News & Media

07 May, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 677

“NOT WELCOME” – AUSTRALIA BANS ASWAN SHIPPING BULK CARRIER FOR 18 MONTHS
Source: Mike Schuler (GCaptain.com)
A Panama-flagged bulk carrier operated by Qatari shipping company Aswan Shipping has been banned from Australian ports for 18-months following a lengthy Port State Control detention for “appalling” conditions on board. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority says the Movers 3 has been banned after rectifying outstanding mechanical and survey issues. Movers 3 had been detained at anchor off Weipa in far north Queensland since early March for failing to carry out regular surveys of the ship, and for appalling working and living conditions onboard.  FULL STORY

RESOURCE SHIPPING COSTS SOAR TO RECORD HIGH
Source: Timothy Moore (AFR.com)
Shipping costs, as measured by Platts Cape T4 index, which reflects hire costs for capesize bulkers commonly used for transporting iron ore, crossed the key $US40,000 a day mark, extending a more than two-month surge. That’s providing an at least temporary competitive advantage to Australia’s iron ore miners over Brazilian rival Vale, given the distance from each market to ports in China. S&P Global Platts’ Pradeep Rajan said the index’s advance was “driven largely by more robust iron ore demand and China’s appetite for the primary steel-making raw material showing no let up”. The index reached $US40,994 a day on Tuesday. It was at $US5711 a day on February 11.  FULL STORY

RECORDS TUMBLE AS IRON ORE, COPPER EXPORTS BOOM
Source: HellenicShippingNews.com
The global economic recovery, a rush to make renewable energy and insatiable appetite from China has sent Australian mineral exports to a record high, including iron ore which now accounts for 39 per cent of all goods exported. Australia’s trade surplus hit $8.4 billion as overall metalliferous ores reached a record high in March of $16.4 billion, with iron ore up 21 per cent, copper ore up 62 per cent, and coal exports increased $272 million, or 9 per cent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Exports to China leapt 17 per cent or $1.9 billion in March, largely driven by huge iron ore volumes to China, which alone were up $1.3 billion to $10.1 billion for the month. The increase fully offset the February decline in iron ore exports, with iron ore volumes up 5.25 million tonnes, or 11 per cent, and prices rising 3 per cent. Iron ore prices have since reached new highs in April of $US195 per tonne.  FULL STORY
 
AUSTRALIAN THERMAL COAL EXPORTS AT 8-YEAR LOW: UPDATE
Source: ArgusMedia.com
China's embargo on Australian coal imports and weather-related disruption to loadings from Newcastle cut Australian thermal coal exports to an eight-year low in March, although shipments look to have rebounded in April. Australian thermal coal exports fell by 4.7mn t on the year to 13.5mn t in March, according to customs data — the lowest monthly total since 12.6mn t in March 2013. This March marked the third straight month of no Australian thermal coal exports to China — the first time this has happened in 20 years — as trade tensions persist. Shipments were down from 4.2mn t in March 2020, meaning the suspension of trade with China accounted for the majority of the overall contraction in Australian thermal coal exports.  FULL STORY

CHINA'S GRIP ON DARWIN PORT LOOKS SHAKY AS AUSTRALIA GRAPPLES WITH REGIONAL SECURITY CHANGES
Source: Andrew Greene (ABC.net.au)
On a lightning visit to Darwin last week, the Prime Minister was surrounded by US military personnel as he spruiked his government’s multimillion dollar upgrades to several defence training facilities in the Top End. While talking up the strategic importance of Australia’s northern capital, it was inevitable Scott Morrison would again be pressed on how he felt about the controversial Chinese ownership of Darwin Port. Since the Japanese bombing raids of World War II, Darwin has always had a sense of being on Australia’s “strategic frontline”, but in recent years that feeling has intensified.  FULL STORY

PAKISTANI CREWMAN IN POLICE CUSTODY AFTER JUMPING SHIP AT TOWNSVILLE PORT
Source: Tamra Bow and Summer Woolley (7News.com.au)
A multi-agency search for a Pakistani national who fled a foreign livestock carrier in Townsville without undergoing quarantine has come to an end. The man is in custody after walking into Townsville Police Station and handing himself in to police on Monday. The crewman had been on board the MV Polaris that left China on April 12 and arrived in Townsville on April 27. On Saturday night, he jumped ship in breach of COVID-19 quarantine rules, sparking a multi-agency crisis response between Queensland Police, Queensland Health and Australian Border Force (ABF).  FULL STORY

NAB'S PORT OF NEWCASTLE FUNDING TIED TO GREEN SUSTAINABILITY GOALS
Source: Ben Millington (ABC.net.au)
National Australia Bank has agreed to help finance the world's largest coal export terminal and has linked loans to a new set of social and environmental goals. Last year ANZ withdrew its funding for the Port of Newcastle under its emissions action plan and over fears that the port could become a financial liability as the world moves away from fossil fuels. NAB has stepped in to pull together "sustainability linked" loans to the value of $565 million.  FULL STORY

ELATION AFTER STRANDED SEAFARERS RESCUED OFF PORT KEMBLA
Source: Ben Langford (IllawarraMercury.com.au)
It was all smiles on the sea - for a few men at least - as Port Kembla seafarers chaplain John Kewa managed to retrieve two of the crew of the detained carrier MV Maryam. The two Georgian men punched the air and cheered loudly in their language as Chaplain Kewa of the Port Kembla Mission to Seafarers led them back to shore. The Panama-flagged bullk carrier has been detained since February by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority over what ASMA said were "appalling working and living conditions on board". With the ship now deemed unseaworthy, Chaplain Kewa has been doing what he does best: organising care packages for the crew stranded on board.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIAN LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS IMPORT PROJECT CANCELLED
Source: Amanda Battersby (UpstreamOnline.com)
AGL scraps Crib Point import scheme after damning environmental report. Australia’s AGL Energy has pulled the plug on its planned liquefied natural gas import project at Crib Point in Victoria, Australia. Development of the proposed LNG import jetty project has ceased with immediate effect, AGL confirmed on Monday. The decision follows the 30 March determination by Victoria's Minister for Planning that the project would have unacceptable environmental effects. The Sydney-based company had considered sites in the states of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland before deciding on Crib Point (Western Port), where there is an existing jetty, for its touted maximum 2.5 million tonnes per annum project based on a floating storage and regasification unit.  FULL STORY

TASMANIA STATE PORT COMPANY BREACHED LAWS
Source: Ethan James (TheWest.com.au)
Tasmania-government-owned company TasPorts has escaped a formal penalty after being found to have breached consumer and competition laws. The Federal Court declared the business, which owns and operates the majority of the island state's ports, engaged in conduct that likely had the effect of substantially lessening competition. It was found TasPorts breached a section of the competition and consumer act by imposing a new port access charge on one of its customers, mining company Grange Resources. The charge was imposed after Grange notified TasPorts it was going to switch to Engage Marine Tasmania, a provider of towage and pilotage services.  FULL STORY 

NEW CEO AT FREMANTLE PORTS
Source: Imogen Hartmann (InfrastructureMagazine.com.au)
Fremantle Ports has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, commencing in the week starting 3 May 2021. Michael Parker, formerly Business Unit President and Managing Director/Chairman of Alcoa Alumina and Alcoa of Australia between 2015 and 2019, has been appointed to the position. Fremantle Ports Chair, Ross Love, said the board was delighted to have selected, from a very strong field of applicants, a candidate of Mr Parker’s calibre to lead the organisation through its next phase of development, planning and sustainable operations. “Fremantle Ports has built a strong reputation over decades for not only driving the WA economy through efficient trade facilitation, but also as an innovator in logistics, maritime technology and other practices,” Mr Love said.  FULL STORY  

CONSENT TO SCUTTLE DAMAGED FISHING VESSEL OFF OTAGO COAST UNDER REVIEW
Source: Chris Tobin (Stuff.co.nz)
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is carrying out a last minute review of its consent conditions for the disposal of a fire damaged fishing vessel. The Authority confirmed the review on Wednesday afternoon, after Environment Canterbury (Ecan) made public its plea for it to reconsider how the vessel was disposed of. “The review relates to the extent, if any, of asbestos that might remain on the Dong Won at the time of scuttling and, if some asbestos is to remain, the likelihood of this having any adverse environmental effects,” an EPA spokesperson said.  FULL STORY 

LIVESTOCK CARRIER EXPECTED TO ARRIVE IN TIMARU
Source: Matthew Littlewood (Stuff.co.nz)
The first livestock carrier to arrive in Timaru since the Government announced it would phase out the practice is expected to arrive on Thursday night. A Ministry for Primary Industries spokesman said the livestock carrier would transport fewer animals from Timaru than originally expected. He said the importer had requested up to 6000 animals travel on the Brahman Express, however the Animal Welfare Export Certificate (AWEC) application received by the Ministry was for 3014 cattle. “The actual number of cattle could be fewer than listed above but will not be more. The final is determined by the exporter, in conjunction with an MPI veterinarian, at the time of loading,” the spokesman said.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIAN SHIPBUILDER AUSTAL NEARS DEAL ON STRATEGIC PHILIPPINES PORT WHILE SCRAPPING ITS CHINA OPERATIONS
Source: Andrew Greene (ABC.net.au)
An Australian company is close to securing a strategic beachhead in the Philippines with the leasing of a port that serves as a maritime gateway to the South China Sea. Perth-based shipbuilder Austal is at the same time moving to end a joint business venture in China, weeks after the ABC revealed faulty aluminium from Wuhan had forced delays to one of its Australian defence projects. In a local media briefing, Australia's ambassador to the Philippines, Steven Robinson, confirmed Austal was closing in on a takeover of the Hanjin shipyard in the strategically important Subic Bay.  FULL STORY

YOKOHAMA CROWNED WORLD’S MOST EFFICIENT CONTAINER PORT
Source: Sam Chambers (Splash247.com)
The Japanese port of Yokohama has been crowned as the world’s most efficient box facility in a new study launched by the World Bank and data firm IHS Markit. Asian container ports are the most efficient in the world, dominating the top 50 spots according to the new global Container Port Performance Index (CPPI) launched yesterday, the culmination of 10 years’ research. The report scored ports against different metrics, making the efficiency ranking comparable around the globe by assessing and standardising for different ship sizes and container moves per call.  FULL STORY

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