News & Media

18 September, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 644

WORLD MARITIME DAY: SEAFARERS AND THE URGENT ISSUE OF CREW CHANGES
Source: Baibhav Mishra (Sea News)
On Thursday, 24 September 2020, on the occasion of World Maritime Day, the International Maritime Organization, the International Labour Organization and the United Nations Global Compact will co-host a High-Level Side Event, in collaboration with the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers’ Federation, on the urgent issue of maritime crew changes during the high-level opening week of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. More than 80% of world trade is transported by sea, responsible for global supply chains carrying cross-border flows of food, fuel, medical supplies, raw materials and agricultural products.  FULL STORY

RESTART, RECOVER, RENEW: INSIDE MARITIME UK’S COVID-19 SECTOR RECOVERY PLAN
Source: Julian Turner (Ship Technology)
British trade association Maritime UK has rolled out its Sector Recovery Plan, which sets out joint action for industry and government in three stages.
Maritime UK director Ben Murray discusses the environment, regional competitiveness and innovation in the wake of Covid-19. A recent survey found that 66% of maritime businesses expected their turnover to decrease, while 11% of respondents were ‘not very confident’ their business would survive the next 12 months.  FULL STORY

REPORT: SCRUBBERS HAVE LOWER CLIMATE IMPACT THAN LOW-SULFUR FUELS
Source: The Maritime Executive
As the shipping industry continues to debate the best means of meeting the 2020 sulfur reduction regulations, the independent environmental research consultancy CE Delft is releasing a new study that concluded that the use of exhaust scrubbers produces slightly lower CO2 emissions versus using very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) on a range of vessels. According to Delft, the objective of the study was to compare the CO2 emissions of two ways to comply with the sulfur regulation: using the technology commonly referred to as scrubbers in combination with high-sulfur fuels or using low-sulfur fuels.  FULL STORY

IRON ORE DIPS TO MULTI-WEEK LOWS AS FUNDAMENTALS WEAKEN
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
Iron ore futures slumped for a third session on Thursday on growing prospects of further improvement in supply of the steelmaking ingredient and signs that steel demand in China has not been as strong as expected. Iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange closed 2.7% lower at 790 yuan ($116.67) a tonne, its weakest finish since July 31. It fell as much as 2.5% at $116.65 on the Singapore Exchange, the lowest level since August 31. Last week, imported iron ore stocked at Chinese ports hit the highest level since April, SteelHome consultancy data showed, even as Australia and Brazil ramped up shipments.  FULL STORY

MASSIVE BRAZILIAN IRON ORE PROJECT COULD CRIMP AUSTRALIAN SUPPLY
Source: Mike Cooper (Stockhead)
Moves by Brazil’s leading shipper Vale to step up iron ore production could present a fresh challenge to Australian miners that are facing some difficult market headwinds. Vale’s board has approved a massive iron ore project, Serra Sul 120, at a cost of $US1.5bn ($2bn) that will add 20 million tonnes of production to its S11D mine and starts construction in 2022. The Brazilian miner’s iron ore production is set to reach 260 million tonnes per year in 2024.
This production expansion could impact Australian iron ore shippers, Dale Gillham, chief analyst at financial services firm Wealth Within, said.  FULL STORY

CHINA PUTS AUSTRALIA ON NOTICE OVER WHEAT EXPORTS
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
Australian wheat producers have been dragged into the growing political and trade tussle between Canberra and Beijing, after China warned it would put Australian exports under the microscope. In the latest sign of souring relations between the two countries, China’s General Administration of Customs has issued a notice in the past two weeks saying it will apply “enhanced inspection” efforts on shipments of Australian wheat. It comes at a delicate time for wheat growers, who are believed to have forward-sold more than a dozen shipments to China for December and January worth almost $250 million.  FULL STORY

MINING INDUSTRY MUST REBUILD TRUST: BHP
Source: Michael Ramsey (The West Australian)
Mining giant BHP has conceded the entire industry needs to put significant work into rebuilding trust with Aboriginal land owners after an investor revolt at rival company Rio Tinto sparked by its destruction of ancient sites.
BHP, which like Rio has major iron ore operations in Western Australia's Pilbara region, on Thursday gave evidence to federal parliament's Northern Australia Committee. The committee is investigating Rio's blasting of the 46,000-year-old Juukan Gorge rock shelters which has led to significant backlash and prompted the resignation of CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques and two other executives. BHP has announced it will not act on any existing Section 18 approvals for disruption of Aboriginal sites without extensive consultation with traditional owners.  FULL STORY

INTEGRATED PLAN TO KEEP TASMANIA CONNECTED
Source: Christopher Niesche (The Australian)
Ports are central to Tasmania’s way of life and economy and TasPorts plans to make them even more so as freight volumes increase. “Being an island state, everyone in the community is so reliant on the services and facilities that we own and operate,” says chief executive Anthony Donald. TasPorts is not a typical port company. Not only does it operate 11 ports around the state, it is also vertically integrated, which means it manages a pilot service and a towing service and is the also the marine safety regulator on behalf of the Tasmanian Government.  FULL STORY

NSW FAST-TRACKS PORT KEMBLA GAS TERMINAL
Source: Imogen Hartmann (Energy Magazine)
The proposed LNG import terminal at Port Kembla (PKGT) has been placed on the New South Wales Government’s Priority List to be fast-tracked.
The New South Wales Priority List aims to fast-track activities which will support the recovery of the state’s economy during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the project, Jemena is proposing to build a 6km gas pipeline to connect the proposed Port Kembla LNG import terminal to the 797km Eastern Gas Pipeline (EGP). At the same time, Jemena is also looking to invest in making the EGP bi-directional so that it can support the flow of gas to Victoria and also expand its capacity to deliver more gas to homes and businesses in New South Wales.  FULL STORY

SHIPPING AUSTRALIA TAKES ACTION TO SUPPORT DPWA
Source: Shipping Australia
Late yesterday, Shipping Australia filed a statement at the Fair Work Commission in support of DP World Australia’s application to terminate protected industrial action on the grounds of significant harm to the economy.
Extensive industrial action across the waterfront is a matter of importance to the shipping industry as the increased costs and delays hinder the ability of the shipping industry to help supply vitally needed goods such as foodstuffs and medicines to Australian businesses and families. Shipping Australia believes that extensive industrial action that disrupts the supply chain during this difficult time is not in the national interest.  FULL STORY

AUTOMATION CREATES ‘SAFER, MORE EFFICIENT’ WORKPLACE
Source: James Dunn (The Australian)
A quiet revolution as Australia’s first fully automated international containers arrive at Webb Dock East in the Port of Melbourne. At Webb Dock East in the Port of Melbourne, a quiet revolution has been under way since January 2017. Australia’s first fully automated international container terminal has brought huge change to the shipping industry. The Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT), which is capable of handling the equivalent of at least one million shipping containers a year, is one of the most automated — and thus, advanced — container terminals in the world.  FULL STORY

SYDNEY WATERFRONT INDUSTRIAL ACTION
Source: Attorney-General for Australia and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Morrison-McCormack Government has urged all parties involved in Sydney's waterfront industrial dispute to work together on a quick resolution to minimise the impact on workers, freight and the nation. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Government understood how frustrated Australian shippers and transport operators were with increases in stevedore fees and charges, but actions disrupting shipping operations further were not the solution.  FULL STORY

IMPORTERS 'CLOSE TO BREAKING POINT' AS TENSION RISES AT SYDNEY'S PORT BOTANY
Source: Sam Whelan (The Load Star)
Other strike-hit container terminal operators and supply chain players are backing a DP World Australia bid to end the “crippling” industrial action at Sydney’s Port Botany. Work stoppages by the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) have caused an 11-day cargo backlog at the port, with a knock-on effect of container supply chain congestion spreading to Melbourne and Brisbane as vessels are diverted. On Tuesday, DP World lodged an application with the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to have the industrial action terminated, arguing it “endangers supply chains for critical products and exports and puts unacceptable pressure on the economy”.  FULL STORY

ABARES SAYS AG PRODUCTION, EXPORTS UNDER PRESSURE BUT COPING WITH CORONAVIRUS
Source: Andrew Marshall (North Queensland Register)
Despite six months of farm-reviving rainfall and a big crop sector rebound in many parts of rural Australia, the gross value of agricultural production will stay flat at $61 billion in 2020-21. Coronavirus is partly to blame and could erode harvest earnings even further later in the financial year according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.
However, ironically the improved season would also drag some production earnings down as livestock producers withheld sheep and cattle from the market in an effort to rebuild numbers while feed was available.  FULL STORY

PACIFIC - SHIPPING OPERATIONS, UPDATED 15 SEPTEMBER 2020
Source: Reliefweb (OCHA Services)
This weekly bulletin is compiled to give all stakeholders an overview of the current impact of COVID19 on Pacific shipping activities. It draws on sources from government, commercial and humanitarian sectors. Protected industrial action and rolling strikes in Australian ports is causing port congestion and shipping delays. This is exacerbating the regional imbalance of empty containers. Asian load ports, particularly in Vietnam are facing a shortage of empty containers.  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