News & Media

08 January, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 660

TANKER MARKET STARTS THE YEAR ON A POSITIVE NOTE
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
The tanker market has entered 2021 with renewed optimism thus far, despite estimates of the opposite. In its latest weekly report, In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Fearnleys said that in the VLCC market “there was hope in the air for the first full trading week of the New Year, with added volumes from OPEC+ and the perception that we were behind the curve on the fixture count. Alas, OPEC did a U-turn and as proceeding got going it transpired that much more had been done quietly under the radar than first thought. Like one politician ones uttered “It feels a bit like someone stole our clothes while we were enjoying a swim”. With that, rates have taken a hit in all areas and a continued downward bias is evident.   FULL STORY

CONTAINER LINES CANCELLING HARDLY ANY SERVICES OVER CHINESE NEW YEAR PERIOD
Source: Marcus Hand (Seatrade Maritime News)
Container lines are blanking very few sailings in the traditional slack season around Chinese New Year, as they continue to try and cope with unprecedented demand and disruption caused by empty container shortages. Analyst eeSea said that its Blank Sailings Tracker showed that 1.7% of head haul services on the three main east-west trades have been cancelled in February, which includes CNY, and in March this figure falls to 0.6%. eeSea said that effective capacity in January 2021 on the main east-west head haul trades was up 7.6%, over the same period in 2020...  FULL STORY

SINGAPORE TIGHTENS RULES FOR MARITIME SECTOR AFTER COVID CASES
Source: Kyunghee Park (Bloomberg)
Singapore strengthened regulations for workers in the maritime industry after two more Covid-19 cases were found in the last two days of December. Shore-based personnel in the maritime sector who plan to go on board ships will need to take Covid-19 pre-departure test by Jan. 8, according to a joint statement from the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore, Singapore Economic Development Board, Enterprise Singapore and the Ministry of Health. This will apply to more than 20,000 workers, the statement said.   FULL STORY
 
MAAP ADOPTS KONGSBERG DIGITAL’S ELEARNING SOLUTIONS
Source: The Maritime Executive
Kongsberg Digital reports that the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) has adopted its new K-Sim eLearning solution, as well as commissioning installation of a cutting-edge K-Sim Safety firefighting simulator at its premises in the Philippines. Kongsberg Digital is heading the digitalization of the maritime training industry and is continuously adding new simulation-based training applications to its digital platform, K-Sim Connect. Already adopted by many training institutes, K-Sim Connect provided more than 23,000 cloud-based simulations to customers worldwide during 2020.  FULL STORY

BUILDING A FUTURE WITH AUTONOMOUS SHIPPING
Source: Splash247
Alexander Pinskiy, head of industry association MARINET, explains the long-term vision of the a-Navigation (autonomous navigation) project, its use in 2021, and ways in which the International Maritime Organization (IMO) can implement autonomous navigation on a global scale. Although autonomous shipping is becoming increasingly popular and much of the technology is already in place, we have yet to achieve global adoption of this kind of operations. It is obvious that the lack of a clear long-term approach to autonomous shipping has been the main obstacle to the use of MASS (maritime autonomous surface ships) and this is something that we, at MARINET and along with our partners, have attempted to address through our A-Navigation project.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIAN EXPORTS FEEL CHINA CHILL, WHILE HOUSING RUNS HOT
Source: Wayne Cole (Reuters)
Australia’s trade surplus narrowed in November as China curbs on coal and farm goods took some steam out of exports, while a rebound in the domestic economy sucked in record goods imports. Other data out on Thursday showed Australia’s property market roaring back to life with approvals to build new houses hitting the highest in two decades. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the country’s trade surplus contracted to A$5 billion ($3.90 billion) in November, from A$6.6 billion the month before. Overall exports rose 3% in the month, mainly due to a sharp jump in gold shipments, but goods exports just to China dropped almost 10% to a four-month low.  FULL STORY

MARITIME UNION CALLS ON AUSTRALIA TO IMMEDIATELY DESIGNATE SEAFARERS KEY WORKERS
Source: Marcus Hand (Seatrade Maritime News)
Australian maritime unions have called on the country’s government act immediately to declare seafarers as “key workers”. The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) described as “notable” the omission of Australia among 45 IMO member states that have determined seafarers to be key workers. International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) president and MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin said: “Australia must act immediately to align itself with international efforts, led by organisations like the IMO and ITF, to designate seafarers as key workers providing an essential service, and facilitate the safe and unhindered movement of seafarers for embarking and disembarking a vessel...  FULL STORY

PILBARA MINERALS LIFTS LITHIUM EXPORTS AS ELECTRIC CARS TAKE OFF
Source: Nick Toscano (Sydney Morning Herald)
Lithium miner Pilbara Minerals is ramping up shipments of hard-rock lithium concentrate amid rising prices for battery raw materials and projections of an eight-fold demand increase from the electric vehicle market by 2030. Prices for lithium, the key ingredient in the batteries that power electric cars and store renewable energy, have been under pressure from an influx of new producers and supply outpacing demand. While COVID-19 has taken a toll on new electric car sales, lithium prices have stabilised in recent months and are tipped to rally as electric carmakers expand production and governments unleash "green" stimulus packages across the world.  FULL STORY

IRON ORE PRICE SURGE END-2020 FAILS TO DETER BUILD IN PORT STOCKS
Source: Crystal Hao and Paul Bartholomew (S&P Global Platts)
Melbourne — Iron ore prices rose by more than 70% in 2020, but this failed to have put a dent on iron ore stocks held at Chinese ports, which ended the year at almost the same level it had started the year. This indicated that the correlation between port stocks and seaborne iron ore prices was not particularly strong and other factors, such as steel mill margins and sentiment played a far bigger role. According to CEIC Data, China's port inventories stood at 124.5 million mt on Dec. 27, 2020 compared with 124.6 million mt on Jan. 5, 2020. S&P Global Platts 62% iron ore fines benchmark was assessed at an average of $161.21/mt CFR China during the week of Dec. 27, 2020...  FULL STORY

NEWCASTLE COAL EXPORTS REBOUND DESPITE CHINA BAN
Source: Jo Clarke (Argus Media)
Newcastle coal shipments rebounded in December, despite no exports flagged as heading to China from the Australian port and one of the two shiploaders at the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure (NCIG) terminal remaining out of action. The two Port Waratah Coal Services' (PWCS) terminals at Newcastle shipped 10.96mn t in December, up from 7.46mn t in November and 10.78mn t in December 2019, according to PWCS data. December was a record-high shipping month for PWCS, as it worked to compensate for lost shipments out of NCIG because of the ongoing closure of one of the two shiploaders at the terminal. There is still no confirmed restart date for the second NCIG shiploader.  FULL STORY

NO COAL BOUND FOR CHINA FROM TWO MAJOR PORTS IN DECEMBER
Source: Melissa Iaria
Two major Australian ports made no coal shipments to China in December in a big departure from the usual. There were no coal shipments bound for China from two major Australian ports in December, as trade tensions between the two countries continue. The development has surprised market watchers because coal shipments traditionally rebound in December, ahead of the new calendar year when China sets its quotas for Australian coal.  FULL STORY

'THIRTY-TWO DAYS OF ISOLATION': QUARANTINE QUESTIONED FOR QLD MARITIME CREW
Source: Lucy Stone (Brisbane Times)
A Queensland mariner has questioned the state's quarantine exemption processes after his crew sailed for 18 days from Vietnam to Cairns without stopping and still had to complete 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine. Townsville prawn fisherman John Thomas said his son and three other family members travelled as a maritime crew to Da Nang in Vietnam in October to collect their brand new 30-metre prawn trawler, planned to replace the family's older vessel as their primary income source.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA’S GLADSTONE SHIPS RECORD LNG IN DECEMBER
Source: Jo Clarke (Argus Media)
The Australian port of Gladstone in Queensland hit a new LNG monthly shipping record of 2.19mn t in December on strong buying from Japan and China. A strong final quarter of 2020 pushed Gladstone LNG shipments for the year to a new high of 22.37mn t, up from 22.12mn t in 2019, despite a weak July-September quarter because of maintenance and low demand in key markets related to Covid-19 shutdowns. The stronger shipments from Gladstone coincide with a strong rally in seaborne spot LNG prices. Australian LNG export prices have more than doubled since late November…  FULL STORY

ROBOTS EMERGE FROM STEALTH: LOCATA’S PNT ORBS PROVIDE PORT GUIDANCE
Source: Diane Sofranec (GPSWorld)
Positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) orbs guide 50-ton robots carrying containers at the Ports of Auckland. In a world-exclusive report, GPS World visited with officials at the Ports of Auckland, New Zealand, and the Australian company Locata to reveal a revolutionary port automation system. Locata’s navigation system could change the way containers are handled around the globe, and open the floodgates for next-generation automation of Critical National Infrastructure sites. Global shipping lines, ports and container terminals are at the heart of the immense, multi-trillion-dollar global logistics market, and ports are classed as critical infrastructure in many nations.  FULL STORY

CARNIVAL SPIRIT’S BRISBANE ARRIVAL CANCELLED, MORE SPLENDOR ROUND-TRIPS FROM SYDNEY
Source: Helen Hutcheon (Seatrade Cruise News)
After cancelling Carnival Spirit’s 15-day repositioning voyage from Singapore to Brisbane, Carnival Cruise Line Australia added more Sydney cruises on Carnival Splendor. Carnival Spirit's repositioning had been planned for June 12. The company earlier announced an extended pause until June for Carnival Spirit, permanently home-ported in Sydney in October 2012 and scheduled to call Brisbane home. Carnival Splendor.  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.