News & Media

22 January, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 662

CONTAINER CARGO ROLLOVERS AT MAJOR PORTS INCREASE 75% IN DECEMBER
Source: Marcus Hand (Seatrade Maritime News)
Container cargo rollovers at the world’s top 20 ports jumped 75% in December 2020 compared to the previous month as lines struggle with a huge surge in volumes and equipment shortages, according to analysts Ocean Insights. Average rollover rates at ports surveyed by Ocean Insights increased to 37% in December and in some ports went past the 50% mark. The level of rollovers is calculated on the basis of percentage of cargo from a line that left port on a different vessel than originally scheduled. The figures from Ocean Insights illustrate the impact the collapse in demand in the…  FULL STORY

REEFERS: REFRIGARATED TRADE REACHES NEW RECORD, LED BY CHINA
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
Following the release of its eleventh annual reefer analysis, Dynamar Shipping Information and Consultancy indicates that worldwide volumes of refrigerated trade reached a new high of 169.2 million tons in 2019, according to provisional figures, indicating a growth rate of just below 2% when compared to the previous year’s volumes of 166.5 million tons. Of the total volume of refrigerated trade in 2019, Dynamar estimates that the seaborne reefer trade of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy, but excluding pharma, flowers and other commodities, is estimated to have grown bay close to 2% to approximately 121.5 million tons.  FULL STORY

ASIA PIRACY INCIDENTS HIT 5-YEAR HIGH IN 2020, SHIPPING INSURANCE RATES FIRM
Source: Sameer C Mohindru (SPGlobal.com)
Sea robbery and piracy related incidents across Asia increased 17% year on year to just under 100 in 2020, amid consistent threat of possible attacks by the Abu Sayyaf Group, or ASG, prompting warnings for enhanced vigilance, an international watchdog monitoring the trend said over the weekend Jan 16-17.  Overall, such incidents in Asia, excluding the attempted ones, were up 32% from 2019 to a five-year high in 2020, ReCAAP said. ReCAAP is the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia. ReCAAP's annual data release comes close on the heels of attack on tankers in the Middle East.  FULL STORY

TWO LNG TANKERS BOUND FOR AUSTRALIA'S PRELUDE FACILITY DIVERT
Source: Jessica Jaganathan (OEDigital.com)
Two liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers that had initially signaled they would load at Royal Dutch Shell's Prelude floating LNG facility in Australia have diverted elsewhere, ship-tracking data showed on Tuesday. This comes just a week after Shell said that Prelude would resume loading cargoes after production had been suspended for nearly a year following an electrical trip. The facility loaded its first cargo since coming back online on Jan. 8 onto the LNG tanker Symphonic Breeze which delivered its shipment into Japan on Monday. The tanker was then bound for the Prelude facility again where it was initially estimated to arrive on Feb. 7 but changed its destination to Singapore on Monday where it is …   FULL STORY

GLOBAL SHIPPING INDUSTRY 'COLLATERAL DAMAGE' OF CHINA-AUSTRALIA TRADE DISPUTE
Source: Richard Wood (9News.com.au)
China's restrictions on Australian coal imports have disrupted the global trade of the energy commodity and left dozens of ships stranded in Chinese waters. International ship brokers said the flotilla of coal carriers sitting off the Chinese coast has grown to about 65, the Wall Street Journal reports. Late year China announced it would restrict imports of Australian coal in favour of both local production and imports from other suppliers, in a move that threatens the $14 billion Australian export industry. The action was among other trade sanctions that targeted Australian exporters after the Federal Government criticised Beijing's handling of the pandemic.  FULL STORY

EXPLAINER: WHY HAS THE INVENTORY OF EMPTY SHIPPING CONTAINERS BUILT UP IN AUSTRALIA?
Source: ShippingAustralia.com.au
Unfortunately, right now, empty container parks and empty container holding spaces in New South Wales have become chock-a-block with empty boxes. Even port precincts have become extra-busy and port operator NSW Ports has quite rightly imposed control measures to preserve safety. Empty container management is also becoming an issue elsewhere around Australia. COVID is at heart of the problem. Deprived of holidays, socialising with friends and nights out, consumers around Australia (and indeed, around the world) have gone on a massive and frenzied retail therapy bender.  FULL STORY

MINERS SELL ELSEWHERE AS CHINA SHUTS DOOR ON AUSSIE COPPER
Source: Brad Thompson (Financial Review)
China appears to have added copper to its list of banned Australian products, however miners are looking to other markets and having no trouble finding willing buyers. Copper producers are remaining publicly silent on the latest sanctions which appear to have brought to a standstill a trade valued at $3.7 billion a year by the Department of Industry. Mining industry sources said the impact of the unofficial ban had been more than cushioned by robust copper prices and high demand from other markets amid supply concerns about the metal often seen as proxy for economic growth.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA'S IRON ORE EXPORT HUB STARTS CLEARING PORT AHEAD OF CYCLONE
Source: Renju Jose (NASDAQ.com)
A tropical low system in the Indian Ocean off Australia's west coast was expected to develop into a tropical cyclone, Australia's weather bureau said, forcing the country's key iron ore exporting terminal to clear ships from harbour. The Pilbara Ports Authority said in a statement late on Wednesday it had begun clearing large vessels from anchorages at Port Hedland, the world's biggest iron ore loading hub, and that ships were directed to sail by 1200 GMT. Port Hedland is used by three of Australia's top four iron ore miners – BHP Group BHP.AX, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd FMG.AX and Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill.  FULL STORY

MAIN PLAYERS GIVE LITTLE AWAY ON PHVBS MOVES
Source: Rob McKay (ATN)
Two main names linked to Western Australia’s burdening of shipowners to pay for action on the Port Hedland iron-ore air pollution of others are pitching their statements on the issue carefully. Using charges on ships, the Port Hedland Voluntary Buy-back Scheme (PHVBS) aims to give owners of residences in the dust-hit suburb of West End the option to sell out, But shipowner representative body Shipping Australia Ltd (SAL) states that the first its members knew of it was a letter from Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) just before Christmas informing them of a levy on ship entry and exit from the Port of Port Hedland to pay for it. The letter came some 18 months after work on the PHVBS began and six months after the WA government gave in-principle support after talks with "industry".  FULL STORY

PORT AUGUSTA A STEP CLOSER TO HAVING A PORT AFTER GOVERNMENT GREEN LIGHTS DEVELOPMENT
Source: Gary-Jon Lysaght (ABC.net.au)
The South Australian Government has approved the development of a new export port on the site of a demolished coal-fired power station. Port Playford will be constructed south of Port Augusta, with the Government touting it as a "modern port" that will service present and future iron ore projects. The port will be owned by Port Augusta Operations (PAO), a subsidiary of CU River Mining. It will be built on the site of the Northern Power Station, a coal plant that was mothballed in 2016. "It's estimated that this development will create more than 100 jobs during construction and 80 permanent positions for ongoing port operations…   FULL STORY

FENIX RESOURCES CONTINUES TO PROGRESS IRON RIDGE IRON ORE PROJECT WITH FIRST SHIPMENT SET FOR EARLY FEBRUARY
Source: Rachel Middleton (ProactiveInvestors.com.au)
The December quarter was busy. In addition to signing numerous agreements with Mid West Ports Authority, operator of the Port of Geraldton, FEX also acquired existing facilities at the port. Fenix Resources Limited (ASX:FEX) made significant progress in the December quarter on development of the Iron Ridge Iron Ore Project in WA’s Mid-West, with production underway and the first shipment of about 60,000 tonnes of combined lump and fines product scheduled for early February. The company had a busy quarter. In addition to signing port access and service agreements ...  FULL STORY 

CONTRACT AWARDED FOR JOB-CREATING GERALDTON PORT WORKS
Source: MediaStatements.wa.gov.au
Works will shortly begin on an important Geraldton Port infrastructure project, set to create up to 40 local jobs. Mid West Ports Authority has awarded the tender for the $10 million Wharf 4 Strengthening and Rail Replacement project to Fortec Australia, with upgrades to begin next month. Wharf 4 - constructed in 1965 - is the primary export wharf for mineral sands, talc and concentrates from Geraldton Port, and required significant upgrades to cater for the expected expansion in trade from the Mid-West. The McGowan Government allocated $10 million to the project as part of the WA Recovery Plan, to provide local economic stimulus while paving the way for future growth at Geraldton Port.  FULL STORY

COAL EXPORTS FROM PORT OF NEWCASTLE STRONG DESPITE CHINA’S BAN ON AUSTRALIAN COAL
Source: HellenicShippingNews.com
While Australian coal remains off limits in China, the trade tensions have barely dented overall export figures from Australia’s largest coal terminal, with producers finding other international markets. China usually accounts for 20 per cent of exports from the Port of Newcastle, and when coal ships stopped leaving for China in November, it raised the prospect of a shortfall in demand. Yet, overall export figures for December show only a 3 per cent decline on the previous year. A total of 14.9 million tonnes of coal were exported from the port last month, worth $1.7 billion, compared to 15.4 million tonnes in December 2019.  FULL STORY

MEAT EXPORTERS COPING WITH PORT ISSUES IN CHINA
Source: Chris Tobin (Stuff)
Tighter Covid-19 restrictions and increased inspections of cargo at Chinese ports have been causing disruption but most exporters are coping, Export New Zealand executive director Catherine Beard says. “There are challenges with congestion, added to increased freight costs, but by and large from the feedback I've had they’re getting by.'' Heard said Kotahi, an export-import cargo management company established by Fonterra and Silver Fern Farms which represented 40 companies, was coping well because of its greater clout. Silver Fern Farms operates a meat plant at Pareora.  FULL STORY

MORE COWS TO BE EXPORTED FROM PORT TARANAKI TOMORROW
Source: Scoop Media
Ocean Ute, which arrived at Port Taranaki yesterday, is the second live export ship to arrive in New Zealand this year. Taranaki Animal Rights Group has two demonstrations planned for today. A protest at midday and a vigil at 6.30pm tonight. The number of cattle exported from New Zealand has grown exponentially. Over 100,000 cows were exported last year, compared with 39,269 in 2019. SAFE Campaigns Manager Bianka Atlas said the 2020 figures are staggering. "Every single one of those cows now faces an uncertain fate," said Atlas.  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.