News & Media

15 May, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 626

LOBBYING IMO ON BEHALF OF OFFSHORE WORKERS
Source: Sue Terpilowski (Sea News)
The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) is playing a key role in two industry groups lobbying the IMO to support a recommendation for Governments and national authorities to facilitate the movement of offshore energy sector personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is designed to ensure they are considered ‘key workers’, essentially to enable ease of movement during mobilisation and demobilisation for offshore sector crew changes. An international offshore energy industry group, comprising IADC, IAGC, IMCA, IOGP and ISOA, having gained initial approval from the IMO, wrote formally to the IMO Secretary-General to gain recognition of offshore energy sector personnel as ‘key workers’ alongside seafarers and marine personnel.  FULL STORY

INTERMANAGER LAUNCHES CREW CHANGE LEAGUE TABLE
Source: Marcus Hand (Seatrade Maritime News)
Amidst all the gloom over crew changes and seafarers stranded on vessels as their contracts come to an end InterManager has decided to celebrate the successes that some ship managers have achieved even if often only a small scale. The international ship and crew managers’ association has launched what it has dubbed a “Maritime Champion’s League”  in an aim to reward the efforts of both third party and inhouse managers who have put serious time and resources into enabling crew changes to take place despite the ever moving restrictions placed by countries around the world as they try to combat the spread of COVID-19.  FULL STORY

CARGO SHIP SAILORS PRESS-GANGED INTO KEEPING THE WORLD'S TRADE AFLOAT
Source: The Guardian
‘Ticking time bomb’ as contracts aren’t honoured and ports stop crews going ashore even for urgent medical care. Thomas Stapley-Bunten was due to finish his contract aboard a huge cargo ship carrying liquid natural gas early last month. The ship docked at the LNG terminal in Fos Cavaou, southern France, as planned, but by then the world was in coronavirus lockdown. He couldn’t disembark, and international flights were grounded, preventing him from getting home to Newcastle, UK.  FULL STORY

TANKER MARKET: SHIFTING, TURNING AND SPINNING
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
The tanker market has a number of investment plays, with ship owners looking to take full advantage before the window closes. In a recent weekly note, shipbroker Intermodal said that “almost halfway through May, we see that most countries have slowly started to relax lockdown measures, which means that economies are jump starting again despite the fact that everyday life is different now compared to what it was before entering the quarantine. In Beijing and Shanghai, people avoid taking the subway and use private means of transport. According to Bloomberg, the subway ridership remains below 50% in Beijing and below 30% in Shanghai”.  FULL STORY

MAERSK SEES DROP IN GLOBAL SHIP CONTAINER DEMAND THIS YEAR
Source: Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen (Reuters)
Shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) warned of a sharp drop in global container volumes due to the coronavirus pandemic, with weaker retail sales and depressed car production dampening demand. The crisis has thrown the container shipping trade off balance as supply chains have been upended and businesses and factory activity in China and later across the world was disrupted. Maersk, which also reported a 23% rise in first-quarter core profits on Wednesday, now expects global container demand to contract this year, after previously forecasting growth of between 1% and 3%.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA’S PORT HEDLAND IRON-ORE SHIPMENTS TO CHINA UP 10.6% IN APRIL
Source: Pilbara Ports Authority
Pilbara Ports Authority has delivered a total monthly throughput of 61.8 million tonnes (Mt) for the month of April 2020. This throughput was a five per cent increase compared to the same month in 2019. The total throughput for the 2019/20 financial year to date is 586.3Mt, an increase of three per cent from the same time last year. The Port of Port Hedland achieved a monthly throughput of 45.7Mt, of which 45.2Mt was iron ore exports.   FULL STORY

LNG MFI APPLAUDS ‘GREEN SHIPPING’ INCENTIVES AT PILBARA PORTS
Source: Will Owen (LNG Industry)
The LNG Marine Fuel Institute (LNG MFI) has welcomed moves by the Government of Western Australia (WA) to introduce new incentives encouraging ships visiting Pilbara Ports to use cleaner marine fuels like LNG. Building on the Pilbara’s strength as a global LNG production hub, the region’s McGowan Government will offer a 50% discount in port dues to bulk vessels bunkering with LNG at Pilbara ports – saving each vessel approximately $20 000. The discount will come into effect on 1 July 2020, and will remain in place for five years. If taken up, the discounts could be worth up to $5.3 million by 2025.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIAN BAUXITE (ASX:ABX) TO SUPPLY 35,000 TONNES OF CEMENT-GRADE BAUXITE
Source: Jessica De Freitas (The Market Herald)
Australian Bauxite (ABX) has been chosen by an undisclosed customer to supply 35,000 tonnes of cement-grade bauxite from its Bald Hill Bauxite Project. The Bald Hill Bauxite Project is located in Campbell Town, Northern Tasmania. The project is conveniently situated near infrastructure and export ports. The company has been working with the customer to achieve the optimum product specifications to the customer's satisfaction.  FULL STORY

SHIPPING AUSTRALIA WELCOMES NEW EMPTY CONTAINER PARK AT PORT BOTANY
Source: Shipping Australia Limited
Yesterday’s announcement by NSW Ports, that its new 24/7, 2.4-hectare, empty container park, which is just inside Port Botany, will open in June is a boost for container management efficiency. It comes at an opportune time as shipping services are being disrupted by Covid-19 and keeping containers in the supply chain is more important than ever. Shipping Australia deputy chief executive officer Melwyn Noronha commented, “the new empty container park at Port Botany has an ideal location within the container supply chain.  FULL STORY

CORONAVIRUS: VISITING SEAFARERS RECEIVE SPECIAL GIFT BOX AT PORT WARATAH
Source: Newcastle Herald
While the coronavirus pandemic has caused changes in many industries, the Hunter's critical export activities have been able to continue their work throughout the crisis, although very differently. Port Waratah Coal Services has acknowledged the important role seafarers play in enabling the delivery of Hunter Valley coal to the world and have commenced an initiative to help support their welfare during this challenging time. Vessels visiting Newcastle Harbour are currently subject to increased maritime quarantine orders, in addition to conventional border security protocols.  FULL STORY

THERMAL COAL SPOT PRICE TUMBLES 25 PER CENT, PUTTING PRESSURE ON SOME PRODUCERS
Source: Mike Pritchard and David Claughton (ABC Rural)
The spot price for thermal coal has fallen 25 per cent per cent in the past month with one leading analyst saying it is because of a reduction in demand and a fundamental global shift to renewables. Mining analyst Tim Buckley, from the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said the fall had "left a significant number of Australian and Hunter Valley thermal coal producers under water and globally there is a significant impact". He estimates 60 per cent of global coal production is now unprofitable and 30 per cent of Australian producers are also running at a loss.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA EASES ACCESS TO SEABORNE COAL MARKETS
Source: Jo Clarke (Argus Media)
Australia's Queensland coal ports are easing Covid-19 restrictions on foreign crews, as vessel queues dwindle and the mining industry seeks ways to ease access to the seaborne market as it faces an anticipated period of sustained lower demand. The Australian government in mid-March in response to the coronavirus announced that arriving crew must remain on board until it was at least 14 days since they embarked. It eased some of these restrictions at some ports later in March and has now begun to relax them further. Queensland ports have removed additional controls on crew arriving from China and South Korea, while Gladstone is to further ease the 14-day quarantine period from 15 May.  FULL STORY

SHIPS TO BE WORKED UPON ARRIVAL AT GLADSTONE
Source: Jim Wilson (Shipping Australia Limited)
Vessels that arrive at the Port of Gladstone in Queensland will be allowed to berth on arrival as of 23:59 hours on Friday 15 May.
Maritime Safety Queensland today advised Shipping Australia that the rules on when ships can approach port at the Port of Gladstone will, at that point, be aligned with the Port of Brisbane and the Port of Townsville. Gladstone is currently subject to the General Manager’s Direction issued 30 January, and which came into force on 01 February, that ships must not enter Queensland pilotage areas until 14 days had passed since the ship’s departure from mainland China.  FULL STORY

DUNEDIN PUSHES FOR SUBURBAN RAIL AND INLAND PORT
Source: Hamish McNeilly (stuff.co.nz)
Dunedin is pushing for a suburban rail service and an inland port as part of a Government review of rail for the next decade.
The proposal has been detailed in a report set to be discussed by the Dunedin City Council infrastructure services committee on Tuesday. The report is expected to include options for using mothballed infrastructure after it was announced operation of the Taieri Gorge Railway, a popular tourist venture, would be suspended.  FULL STORY

CORONAVIRUS AND CRUISING IN AUSTRALIA: NSW TOWN OF EDEN WAITS FOR SHIPS TO RETURN
Source: Anthony Dennis (Traveller)
When they began building their striking new $6 million, Philip Cox-designed cruising Welcome Centre, the townsfolk of Eden couldn't have conceived that by the time it was complete there would be no passengers to welcome. The Eden Welcome Centre, located on the town's Fishermen's Co-op wharf site, is due for completion in October, just in time for the now-uncertain 2020-21 cruise season. It isn't the only piece of infrastructure awaiting an economy-boosting passenger ship. The south-east Asian country supplies most of the world’s maritime workers but Covid-19 has forced many to return home.  FULL STORY

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