News & Media

19 March, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 670

COLLABORATIVE INNOVATION REQUIRED TO GROW BACK MARITIME INDUSTRY
Source: Mikael Lind et al. (The Maritime Executive)
Ensuring future competitiveness of the maritime industry in post-pandemic times will require making it more efficient, predictable, sustainable, and resilient. This implies a change in the recipe for capital creation of involved actors and a change in mindset to overcome industry existing legacy systems and silo-thinking. Enhanced collaboration and innovation are crucial to achieve this. Engaging the crowd in innovating ecosystems is a key ingredient of maritime informatics, a discourse that unites practitioners and researchers in their efforts to improve efficiency, resilience, and sustainability of shipping.  FULL STORY

DIGITAL SHIP CLEARANCE PROJECT SEEKS PILOT PORT
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has issued a call for expressions of interest from countries with a medium-sized port to take part in a pilot project to establish an efficient digitalized system for electronic exchange of information in ports for ship clearance. The “Single Window for Facilitation of Trade (SWiFT) Project” will develop a system in a pilot port to allow electronic submission, through one single portal, of all information required by various Government agencies when a ship calls at a port. This concept is known as the Maritime Single Window (MSW) system. The SWiFT project will be implemented by IMO in partnership with Singapore.  FULL STORY

GLOBAL SHIPPING BUSINESS NETWORK SUCCESSFULLY INCORPORATED TO ACCELERATE THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION OF GLOBAL SHIPPING AND TRADE
Source: Global Shipping Business Network
Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) has incorporated in Hong Kong after securing the requisite regulatory approvals across multiple jurisdictions, and has officially started its operations to help accelerate the Digital Transformation of the Shipping industry. GSBN has been established on a not-for-profit basis to enable stakeholders involved in global trade to increase delivery reliability, streamline operations, and embrace digital transformation. Its shareholders are comprised of major global Carriers and Terminal Operators: COSCO SHIPPING LINES, COSCO SHIPPING PORTS, Hapag-Lloyd, Hutchison Ports, OOCL, SPG Qingdao Port, PSA International and Shanghai International Port Group. FULL STORY

MAKE DIGITALISATION EASY AND MAKE IT PAY
Source: Gary Howard (Seatrade Maritime News)
Widespread digitalisation of the shipping industry requires technologies that are profitable, easy to use and able to facilitate collaboration, according to industry experts. The benefits of digital technologies improve with market penetration, and trust, ease of use and profitability are key to wider adoption, according to panellists at a Lloyd’s List digitalisation webinar. Optimisation of operations takes masses of data, and improvement will need data on an industry scale, this is not something companies can do alone, said Pierre Guillemin, Vice President, Technology, Wärtsilä Voyage.  Leveraging AI and machine learning to improve performance holds promise, said Guillemin: “I think these are typically examples where as a group, as an ecosystem, we might be able to crack them together. FULL STORY

OIL FALLS AS INVENTORIES RISE AND VACCINE ROLLOUT STALLS
Source: Julia Payne and Aaron Sheldrick (Reuters)
Oil prices fell for a fifth day running on Thursday after official data showed a further increase in U.S. crude and fuel inventories while the ever-present COVID-19 pandemic clouded the prospects for demand recovery. Brent crude fell 50 cents, or 0.74%, to $67.50 a barrel by 1150 GMT after dropping 0.82% on Wednesday. U.S. oil was down 53 cents, or 0.82%, at $64.07 after shedding 0.3% in the previous session. Both contracts are down nearly 3% over the past five days. “Short-term developments – stuttering vaccine rollouts and the build in U.S. oil inventories – are driving sentiment, but the longer-term oil outlook is still encouraging,” said PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga.  FULL STORY

VOPAK JOINS QUEUE TO BUILD LNG IMPORT TERMINAL IN AUSTRALIA
Source: Stephen Coates (Reuters)
Dutch oil storage company Vopak wants to build an LNG import terminal in Australia’s Victoria state, vying with five other proposed projects to fill a looming gas supply gap in the country’s southeast. Vopak said it wants to dock a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in Port Phillip Bay near Melbourne. It hopes to submit a proposal to the Victoria state government in the third quarter of 2021. It aims to have first imports after 2024, when the market is expected to face a gas shortfall as the ageing fields that have long supplied the state’s needs are rapidly drying up.  FULL STORY

IRON ORE PRICES CAPPED BY FALL IN CHINA’S STEEL MARKET, COKING COAL WEAKENS FURTHER
Source: Mike Cooper (Stockhead)
A step-back in Chinese steel prices this week and air pollution controls on some steel plants in China has exerted some downward pressure on iron ore prices at Chinese ports. Cargoes of 62 per cent-grade iron ore for delivery to China edged lower to $US163.60 per tonne ($211.20/tonne) this week, according to Metal Bulletin. This is down by around $US10 per tonne on a week ago, but the current price is still double that of $US80 per tonne from a year ago. Air pollution concerns for Chinese cities have triggered a government crackdown on emissions from steel plants, which is translating into slacker demand for iron ore, said analysts.  FULL STORY

IRON ORE SHIPMENTS FALL 11% ON MONTH IN FEB, FUELING HIGH PRICES
Source: Freight News (Hellenic Shipping News)
Iron ore shipments by Rio Tinto, BHP, Vale, Fortescue Metals Group and Roy Hill in Australia, along with Saldanha port in South Africa, fell 11.2% month on month in February but were up 3.3% year on year, according to S&P Global Platts’ trade flow software, cFlow. February shipments have been lower than January exports for the past three years due mainly to seasonal weather factors in Australia and Brazil, and all major producers saw a downturn in February from the month before. March has also started off on a weak note, when there is typically a big month-on-month jump in exports in the month as severe weather recedes and the major miners lift throughput. But this is not always the case, as happened in 2019 when March was significantly weaker than February due to a later-than-usual cyclone season in Western Australia.  FULL STORY

STRANDLINE RESOURCES SECURES US$60M BOND ISSUE FOR COBURN MINERAL SANDS PROJECT
Source: Robin Bromby (Small Caps)
Mineral sands developer Strandline Resources (ASX: STA) has completed its debt funding for the Coburn mineral sands project in Western Australia with a senior secured US$60 million (A$77.6 million) bond issue. Coburn, 240km north of Geraldton, has an initial 22.5 years of ore reserves containing zircon, ilmenite and rutile and is capable of supplying 5% of the world’s zircon needs.The bond will stand equal against the approved loan facility from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility from which Strandline can draw up to $150 million. All-up, Coburn has an estimated $260 million capital cost. FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA JAN CANOLA EXPORTS AT 519,132T UP 79PC ON JAN 2020
Source: Liz Wells (Grain Central)
AUSTRALIA exported 519,132 tonnes of canola in January, up 98 per cent on the December total of 261,982t, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The January 2021 total is up 79pc from 290,236t shipped in January 2020 and represents eastern Australia’s return to being an exporter of significance after three years of drought which decimated canola production in New South Wales. Behind Western Australia, NSW is normally Australia’s second-biggest canola producer. NSW is now in the midst of its first volume export program since 2016-17 following the bumper 2020 harvest.  FULL STORY  

GEELONG FACILITY TO CEMENT QUBE-BORAL RAIL FOCUS
Source: ATN
Infrastructure development to expand Qube intermodal capability
A new rail loading facility near the Port of Geelong is slated to bolster Qube’s service offering for client Boral’s future cement plant there. The Victorian government is particularly keen on the development, which builds on the negotiations between the Department of Transport, Metro Trains Melbourne and V/Line that paved the way for Qube to transport Boral cement from the Dynon rail freight terminal in West Melbourne to Dandenong South since August 2019.  FULL STORY

FORREST WILLING TO FUND $1B GREEN POWER STATION IN NSW
Source: Brad Thompsn (Australian Financial Review) 
Andrew Forrest says he is willing to build a gas and hydrogen fuelled power station at Port Kembla to supply Sydney and NSW industries and households with affordable, green energy, and will start work as soon as he gets approvals from the Morrison and state governments. Dr Forrest is willing to fund the $1 billion power station from his own pocket through his privately owned Squadron Energy and said he was in talks with both governments about providing a non-coal solution to the state’s energy woes. The power station would sit next to an import terminal Squadron is already building that will have capacity to handle LNG and green hydrogen cargoes.  FULL STORY 

SUPERTANKERS FULL OF ONLINE GOODS FILLING WAREHOUSES, DRIVING UP DEMAND
Source: Carolyn Cummins (Brisbane Times)
The country’s ports and container wharves are working overtime to cater for the near-record number of large vessels arriving by sea, laden with goods that are bound for ever-bursting warehouses and distribution centres. As a direct response to the global pandemic that forced consumers to shop online while in lockdown, supertankers arrivals are rising rapidly – fuelling demand for industrial property. The acceleration of imports comes as e-commerce is supercharging industrial & logistics enquiry levels with an additional 350,000 square metres of new space annual to keep pace with online sales activity.  FULL STORY  

JAPANESE PLAYER SETS SIGHTS ON MAJOR AUSTRALIAN HYDROGEN HUB
Source: Josh Lewis (Upstream)
Japan’s Sumitomo is aiming to create a hydrogen hub near one of Australia’s major liquefied natural gas export hubs. The Japanese multinational has signed a memorandum of understanding with Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC), Gladstone Regional Council, CQUniversity Australia and Australian Gas Infrastructure Group to develop a “hydrogen ecosystem” in Gladstone. According to GPC, the proposed ecosystem will initially pursue domestic offtake and mobility solutions before moving to enable large-scale exports by 2030.  FULL STORY

HÖEGH BEGINS SERVICE BETWEEN GOTHENBURG PORT AND OCEANIA
Source: Josh Smith (The Market Herald)
Höegh Autoliners has started a regular direct service from the port of Gothenburg in Sweden to Auckland in New Zealand, taking in South Africa and other locations in the Oceanic region on route. The service departs from Gothenburg every other week and calls at the following ports: Durban, Port Elizabeth (South Africa), Maputo (Mozambique), Port Louis (Mauritius) – Tamatave (Madagascar), Fremantle, Port Kembla, Brisbane, Melbourne (Australia) and Auckland (New Zealand). Shipments from Gothenburg are expected to include cars, heavy vehicles, construction equipment and large project loads. 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.