News & Media

26 February, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 667

MARITIME CONSORTIUM LAUNCH CREWCARE APP TO IMPROVE SEAFARER WELL-BEING
Source: The Maritime Executive
Marking a significant step forward in seafarer welfare, a group of established maritime entities have joined forces to build a digital platform aimed at improving the emotional well-being of the world’s 1.7 million seafarers. Launched today, the Safebridge CrewCare app – jointly developed by volunteer group Container Shipping Supporting Seafarers (CSSS), maritime EdTech company Safebridge, data analytics company Motion Ventures, and the Universities of Manchester and Plymouth – encourages seafarers to open up about their feelings and thoughts to mitigate the risk of depression and suicide.  FULL STORY

NAUTILUS FEDERATION CALLS FOR ROLL-OUT OF COVID-19 VACCINATION FOR ALL SEAFARERS
Source: Lee Hong Liang (Seatrade Maritime News)
The Nautilus Federation has called on governments and global organisations to coordinate a worldwide Covid-19 vaccination programme for seafarers and Inland Waterways Transport crew. The federation, a group of 22 trade unions representing seafarers and inland waterways workers, believes that the current crew change crisis could be mitigated by an international response to vaccination of maritime and shipping professionals. Mark Dickinson, director of Nautilus Federation, said: “There are specific characteristics of the maritime and shipping industries which call for a specific position encouraging vaccination...  FULL STORY

SVITZER, KONGSBERG MARITIME, AND ABS JOIN FORCES TO DEVELOP THE WORLD’S FIRST COMMERCIAL TUG TO BE FULLY REMOTELY CONTROLLED
Source: Svitzer
Yesterday, global towage operator Svitzer A/S, Kongsberg Maritime, and ABS announced that they have signed an agreement to jointly develop RECOTUG™, the world’s first fully operational, and fully remotely controlled tugboat.  While Svitzer is bringing the needed operational experience, a newly built tug with crew as well as tug-specific technical solutions, Kongsberg Maritime will provide the remote-control systems and the autonomous technology and lead the integration of systems and technology. ABS will bring the guidance and expertise necessary to obtain regulatory approval.  FULL STORY

TANKER SHIPPING: A TOUGH YEAR AHEAD AS VIRUS MUTATIONS AND SLOW VACCINE ROLLOUT HAMPERS RECOVERY
Source: Peter Sand (BIMCO)
After a turbulent year, low demand looks set to plague the market in the coming months combined with too many ships fighting for too few cargoes in both the crude oil and oil product segments. The realities of the pandemic are setting in for the tanker market. The record-breaking Q2 2020 is a distant memory and, instead, the market faces a slow recovery with low demand, stock drawdowns in consuming countries (with products already where they need to be and therefore not being transported by sea) and loss-making rates. Perhaps the most notable example of this is on the benchmark Middle East Gulf to China trade where earnings (voyage revenue – voyage costs) have fallen from USD 250,354 per…   FULL STORY

MARITIME EXPERTS TO EXAMINE SEAFARER EXHAUSTION
Source: Richard Clayton (Lloyds List)
The World Maritime University research report into seafarer work/rest hours recording malpractices is to be tackled by industry experts in a webinar on March 5. The World Maritime University research report into seafarer work/rest hours recording malpractices is to be tackled by industry experts in a webinar on March 5.  FULL STORY 

CHINA’S RETURN SUPERCHARGES IRON ORE AND STEEL MARKETS, COKING COAL STILL DIRECTIONLESS
Source: Mike Cooper (Stockhead)
Chinese iron ore buyers have surged back to the spot market this week after the country’s Lunar New Year holiday and their presence was immediately felt in terms of prices which climbed nearly $US10 per tonne on-week. Bid prices rose for the limited number of available spot cargoes in the market with the result that Australian 62 per cent iron shipments for delivery to China lifted to $US176 per tonne ($222/tonne). Brazilian iron ore shipped to China had a landed price of $US200 per tonne on a 65 per cent iron content basis, a new price record. Iron ore cargo prices are likely to stay around current elevated levels for some months based on traded prices for iron ore futures contracts on the Singapore Exchange.  FULL STORY

DRY BULK SHIPPING: STRONG START TO YEAR ENDS AS SLOW RECOVERY AWAITS
Source: (Hellenic Shipping News)
After an unusually strong start to the year, seasonality has caught up with the dry bulk market.
Coupled with a slow recovery in global economic activity, it looks set to be another challenging year.
Demand drivers and freight rates. The dry bulk industry has enjoyed an unseasonably robust start to 2021. Average earnings in January were much higher than in recent years, because the usual seasonal slump in cargoes was delayed. However, at the start of February, the Capesize market saw average earnings fall steeply, from around USD 25,500 per day to just USD 12,057 per day on 8 February. After this, they seemed to turn a corner and rose to USD 15,856 per day on 17 February, still well below their break-even level.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA CRACKING DOWN ON LIVESTOCK SHIPPING
Source: Marine Link
Australian officials will implement a set of extra safety checks for livestock shipping after a string of recent incidents thrust the sector into the international spotlight. From March 1 to August 31, 2021, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will undertake a focused inspection campaign (FIC) on livestock ships departing Australian ports to ascertain the level of compliance with the maintenance and repair requirements of international conventions. The campaign, to be performed in conjunction with normal port state control inspections, will also check the familiarity of the master and officers to assess the stability of their ship in differing conditions.  FULL STORY

FEEDGRAIN FOCUS: PRICES EASE AS VOLUME THINS
Source: Liz Wells (Grain Central)
DOMESTIC feedgrain prices have softened in the past week to reflect limited near-term demand from consumers. Some now have coverage extending into early June, and on the supply side, growers are now busy delivering grain to port and up-country bulk-handling sites so they can backload with fertiliser in readiness for winter-crop planting. Conflicting ideas about how much sorghum will be produced from the current harvest is limiting downside in the northern market. Sorghum yields in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland vary widely, and have growers and traders careful not to overcommit for fear of having to wash out if production comes in at the low end of market expectations.  FULL STORY

WESTERN AUSTRALIA'S IRON ORE SHIPMENTS EASE
Source: Jo Clarke (Argus Media)
Shipments from the four largest iron ore producers in the Pilbara region of Western Australia (WA) eased in the week to 20 February, as Roy Hill began its quarterly maintenance shutdown and exports by BHP and Fortescue slipped. The four WA producers — Rio Tinto, BHP, Fortescue Metals and Roy Hill — loaded vessels with 16.36mn deadweight tonnes (dwt) of capacity in the latest week. This was down from 18.3mn dwt in the week ending 13 February and below the average of 17.39mn dwt/week over the past year. The fall followed a strong rebound in shipping in the week to 13 February after disruptions from a tropical low that passed through the region on 2 February.  FULL STORY

PORT HEDLAND NAMED AUSTRALIA’S PORT OF THE YEAR
Source: Pilbara Ports Authority
Prestigious award recognises port’s importance in economic recovery from COVID-19. The Port of Port Hedland received the coveted Port of the Year award at the 2020 Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry awards last week. The awards are an annual, independent event run by maritime publication Daily Cargo News, that recognises the best ports, organisations, services and individuals in the industry.
The award acknowledged the economic importance of the port to the regional, State and national economies, and the port’s year-on-year throughput increases from 446.9Mt in 2014/15 to a record 538.2Mt in 2019/20.  FULL STORY

MELBOURNE PORT STRIKE SUSPENDED, WHILE DP WORLD ENDS LENGTHY DISPUTE WITH UNION
Source: Sam Whelan (The Load Star)
The industrial action at Melbourne’s Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) has been suspended. And, in a rare double-header of good news for delay-hit Aussie shippers, DP World has finally ended its protracted dispute with the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA). The union began a strike at ICTSI’s VICT on Friday, but the Fair Work Commission (FWC) issued an interim order suspending the action early Saturday morning. The Container Transport Alliance of Australia (CTAA) said: “CTAA understands that VICT sought FWC intervention, citing economic and other harm threatened by the action.  FULL STORY

AS SHIPPING DELAYS CONTINUE, NZ INC LOOKS FOR ALTERNATIVES
Source: Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff.co.nz)
Anybody who doubted the far-reaching effects of the supply chain disruptions on jobs and our economy only had to tag along to an employment subsidy announcement in South Auckland two weeks ago to be convinced otherwise. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was touring the Sleepwell bed factory in Otara when her conversation with one of the company's managers veered into a chat about a major piece of machinery that had been significantly delayed at the Ports of Auckland (Poal). Not only is the "massive" machine stranded offshore, but the company's core product…  FULL STORY

PORT OF TAURANGA MID-YEAR PROFIT UP DESPITE ROUGH WATERS
Source: Andrea Fox (New Zealand Herald) 
Port of Tauranga turned in a mid-year 2.3 per cent increase in group net profit after tax, despite volatile cargo volumes and fallout from supply chain congestion and severe ship delays at Auckland. Group net profit after tax for the first six months of the 2021 financial year to December was $49.4 million, achieved despite a 1.3 per cent decrease in total trade volumes to 13.1m tonnes. Revenue was $159.5m, up 3 per cent on the same previous period, due to higher income from the container terminal and a 22.3 per cent rise in the earnings of subsidiaries and associate companies. The company will pay an interim dividend of 6c per share, the same as last year's.  FULL STORY

SHIPPING CHALLENGES MOUNT
Source: Sudesh Kissun (Rural News)
New Zealand exporters and importers are facing “a perfect storm” as global shipping challenges mount.
David Ross, chief executive at Kotahi, New Zealand’s largest containerised exporter, says a number of supply chain challenges have come together to create a perfect storm. He told Rural News that this could be the “new normal” well into 2021. For NZ exporters and importers, disruption caused by Covid has been exacerbated by Australian port industrial action and Port of Auckland capacity issues.  FULL STORY

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