News & Media

02 October, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 646

XENETA: OCEAN FREIGHT RATES EXPECTED TO INCREASE IN THE NEAR TERM
Source: The Maritime Executive
Long-term ocean freight rates remain largely unchanged despite the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, according to new data released by the market intelligence firm Xeneta. Their latest XSI® Public Indices report shows that long-term rates largely leveled off in September while spot rates remain at an all-time high. While rates showed declined recently, Xeneta warns that it already sees substantial increases for contracted rates for Q4 2020 and expected more increases for Q1 2021. However, with carriers moving to reinstate tonnage on key routes, Xeneta believes there is greater uncertainty for rates in the mid- to long-term tied to the on-going economic uncertainty.  FULL STORY

QUEUE OF BULK CARRIERS GROWS OFF CHINA WAITING TO OFFLOAD AUSTRALIAN COAL
Source: Jason Jiang (Splash247)
Bulk carriers carrying Australian coal have been lining up at major coal ports in north China, waiting to unload cargo for around three months, raising concerns of a new round of import restrictions China might have implemented on Australian coal. Splash understands that there are more than 20 bulk carriers including capesizes and panamaxes, carrying coal from Australia, which have been waiting to unload at Tangshan’s Jingtang Port for about three months, and there are also many ships under the same situation at nearby Caofeidian Port and Huanghua Port.  FULL STORY

INDUSTRIAL ACTION CAUSES WIDESPREAD LINER SERVICE DISRUPTION
Source: Shipping Australia
Shipping Australia condemns the waterfront industrial action that has caused such severe disruption that liner shipping companies are increasingly being forced to reduce their services to and from Australia. News has come that the increasing disruption has forced a shipping line to stop taking bookings so as to avoid the long idling of containers and to minimize uncertainty for customers’ supply chain management. Even if the Fair Work Commission were to come to a speedy decision on the current application by Patrick Terminals to terminate the industrial action, there will weeks or months before normal service could resume.  FULL STORY

MARITIME UNION OF AUSTRALIA PAUSES INDUSTRIAL ACTION AT PORTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Source: ABC News
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has paused its industrial action, which has affected ports operations around the country. The MUA had been locked in pay negotiations with seaport operator Patrick Corporation at the Fair Work Commission for the past two days. While no deal has been reached, the industrial action has been paused until the matter returns to the Fair Work Commission later this month.  FULL STORY

IRON ORE FUTURES SOAR AS SUPPLY CONCERNS MOUNT
Source: Enrico Dela Cruz (Reuters)
Iron ore futures surged on Wednesday, with the Chinese benchmark jumping 5%, as the coronavirus outbreak on a bulk carrier at Australia’s Port Hedland reignited fears about supply disruptions. Iron ore on China’s Dalian Commodity Exchange climbed to its highest close since Sept. 21 at 809 yuan ($118.88) a tonne. It rose 16.6% this quarter, marking its fourth consecutive quarterly gain.
The steelmaking ingredient climbed 3% to $120.28 a tonne by 0724 GMT on the Singapore Exchange. Renewed supply issues drove prices higher, according to analysts at ANZ, with miner Vale S.A. suspending operations at its Viga concentration plant in Brazil.  FULL STORY

IRON ORE PRICES SET TO STEEL FEDERAL BUDGET AGAINST BIGGER DEFICIT BLOWOUT
Source: Stephanie Chalmers and Michael Janda (ABC News)
There is no way to dig next week's budget out of its COVID-19 recession black hole, but Australia's iron ore miners have done their best to prop up one source of Government revenue. It is not so much that they are digging up more of Western Australia's rich red dirt, but that their predominantly Chinese customers are paying a lot more for it. Commonwealth Bank commodities analyst Vivek Dhar has been watching iron ore prices soar during the pandemic. "It's been elevated since the beginning of the year, but it really peaked a few weeks ago at $US130 a tonne," he said.  FULL STORY

PILBARA PORTS BOSS WARNS TIRED AND STRESSED CREWS INCREASING RISK OF SHIPPING CATASTROPHE
Source: Hamish Hastie (The Sydney Morning Herald)
The boss of Pilbara Ports has warned degrading mental health of maritime crews has significantly raised the risk of a shipping catastrophe and has called on governments to allow crew changes to occur easier. Pilbara Ports chief executive and Ports Australia board member Roger Johnston said thanks to COVID-19 restrictions seafarers were not allowed to disembark the ship while in port and swapping crews had become difficult, which was harming the health and wellbeing of about 200,000 people across the globe. Mr Johnston oversees some of the biggest and busiest ports in the country and raised serious concerns about the welfare of seafarers in control of some of the world's biggest bulk carriers.  FULL STORY

CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK AMONG PATRICIA OLDENDORFF CREW IN PORT HEDLAND PROMPTS CALL FOR NEW 'GREEN LANE' SYSTEM
Source: Laura Birch, Karen Michelmore and Susan Standen (ABC News)
The WA Government will push for tighter crew restrictions in the Philippines, after it was revealed officers from the ill-fated Patricia Oldendorff were allowed to quarantine at home in Manila before boarding the Australia-bound vessel.
The manganese bulk carrier remains anchored eight nautical miles off Port Hedland, in WA's Pilbara region, with seven of nine active crew on board testing positive for COVID-19. In a surprise development, serology tests on the two COVID-free crew on board have returned negative results, meaning they have not previously had the disease and have managed to escape infection so far.  FULL STORY

TASMANIAN FREIGHT GROUP RAISES CONTAINER SHORTAGE CONCERNS
Source: Andrew Miller (The Advocate)
The head of the Tasmanian Logistics Committee has expressed concerns at a potential shortage of containers required to export the state's agricultural produce later this year. Tasmanian Logistics Committee chairman Brett Charlton said he was currently contacting shipping lines to find out what container numbers they would have available during the peak harvest season, which begins in December.
He said Tasmanian exporters would be competing with a bumper harvest predicted for the mainland.  FULL STORY

PORT OF MELBOURNE’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19 – UPDATE 9
Source: Brendan Bourke (Port of Melbourne)
Managing pressure on the supply chain Port of Melbourne’s total container volumes in August hit a monthly record of 282,000 Twenty Foot. Equivalent Units (TEU), a 21.4 per cent increase on August 2019. August throughput (full and empty) benefitted from strong import volumes ex-Asia. Products being imported in strong quantities were household furnishings, household electrical goods and food ingredients, all of which point to increased demand from people working from home. Packaging materials for e-commerce retail sales were also
high.  FULL STORY

SHIPPING AUSTRALIA WELCOMES NEWS OF IN-PRINCIPLE DPWA/MUA AGREEMENT
Source: Shipping Australia
Cessation of industrial action at DP World Australia terminals around the country is welcomed by Shipping Australia. Yesterday evening, the terminal operator informed industry that an in-principle enterprise agreement had been reached for the next three years at the DPWA Terminal in Port Botany, Sydney.
Of great importance is the news that no protected industrial action will take place at DPWA in Sydney and that industrial action has also been withdrawn at DPWA terminals in Brisbane, Fremantle and Melbourne.
FULL STORY

CARGO VOLUME LOWER AT PORT OF BUNDABERG
Source: Michael Gorey (Bundaberg Now)
The Port of Bundaberg recorded a 27.7 per cent reduction in throughput last financial year due to lower sugar exports but prospects are bright, according to Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC). The information is contained in the organisation's 2019-20 annual report, which predicts volumes will rise this year.
The Port of Bundaberg recorded throughput of 391.9 kilotonne (kt) during 2019-20, the report says. In 2018-19 it was 542.28kt. While sugar exports declined, the molasses trade showed an increase of 10.5 per cent and wood pellets remained steady.  FULL STORY

PEMBROKE COAL MINE GRANTED FINAL QLD APPROVALS
Source: Nickolas Zakharia
Pembroke Resources is set to create 1000 jobs in Central Queensland after receiving the last major approval for its Olive Downs coking coal project from the state government. The $1 billion Olive Downs project is recognised as a potential Tier 1 steelmaking coal project due to its 838 million tonne joint ore reserves committee (JORC) resource and 514 million tonnes of open cut JORC reserves. It is forecast to produce 15 million tonnes a year of saleable coal across its 79-year mine life. Pembroke chairman and chief executive Barry Tudor said the company appreciated the Queensland Government’s support by approving the mining lease.  FULL STORY

PORT OF TAURANGA TO OWN ALL OF TIMARU CONTAINER TERMINAL
Source: Samesh Mohanlall (Stuff.co.nz)
New Zealand’s largest port company is negotiating to take 100 per cent ownership of the Timaru Container Terminal (TCL) business. The Port of Tauranga (POT) already owns 50.1 per cent of the country’s largest containerised freight managing company it set up in 2013 to operate the terminal but is now set to buy back the remaining 49.9 per cent that partner Kotahi Logistics LP Ltd has held since 2014. A POT spokeswoman told Stuff, on Tuesday, it will take over Kotahi’s shareholding within weeks, but more details cannot be released as the deal was still in the negotiation process.  FULL STORY

PACIFIC DAWN SCRAPS SAILINGS AS SHIP SOLD TO MYSTERY BUYER
Source: NZ Herald
A P&O cruise ship which was set to carry hundreds of Kiwi passengers on holiday this summer has been dropped from the fleet, as a deal to sell the 1546-passenger ship fell through. The Pacific Dawn which operates between Australia and New Zealand and the South Pacific was set to be sold to Cruise & Maritime Voyages at the end of 2021 season. However, following the collapse of CMV in late July the deal was sunk, and P&O were left trying to find a new buyer for the 70,000-ton ship. On Monday P&O said that the ship would be leaving their fleet ahead of schedule. "It was originally planned for Pacific Dawn to leave us in February next year but this has now been brought forward to facilitate the sale we've announced today," said the cruise line.  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