGES AUSTRALIAN AUTHORITIES TO ADOPT IMO PROTOCOLS ON CREW CHANGES
Source: Malcolm Latarche (ShipInsight)
Australian shipowner and port agency organisation Shipping Australia Limited (SAL) has called upon Australian governments and all relevant government authorities to adopt the IMO protocols and to help seafarers get to and from their ships. A plan to save 150,000 trapped seafarers has been put together by global maritime bodies and has been issued by the United Nations agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO). A population of 150,000 trapped people is about equivalent in size to the population of Cairns or Darwin. Governments, in all their forms and at every level, are urged by the IMO to permit seafarers to travel and to also permit the operation of all necessary services – such as flights and airport services – to enable crew changes.  FULL STORY

STUDY: AUSTRALIAN SHEEP FACE DANGEROUS HEAT STRESS ON EXPORT SHIPS
Source: Clive Phillips (The Maritime Executive)
It’s been almost three years since thousands of Australian sheep died during a voyage from Australia to the Middle East. My group’s new research provides insight into the heat stress faced by sheep exported in recent years and casts further doubt on the industry’s future. We found sheep experienced heat stress on more than half of voyages to the hottest port in the Middle East, Doha, over three summers from 2016 to 2018.  FULL STORY

PILBARA PORT AUTHORITY ISSUES LNG BUNKERING LICENSES TO WOODSIDE ENERGY
Source: Manifold Times
Australia-based NGO LNG Marine Fuel Institute (LNG MFI) on Tuesday (5 May) said Pilbara Port Authority (PPA) and Woodside Energy have executed non-exclusive licences to provide ship-to-ship LNG bunkering services at the ports of Port Hedland and Dampier, the first licences of their type issued in Australia. “This move is a major win for the nation, industry and the environment,” commends LNG MFI. “Since 2017 LNG MFI has worked to bring together key players to develop a cleaner marine fuel industry in Australia as we lower emissions for a better future and it’s exciting to see this now moving full steam ahead,” said LNG MFI chief executive officer Margot Matthews.  FULL STORY

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN TUNA EXPORTERS WARN ANTI-CHINA RHETORIC COULD DAMAGE TRADE ARRANGEMENTS
Source: Jarrad Delaney (Bunbury Mail)
As calls continue from Australian federal politicians for transparency from China in relation to the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, a South Australian tuna businessman has expressed concern about the potential impact on tuna exports. Stehr Group chairperson Hagen Stehr has criticised the rhetoric of policitians including Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and shadow foreign affairs minister Penny Wong in relation to calls for more transparency from China on the origins of the virus, with the concern being any potential boycott of Australian products into the country.  FULL STORY

DRY BULK CARRIER DETAINED IN AUSTRALIA OVER CARRIAGE BAN VIOLATION
Source: Ship & Bunker News Team
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) detained a ship for a violation of the carriage ban on high-sulphur fuels over the weekend and required the operators to debunker the fuel the organisation said Tuesday. MUR Shipping’s dry bulk carrier the African Heron was held at the port of Geelong on Friday, the AMSA told Ship & Bunker by email. “The vessel was found to have non-compliant fuel oil on board with sulphur content above 0.5%, “the organisation said.  FULL STORY

THE PORT RAIL TRANSFORMATION PROJECT SET TO PROCEED
Source: Imogen Hartman (InfraStructure)
Following the successful completion of all preconditions, Port of Melbourne’s Port Rail Transformation Project (PRTP) is now set to go ahead. The $125 million initiative will involve significant rail infrastructure works and a new rail operating framework inside the port that will provide an alternative to moving containers by trucks. The project is being funded through an increase in the tariff of $9.75 per TEU1 on full import containers, to take effect 1 June 2020.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA'S PORT BOTANY EXPANDING CONTAINER CAPACITY
Source: The Maritime Executive
NSW Ports has built a new 2.4 hectare empty container park at Port Botany in Australia, and an expansion of rail services to the port is in the final stages of planning. The new empty container park is leased by Tyne Container Services and will operate 24/7, providing a full service facility when it opens in June 2020. It adjoins the existing Tyne (MT Movements) container park, delivering an additional 5,000 TEU in empty container capacity. It will have capacity to handle both empty containers bound for overseas re-deployment as well as empty containers for re-use as full exports.   FULL STORY

AN HYDRAULIC MOTOR HAS BEEN HAULED OFF THE OCEAN FLOOR AS PART OF THE YM EFFICIENCY CONTAINER RECOVERY
Source: Matthew Kelly (Newcastle Herald)
AN hydraulic tank and motor has been hauled off the ocean floor as part of the YM Efficiency container recovery off the Hunter coast. The items, plus a number of steel beams, were among items pulled from the final six containers to be recovered in the salvage operation. "Due to their weight, each beam was lifted separately by the (salvage ship) MV Pride, which slowed overnight recovery operations. Both containers are yet to be recovered and the site cleared of debris," an Australian Maritime and Safety Authority spokesman said.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA'S PORT OF NEWCASTLE RESTARTS RO-RO BUSINESS
Source: The Maritime Executive
For the first time since 2013, a ro-ro vessel is scheduled to call at Port of Newcastle with a commercial cargo. The 200-meter Triton Ace, capable of carrying up to 6500 cars, will stop in Newcastle on May 8. The shipment – the first of two ro-ro calls in two months – comes as the port continues to diversify trade and Höegh Autoliners grows its Australian service.  The Triton Ace will deliver a number of large pieces of mining machinery headed for customers in the local area.  FULL STORY

SHIPPING AUSTRALIA WELCOMES PORT VISIT COST-RELIEF MEASURES AND CALLS ON OTHERS TO FOLLOW SUIT
Source: Shipping Australia Limited
The Port of Brisbane and Port Phillip Sea Pilots have truly shown they value their shipping line customers in this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.  The Port of Brisbane has frozen prices until 30 June 2021, and Port Phillip Sea Pilots have cut pilotage rates by 10 per cent. Shipping Australia commends and thanks Port of Brisbane and Port Phillip Sea Pilots for their support of shipping lines during these challenging health and economic crises. Shipping lines are experiencing a severe cash flow squeeze.  FULL STORY

RUBY PRINCESS ARRIVES IN PHILIPPINES, WHERE CREW FACE LONG WAIT FOR CORONAVIRUS TESTING
Source: Carmela Fonbuena (The Guardian)
The ill-fated Ruby Princess cruise ship has arrived in the Philippines but the 214 locals among its crew will have to wait several days before they can disembark. “There are 16 cruise ships anchored right now in Manila Bay,” Commodore Armand Balilo of the Philippine coast guard told the Guardian. “We have to swab all the Filipinos first to see if they’re positive for coronavirus.” The south-east Asian country supplies most of the world’s maritime workers but Covid-19 has forced many to return home.  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