News & Media

31 December, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 659

YEAR IN REVIEW – TOP MARITIME STORIES OF 2020
Source: Mike Schuler (gCaptain)
What a year! With 2020 coming to a close, we’re taking a look back at the maritime stories that continued to make headlines all year long. The year started with one of the most monumental shifts in modern shipping history with the entry into force of the IMO 2020 regulations limiting the amount of sulphur used in ship fuel around the world. The regulations limit the maximum sulphur content in marine fuels to 0.5% globally, down from 3.5% previously, and are meant to reduce harmful air pollution from ships. The regulation forced the shipping industry to comply by either buying higher-priced low sulphur fuel, installing and using so-called “scrubbers“, or transitioning to an alternative…   FULL STORY

CRUDE OIL TANKER MARKET IN FOR LONG, PAINFUL RECOVERY
Source: The Maritime Executive
The outlook for the global crude oil tanker market remains difficult for the near term, according to a new analysis from maritime research consultancy Drewry. In a year-end analysis, they point to uncertain demand for oil combined with overcapacity and the industry’s failure to take steps to address the glut of vessels. In its analysis, Drewry points to the continued lack of demolitions and efforts by shipowners to reduce the overcapacity among crude oil tankers. Despite the sharp decline in vessel earnings in the second half of 2020, Drewry points out that only one VLCC has been scrapped since the beginning of 2019.  FULL STORY

UN OPENS HUMAN RIGHTS INVESTIGATION INTO GLOBAL SHIPPING OVER USE OF TOXIC FUELS
Source: Nishan Degnarain (Forbes)
The U.N.’s Human Rights Agency (UNOHCR) has begun an investigation into human rights abuses associated with the global shipping industry and exposure to toxic chemicals without prior consent. It has appointed a Special Rapporteur to look into these issues and report back. Earlier this week, a special investigation in Forbes revealed a growing scandal behind this year’s hasty introduction of a highly hazardous and experimental type of oil in ships. The ship fuel is called Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oil or VLSFO. It contains a wide variety of undefined toxic chemicals, is now in 70% of all ships, and is likely to be an important focus for the inquiry.  FULL STORY
 
DRY BULK MARKET EXPECTED TO REBOUND DURING 2021
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
The dry bulk market could be heading towards a renewed wave of demand for raw materials, as the global economy is expected to grow once more after the pandemic. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal said that “as we all know, China forges more steel than the rest of the world combined, and even during this unprecedented pandemic, the nation is set to break a nine year record with iron ore imports increasing this year to above one billion tonnes. The outlook on the market price of iron ore is also strong, since apart from the effect of the underlying fundamentals and the current momentum driven by China, as a commodity it is now trading at the highest level since late 2011 up nearly 80% in 2020”.  FULL STORY

GROWTH IN THE LNG BUNKER VESSEL FLEET
Source: The Maritime Executive
Globally the number of vessels in the LNG bunker fleet continues to grow in response to the increasing number of LNG-powered vessels in service and in support of the growth of the LNG market. Russia’s first LNG bunker vessel was recently launched and in Spain the European Commission has agreed to assist in financing the construction of the first LNG supply vessel to operate in the Port of Algeciras. As the year comes to an end, 2020 saw the introduction of several high-profile LNG bunker vessels and overall growth in the market. Among the notable vessels was the largest yet built bunker, which is being based in Rotterdam.  FULL STORY

SHIPPING FACES NEW TURMOIL IN EUROPEAN EMISSIONS TRADING PLAN
Source: Costas Paris (The Wall Street Journal)
Cooperation in the shipping industry to cut pollution from oceangoing vessels is running aground in Europe. The European Union is moving to bring the maritime sector into its Emissions Trading System, a plan that would put a new tax on ships that serve the continent’s ports. The effort is part of the EU’s strategy to cut overall greenhouse gases by more than half over the next decade and obliges factories, power plants and airlines to pay for their emissions by buying carbon permits.  FULL STORY

HAPAG-LLOYD, ONE ORDER ULTRA LARGE CONTAINER SHIPS
Source: Kim Links-Wills (Freight Waves)
Two days before Christmas, Hapag-Lloyd presented its plans for six container ships, each with a carrying capacity of more than 23,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). On Christmas Eve, Ocean Network Express (ONE) announced it had signed a letter of intent for the long-term charter of six vessels, each with a capacity of more than 24,000 TEUs. Hapag-Lloyd’s six ultra large container ships will be built at the Korean shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and delivered between April and December 2023. “The vessels will be deployed on the Europe-Far East routes as part of THE Alliance and will significantly increase Hapag-Lloyd’s competitiveness in this trade,”…  FULL STORY

WILL ASX IRON ORE SHARES CONTINUE RUNNING IN 2021?
Source: Motley Fool
The iron ore spot price has exceeded the expectations of brokers and economists alike, running to a 7-year high of US$155 per tonne. This has seen the value of ASX iron ore shares perform well in 2020. BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) shares have delivered 10% year-to-date returns. Currently trading at around $43, the BHP share price is now eyeing off its previous all-time high record of almost $50 seen back in 2008. In a similar fashion, the Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX: RIO) share price is currently trading around 14% higher year to date and is within an arm’s reach of its pre-global financial crisis record of $125.  FULL STORY

DARWIN PORT STAFF PUT INTO ISOLATION AFTER POSITIVE COVID CASE ABOARD CATTLE SHIP
Source: Henry Zwartz (ABC News)
A number of Darwin Port staff have been put into self-isolation after coming into contact with crew of a cattle ship on which a Pakistani crew member later tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test came after the 25-year-old crew member of the Dimantina livestock carrier became symptomatic on the journey from Indonesia, before being tested when the vessel docked in Darwin, returning a positive result. Health Minister Natasha Fyles said hose port workers now in self-isolation included the pilot, as well as staff who docked the vessel.  FULL STORY

CZR SIGNS MOU WITH ONSLOW PORT
Source: Matt Birney (The West Australian)
CZR Resources is set to cut costs for its developing Robe Mesa iron ore operation in WA’s Pilbara region after putting in place a memorandum of understanding with the owners of the port facilities at Onslow. The privately-owned Beadon Creek facilities at Onslow are located 180km to the west of the company’s developing iron ore project. The use of Beadon Creek will drastically reduce the haulage distance from the mine gate to port and should positively impact on the company’s financial studies.
CZR’s recently released pre-feasibility study, or “PFS” had proposed using the…  FULL STORY

GWR GROUP (ASX:GWR) BEGINS ROAD HAULAGE FROM C4 TO PORT OF GERALDTON
Source: Lisa Simcock (The Market Herald)
GWR Group (GWR) has already commenced the road haulage of high-grade ore from its C4 deposit to the Port of Geraldton. On Monday, the company and its alliance partner, Pilbara Resource Group, signed the road transport contract with QEM Group Australia. This contract will facilitate the transport of ore from the C4 mine site in Wiluna to the Port of Geraldton. The company says this is another significant production milestone. High-grade ore is currently being stockpiled at the site, with GWR expecting…  FULL STORY

PORT OF MACKAY DREDGING WORK COMPLETE
Source: Zlatan Hrvacevic (Dredging Today)
Maintenance dredging at the Port of Mackay has been successfully completed on schedule, reports the North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation. According to NQBP Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Fertin, the hopper dredger ‘Brisbane’ has departed the port after commencing dredging operations earlier this month. “Completing the maintenance dredging on schedule was no mean feat in a marine environment where shipping schedules, tides and weather can all have an impact,” Mr Fertin said. “The completion of the maintenance dredging ensures our port can continue to keep trade flowing…”  FULL STORY

CALLS FOR WELLINGTON TO MOVE CONTAINER PORT TO NAPIER
Source: Joel MacManus (Stuff.co.nz)
Wellington should move its container port to Napier and focus on logging and fuel instead, according a new proposal by Napier Port. Napier Port chief executive Todd Dawson is pushing for CentrePort to transfer cargo operations to Napier rather than redevelop the earthquake-damaged operations centre. But CentrePort and its owner Greater Wellington Regional Council insist they see a future for a full-service port in Wellington. CentrePort received a $667m insurance payout for damage caused by the Kaikōura earthquake, and has announced plans to spend $38 million repairing the Thorndon Container Wharf.  FULL STORY

NEW $9 MILLION CRANE READY FOR HEAVY LIFTING AT PORT NELSON
Source: Stuff.co.nz
A new crane so tall it needed Civil Aviation Authority clearance is ready to lift Port Nelson's container operations and environmental performance. The purchase of a new Liebherr Crane, which cost almost $9 million, is part of a programme to accommodate larger vessels at the port. Standing 85 metres in height with a reach of 58 metres, it has the capability to safely lift 140 tonnes on a hook and 65 tonnes on a spreader. The new crane will provide safer and more efficient container operations and will replace the Port’s “No.2” crane, which comparatively stands at only 70 metres and lifts 102 tonnes on hook.  FULL STORY

463 VEHICLES OFFLOADED AT SUVA PORT
Source: Laiseana Nasiga (Fiji Sun)
A total of 463 vehicles are expected to be discharged from two vehicle carriers that arrived yesterday at Suva Port. Fiji Ports Terminal chief executive officer, Hasthika Dela, said vehicle carrier Grand Quest which arrived from Auckland, New Zealand, was expected to discharge 183 vehicles and will depart soon after. “After its departure at Suva Port, this vessel will head to Shanghai, China. This is its first call at the Suva Port this month,” he said. Mr Dela said vehicle carrier Meridian Ace that also arrived yesterday from Osaka, Japan would discharge 280 vehicles.  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.