News & Media

04 September, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 642

SUPPORT FOR STRANDED SEAFARERS
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
Pre COVID-19 seafarer life at sea was already tough with 60% of the 1.5 million Seafarers worldwide suffering from depression and the highest industrial suicide rate in the world. Some seafarers at times have to endure war zones, piracy, slave labour and abandonment. The average seafarer contract at sea can last up to 9 months away from home. Since the 1980’s the Anglican led Mission to Seafarers Nelson has supported tens of thousands of seafarers who at various times were absent from family events like childbirth, graduations, birthdays, Christmas, weddings, and funerals. Mission to Seafarers Nelson is solely funded by the generosity of donations and grant applications. Since Covid-19, thousands of seafarers visiting NZ are currently stranded on their ships due to the 28-day quarantine restrictions.  FULL STORY

THE GROWTH OF MARITIME INFORMATICS
Source: Mikael Lind, Richard Watson, Jan Hoffmann, Robert Ward and Michalis Michaelides (Splash 474)
The maritime industry recognises there is a need for smarter collaboration to enhance operations, satisfy clients’ expectation of transparency and predictability and respond to societal concerns.
Maritime Informatics, originally defined as “the application of information systems to increase the efficiency, safety, and ecological sustainability of the world’s shipping industry” was developed by data scientists to meet the needs of practice and to be applied cooperatively by practitioners and data scientists. The current article explores how this emerging discipline can be a powerful tool to enhance cooperation and improve decision-making within the industry to address emerging challenges.  FULL STORY

SEAFARERS RECOGNISED ON MERCHANT NAVY DAY AS PANDEMIC HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF MARITIME SUPPLY CHAINS
Source: Mirage News
The significant and invaluable contribution merchant seafarers make to Australia’s economy and society, both during wartime and at peace, is being recognised today on Merchant Navy Day.
With more than 98 per cent of the nation’s imports and exports carried by sea, the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted once again how vital seafarers remain to Australia’s security and economic success. During World War II, one-in-eight Australian merchant seafarers sacrificed their lives – a casualty rate higher than those suffered by any of the armed forces – in an effort to maintain supplies of goods and materials vital for the war effort.  FULL STORY

PROJECT TO DEFINE SUSTAINABILITY CRITERIA FOR MARINE FUEL
Source: The Maritime Executive
A new collaboration between academia and industry partners is being launched to define sustainability criteria for marine fuels. Working under the Green Shipping Project, the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) and Copenhagen Business School Maritime (CBS) are launching a new partnership to bring clarity to the sustainability issues surrounding the alternative fuels under consideration for shipping’s decarbonization. The collaboration will focus on defining criteria to establish these fuels’ sustainability credentials and to facilitate their certification. No sustainability standard nor related certification scheme currently exist for marine fuels, according to their announcement about the new initiative.  FULL STORY

CHART OF THE WEEK – IRON ORE’S FEAST AND COKING COAL’S FAMINE
Source: Lawrence Grech (ShareCafe)
Investors in ASX listed iron ore groups are cheering China’s stronger than expected rebound in steel making and Australia’s mines ability to supply record volumes when others have faltered. Iron ore prices have risen from the 23rd Mar 2020 low by 53% to US$124/t. Why then has premium Hard Coking Coal has fallen around 32% to US$108/t in the same period? While steel orders have been better than feared a few months ago, conditions remain competitive and steel mills who need to consider the costs, including those of input ingredients. We track spot price equivalent relationships in the Chart-1 below. The blue line is the steel mill’s margin after iron ore and coal costs.  FULL STORY

MINING OUTDOES NATION-WIDE ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE
Source: Vanessa Zhou (Australian Mining)
The mining industry has bucked the national trend with an increase in output during the June quarter, according to Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt.
This is a 1.1 per cent rise compared to the same period last year. “Encouragingly, mining investment also rose by 1.3 per cent on the previous quarter, and up by almost 8 per cent on the previous year, which is a good indication of the confidence in the Australian resources sector, despite the impact of COVID-19,” Pitt said. Meanwhile, Western Australia experienced its strongest growth in seven years during the 2019-20 year while battling with the global COVID-19 pandemic.  FULL STORY

CHINA BLOCKS AUSTRALIAN BARLEY COOPERATIVE
Source: Matt Coughlan and Daniel McCulloch (Port News)
Australia's top grain exporter has been banned from sending barley to China after disputed claims pests were found in multiple shipments. West Australian grain handler CBH vowed to fight the "extremely disappointing" decision, which appears to be the latest trade strike fuelled by diplomatic tensions. Chinese customs officials claim quarantine pests were found in CHB barley exports multiple times. Attorney-General Christian Porter, who is from Western Australia, rubbished the allegations. "I would think that whatever claims are now being made will turn out to be false, completely false," he told 6PR radio on Wednesday.  FULL STORY

HERITAGE 'RESET' UNDER NEW WA DRAFT LAWS
Source: Michael Ramsey (Australian Associated Press)
Western Australia's government will have the power to stop miners from disturbing significant sites under long-awaited Aboriginal cultural heritage reforms, which will also demand informed consent for traditional owners. Mining companies and other land users will face tougher penalties of up to $10 million for unauthorised damage of sacred sites under the draft Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Bill which has been released for consultation. It comes amid continuing fallout from Rio Tinto's destruction of the 46,000-year-old Juukan Gorge rock shelters in WA's Pilbara region earlier this year.  FULL STORY

NSW FLAGS ‘ONGOING CHALLENGE’ OF COAL DEVELOPMENT
Source: Nickolas Zakharia (Australian Mining)
The New South Wales Government has released its Illawarra-Shoalhaven regional plan 2036, which factors in the challenges coal developments face in the future. The region is home to five underground colliery holdings, with three having planning approvals beyond 2030, and is partially located in New South Wales’ Southern Coalfield, which is the only hard coking coal source in the state. According to the plan, current and future residential developments are located near the Dendrobium, Wongawilli, Russell Vale and metropolitan collieries.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA BANS TWO MORE SHIPS AS IT ENFORCES RULES FOR CREW WELFARE
Source: The Maritime Executive
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) continued its strict enforcement of rules seeking to ensure the welfare of seafarers announcing that it has banned to additional vessels. This comes after AMSA announced several other actions in the past few months and an ongoing inspection effort on all container ships calling in Australian ports. After being detained in the port of Newcastle, Australia for a month, the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier Unison Jasper has now been banned from Australian ports for six months. The year-old, 37,000 DWT bulk carrier was detained on July 25 for breaches to the Maritime Labour Convention. According to AMSA, they have found several sets of wage accounts and multiple conflicting seafarer employment agreements as well as insufficient quantity and variety of food on board.  FULL STORY

QUEENSLAND COAL EXPORTS FALL BY 20PC IN AUGUST
Source: Jo Clarke (Argus Media)
Coal shipments from Queensland's ports are around 20pc lower than a year earlier for a second consecutive month August, as demand for Australian hard coking, semi-soft coking and thermal coal remains weak. Early shipping data suggests that Queensland coal shipments slipped to below 15mn t in August compared with shipments of 18.06mn t in August 2019 and below the already depressed July exports of 15.62mn t. The multi-user 85mn t/yr Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) continues to lead the decline in shipments in August, with maintenance also interrupting shipments from the adjacent port of Hay Point and Gladstone shipping below average.  FULL STORY

FORESTRY SPRINGS BACK POST LOCKDOWN IN MARLBOROUGH
Source: Maia Hart (Stuff.co.nz)
Demand and prices for logs surged when New Zealand moved out of lockdown, easing pressure on Marlborough’s port swamped with stock destined for China, but unable to get there.
Despite this, there is currently a backlog of logs at Port Marlborough, due to vessel delays to Picton. In February, New Zealand’s forestry industry faced export challenges to China, after lockdown precautions resulted in almost no off take of logs. Port Marlborough chief executive Rhys Welbourn said since moving out of lockdown, the port had a strong and consistent volume of logs delivered to the port.  FULL STORY

NEW ZEALAND SUSPENDS LIVE CATTLE EXPORTS AFTER SHIP SINKS
Source: The Guardian
Gulf Livestock 1, carrying more than 40 crew members and nearly 6,000 cattle, foundered off coast of Japan. New Zealand has suspended live cattle exports after a ship carrying almost 6,000 animals sank off the Japanese coast on Wednesday. There are growing fears for the fate of the more than 40 crew members on the Gulf Livestock 1, with reports of just one survivor so far.
The vessel was on its way to China when it reportedly developed engine problems and sank in rough seas caused by Typhoon Maysak, the survivor said. The rescued Filipino crew member was recovered after a Japanese navy P-3C surveillance aircraft spotted him wearing a life vest and waving while bobbing in the water.  FULL STORY

STEVEDORE DIES AT NZ TERMINAL
Source: Port Strategy
An investigation is underway following a fatality at a New Zealand container terminal.
On 30 August, a Ports of Auckland (POAL) stevedore was fatally injured while working on a ship at Fergusson Container Terminal, said POAL. POAL CEO, Tony Gibson, said: “We are all absolutely devastated by this news. “An investigation is underway, and we are providing support to our staff member’s family and all our staff.” "I've met with his family and offered all our love and support. We will do everything we can to help them through this tragic accident."  FULL STORY

CARNIVAL SPIRIT TO CALL BRISBANE HOME WITH 50 SAILINGS FROM JUNE 2022
Source: Brittany Lazarus (Cruise Passenger)
Carnival Cruise Line has announced more than 50 cruises aboard Carnival Spirit to be sailing from the new Brisbane port from June 2022. The new cruises aboard the Carnival Spirit will be sailing from June 2022 through to March 2023 with itineraries showcasing the best of the Sunshine States’ coastline, including the Great Barrier Reef and sailing internationally to the South Pacific. Destinations close to home include Airlie Beach, Cairns, Willis Island and Port Douglas.  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