News & Media

22 May, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 627

CHINA OVERHAULS PORT CHECKS FOR IRON ORE SHIPMENTS
Source: Nick Toscano (SMH)
Shipments of the steelmaking commodity iron ore will face new customs procedures on arrival in China under changes industry insiders say will streamline quality checks but could also be used to single out Australian product if trade tensions escalate.
China's customs authorities have released new rules coming into force on June 1 that officials would conduct quality inspections for iron ore shipments at the request of the buyer. They replace the existing regime that requires the mandatory inspection of a random selection of vessels. "[Officials] will be selectively testing for impurities in iron ore," UBS mining analyst Glyn Lawcock said.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIAN COAL SEEKS ALTERNATE MARKETS TO CHINA
Source: Argus Media
Australian coal mining firms are looking for alternate markets for their thermal and coking coals, as the threat of a trade dispute with China ramps up with the imposition of an 80.5pc tariff on imports of Australian barley. Diplomatic relations between China and Australia have been strained in recent weeks. Beijing argues that the barley tariffs are part of an anti-dumping investigation that was started prior to the emergence of the pandemic. Canberra said it will not respond to the new tariff, but the industry is concerned about a ramping up of trade tensions, particularly given reports that China is clamping down on import quotas of Australian coking coal and may be planning to suspend imports of Australian thermal coal from 1 July.  FULL STORY

NEW PARTNERSHIP WILL MAP THE BUSINESS CASE FOR SHIPPING’S SUSTAINABLE ENERGRY SHIFT
Source: Sam Chambers (Splash 24/7)
The Global Maritime Forum, World Economic Forum, Friends of Ocean Action, International Association of Ports and Harbors, Environmental Defense Fund, and University College London Energy Institute have partnered with global network P4G. The goal of the coalition is to have commercially viable zero emission vessels operating along deep sea trade routes by 2030 as a key step towards achieving the climate goals set by the International Maritime Organisation. P4G, which stands for Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030, is an initiative, commenced in 2018, with the ambition of becoming the world’s leading forum for developing concrete public-private partnerships at scale to deliver on the Paris Climate Agreement.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIAN LNG EXPORTERS MAY AVOID MAJOR OUTPUT CUTS, BUT REDUCE SPOT: ENERGYQUEST
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
Australia’s LNG export projects are likely to weather the weak price environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and avoid any major output cuts or trains shut-ins but there is expected to be fewer spot cargoes, consultancy EnergyQuest said Thursday. The fact that most Australian LNG is sold under long-term oil-linked contracts should hold the country’s projects in better stead than those in the US, the firm said. “Oil prices would need to remain very low for a considerable period for there to be shut-ins,” EnergyQuest said, noting that there are indications that Western Australian LNG projects are cash flow positive at oil prices above about $15/bbl and east coast projects above $25/bbl.  FULL STORY

PORTS AUSTRALIA CONGRATULATES GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY ON DROPPING OF ONSHORE BIOSECURITY LEVY
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
Ports Australia congratulates the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment on their decision to drop the proposed Onshore Biosecurity Levy, which has come after extensive consultation with industry. Australia’s supply chain is only as strong as the biosecurity measures protecting it. From a ship entering the port, to goods being processed at the port, the biosecurity measures in place ensure Australian people are protected from external threats. Ports Australia was a leader when various industry leaders joined forces to challenge the announcement of the Levy in 2018. Since then, we – with many of the same industry leaders – have consulted with the Federal Government via numerous working groups.  FULL STORY

CRUISE SHIP CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAKS HAVE FORCED THE INDUSTRY TO MAKE DRASTIC CHANGES
Source: Stephanie Borys (ABC)
Cruise ships have been linked to hundreds of cases of coronavirus across the country, but some Australians are keen to get back on board as soon as possible. However, a holiday on the high seas will look drastically different when ships are allowed to again set sail.
The industry is working on new health protocols that could include temperature testing and a reduction in the number of passengers allowed onboard with the industry figuring out how to operate in a world with no COVID-19 vaccine.  FULL STORY

ACTIVISTS SENTENCED OVER COAL PORT ACTION
Source: Gus McCubbing (Inverell Times)
A group of climate activists who blockaded the world's largest coal port for half a day have avoided prison terms after facing court in Newcastle. The 19 activists, affiliated with community group Frontline Action on Coal, shut down the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group port and Port Waratah for six hours in September 2018. Spokeswoman and defendant Laura Levetan said the activists - whose ages at the time ranged from 20 to 62 - were charged with intentionally or recklessly hindering the work of mining equipment.  FULL STORY

WESTERN AUSTRALIA PUSHING TO ESTABLISH LNG BUNKERING HUB IN PILBARA
Source: Mike Schuler (G Captain)
Western Australia is vying to establish Pilbara as a leading LNG refueling hub for dry bulk vessels. The State Government this month announced it will begin offering a 50 percent discount in port dues to bulk vessels bunkering with LNG at Pilbara ports beginning July 1, 2020. The discount, which is expected to save around $20,000 per vessel refuelling, will remain in place for five years. If taken up, the discounts could be worth up to $5.3 million by 2025. The government says LNG bunkering at Pilbara could create around 125 jobs and support global efforts to reduce carbon emissions.  FULL STORY

$4 MILLION PILBARA PORTS CONTRACT AWARDED
Source: Imogen Hartmann (Infrastructure Magazine)
Pilbara Ports Authority has awarded the $4 million construction contract for the continued critical port access works at the Port of Port Hedland. The contract for Stage 4 of the Utah Road Pavement Rehabilitation Project has been awarded to AllRoads. AllRoads has committed to sourcing its construction workforce within Western Australia. Under the contract, a 1.2km stretch of Utah Road will be upgraded, following some deterioration from increased traffic loads of iron ore and other products. Utah Road connects the Great Northern Highway with the Utah Point Bulk Handling Facility at the Port of Port Hedland. The Utah Point Bulk Handling Facility is a multi-user port facility, used by junior miners for the export of iron ore and other minerals.  FULL STORY

EPA WON’T SPOIL OUR MARINA
Source: Sam Jones (The West Australian)
A $95 million modern revamp of the Port Hedland coast is one step closer after clearing the State environmental approvals process.
The project, which will include up to 80 boat pens, four boat ramps, a nature playground, and a floating public jetty was first announced in October 2018, with community consultation sessions held by LandCorp in August and September. At an ordinary meeting in May last year, the Town confirmed its contribution of $24 million to the harbour component of the marina, with the remaining $71 million from the State Government. Town of Port Hedland commissioner Fred Riebeling said a key component of the Spoilbank Marina project was to ensure construction minimised impacts to the surrounding ecosystem and fauna, particularly the flatback turtle population.  FULL STORY

SECURITY CONCERNS SUFFICIENT TO 'BREAK CHINA'S LEASE ON THE PORT OF DARWIN'
Source: Sky News Aus
Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells says it's time to start looking at how Australia could “get out of the contract” which allows China to lease the Port of Darwin for the next 99 years. The clause in the Port of Darwin lease, renders the deal null and void in the case of a national security emergency. “I have advocated for us to look at a plan to decouple from China, to reduce the dependency we have on the communist regime and also examine ways we can recover billions incurred as a consequence of the virus,” Ms Fierravanti-Wells said. The circumstances, particularly those relating to security, are such that we should seriously look at “breaking the lease”.  FULL STORY

LIVE EXPORT PRICES REGAIN GROUND TO $3/KG
Source: James Nason (Beef Central)
THE Darwin live export price has regained ground to settle around the $3/kg mark after the recent short-lived drop to a two-year low of $2.60kg amid panic selling in late April. Cattle loaded onto ships last week were purchased for an average price of around $2.90/kg, but offers of $3/kg to $3.10/kg are now said to be available to secure cattle for the end of this month, according to trade feedback. Prices are being supported by added competition from restockers further south for the northern live export supply herd. Consolidated Pastoral Company CEO Troy Setter noted in an MLA webinar that dry conditions over the past two years have depleted herds in the NT by 20pc, in Queensland by 20-25pc and WA Kimberley by 10-20pc.  FULL STORY

PORTS PLANNING TO DENY CRUISE SHIPS' RETURN
Source: Allan E Jordan (Maritime Executive)
While many countries are taking the first steps to loosen restrictions put in place due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, fears of the virus are continuing to impact travel and tourism. A number of the world’s leading ports have recently announced that they will continue their restrictions hampering a recovery for the global cruise industry. British Columbia, Canada’s Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry recently said they “are not in favor of cruise ships coming anywhere in British Columbia at this time.” Australia and New Zealand also closed their ports to cruise ships early in the coronavirus crisis.  FULL STORY

PORT OTAGO – THE SEAPORT STEERING ITS WAY TO HIGH-TECH NOISE CONTAINMENT
Source: Ashlea Lynch (Microsoft NZ News Centre)
Port Otago is of extreme importance to the local economy, primarily being used to ship dairy and sawn timber globally. All this activity doesn’t come quietly though. Every day carries a rhythm: the repetitive beeping of machinery, echoing metallic thumps as cranes lift and lower containers, truck engines and horns. Ports across New Zealand must adhere to strict noise frequency laws, meaning that industrial noise cannot be above a certain decibel level to avoid disturbing neighbours. Any incidents that reach above this level must be reported to the relevant authorities. Port Otago was being let down by an outdated microphone system, which was unable to cope with the demands of a busy port.  FULL STORY

NEW GUIDELINES FOR HYDROGRAPHIC SURVEYING PUBLISHED
Source: Mirage News
Maritime NZ and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) are pleased to announce the publication of the 2020 Good Practice Guidelines for Hydrographic Surveys in New Zealand Ports and Harbours. The revised guideline provides advice on good practice in the commissioning, standards, and delivery of hydrographic surveys in ports and harbours. It also re-iterates the importance of high-quality and accurate hydrographic information and outlines the roles and obligations on agencies in the collection, accuracy, storage, and sharing of hydrographic information. Maritime NZ’s Manager Regulatory Policy Liam Brennan encourages people who commission hydrographic surveys or conduct surveys themselves to read the revised guideline.  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