News & Media

02 July, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 685

CREW CHANGE CRISIS WORSENS, NEPTUNE INDICATOR SHOWS 8.8% OF SEAFARERS OVER CONTRACT
Source: Marcus Hand (Seatrade Maritime News)
The Covid-19 crisis in many seafarer supply nations hit by the spread of the Delta variant has led to a worsening of the crew change situation with 8.8% of crew employed by top managers now onboard after their contract expiry.  The Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator based on data from 10 leading ship managers showed that 8.8% of seafarers were now onboard beyond their contract up from 7.2% a month earlier. The index launched in May has now seen a relative increase of 51.7% having started at 5.8% of seafarers onboard beyond their contract duration.  FULL STORY 

EVER GIVEN REFLECTIONS - THE LARGEST GENERAL AVERAGE CASE IN HISTORY?
Source: Barry Parker (Seatrade Maritime News)
As pieces of the varied strands of the Ever Given saga are now being sorted the high-profile grounding in the Suez Canal could turn out to be the largest General Average claim in history. It was one of the points raised at the latest event from New York Maritime (NYMAR) this one held virtually, which offered informative collection of insights blending the legal, insurance and commercial realism of the Ever Given casualty. Moderated by veteran lawyer Keith Heard the webinar covered what happened in the casualty in late March, its immediate aftermath, and likely future consequences that may unfold.  FULL STORY

INDIA’S SEAFARERS UNDER PRESSURE
Source: Shirish Nadkarni (Seatrade Maritime News)
India’s huge second wave of Covid-19 infections has hit the international shipping industry, which relies on the country for seafarers, as crews come down with the disease and ports deny entry to vessels. India, along with the Philippines and China, remains one of the biggest providers of seafarers to the shipping industry. But a huge surge of Covid infections and a shortage of vaccines has sparked travel curbs and restrictions on Indian crews, sending shipping firms scrambling to find replacements.  FULL STORY

EU STEERS SHIPPING TOWARDS CARBON TRADING MARKET TO CURB EMISSIONS
Source: Kate Abnett and Jonathan Saul (Reuters)
Ship owners could be forced to pay for pollution from their vessels or face bans from European Union ports under draft plans to add shipping emissions to the bloc’s carbon market. Shipping does not at present face EU emissions targets, but that is set to change under proposals to make its economy greener which are due to be published next month. A draft proposal, seen by Reuters, would expand the carbon market to cover shipping emissions within the EU, international voyages to the bloc and those at berth in an EU port.That would force owners to buy permits from the EU emissions trading system (ETS) when their ships pollute. The ETS currently covers Europe’s power plants and factories.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA SEES STRONGER COAL EXPORTS
Source: Jessica Casey (World Coal)
Argus Media has reported that seaborne metallurgical coal supply chains have largely reorganised in response to Beijing's ban on Australian coal imports, paving the way for increasing Australian exports of metallurgical coal over the next 2 years, according to the Australian government's Office of the Chief Economist (OCE). Australian metallurgical coal exports will increase from 172 million t in 2020 to 189 million t in 2023, according to the OCE's latest Resources and Energy Quarterly (REQ) released 28 June 2021. At the same time, prices will increase, with the OCE revising up its average spot price to AUS$160/t fob Australia for hard coking coal for 2022 from its March forecast of AUS$142/t.  FULL STORY

ECONOMIC BOOM GIVES RBA FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Source: Colin Brinsden (AAP)
The Australian economy is ending the financial year with a flourish on several fronts after a marked rebound from the deepest recession since the 1930s due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A new spread of data shows manufacturing is expanding at its fastest pace in almost three decades, home owners are enjoying the biggest price gains since 2004 and record job vacancies are pointing to more employment gains ahead. "Australia has a booming economy," Commonwealth Securities chief economist Craig James said. "In coming months the Reserve Bank will have to weigh up the current stimulatory settings." The Reserve Bank will hold its monthly board meeting next Tuesday where it is expected to keep the cash rate at a record low 0.1 per cent.  FULL STORY  

MARITIME UNION REACHES NEW DEAL FOR PORTS
Source: Australian Associated Press
After three years of negotiations, the Maritime Union of Australia has reached a "ground-breaking" workplace agreement with the world's largest stevedoring company. The deal with Hutchison Ports Australia will give hundreds of workers at container terminals in Sydney and Brisbane a 12.5 cent pay rise over four years once it's certified by the Fair Work Commission. It comes off the back of no pay rises for workers for three years. The agreement will also see the creation of permanent rosters as well as 20 days of paid domestic violence leave. MUA deputy national secretary Warren Smith said the negotiations had been tough.  FULL STORY

CZR PUSHES GO-BUTTON ON DEFINITIVE PILBARA IRON ORE STUDY
Source: Matt Birney (The West Australian)
ASX-listed aspiring iron ore developer CZR Resources has committed to a definitive feasibility study on the proposed development of its 85 per cent-owned Robe Mesa iron ore project 150km south-west of Karratha in WA’s Pilbara region. The Perth-based company says the DFS will evaluate the mining, haulage and export of Robe Mesa direct shipping ore, with the latter to also be weighed up with a port facility being developed at Beadon Creek in Onslow as an alternative to Port Hedland. Management has appointed Perth-based mineral processing project management consulting group Increva as project manager for the DFS.  FULL STORY

WA'S CATTLE EXPORTS HIGHLIGHT DEMAND
Source: Aidan Smith (Farm Weekly)
WESTERN Australia's cattle exports have been rather tame this year so far with the national figures dropping 32 per cent on last year. Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment figures show that just 43,551 head were exported by sea from Fremantle, Broome and Wyndham to the end of April. The only voyages to leave WA in April departed from Broome to Indonesia with 2912 head of feeder cattle on board and from Fremantle with 292 slaughter cattle to Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  FULL STORY

BIG WEEK IN DARWIN AS 15,000 CATTLE SUCCESSFULLY LOADED AND SHIPPED AMID COVID LOCKDOWN
Source: James Nason (Beef Central)
CATTLE exports from Australia reached a seven month high in May, boosted by a return in normal monthly shipping volumes to Vietnam.  A total of 88,424 cattle were exported during May, according to the latest departmental data, the highest monthly volume since October 2020, when 90,754 head were exported. May exports comprised shipments of 40,582 feeder cattle to Indonesia, 25,499 breeder, feeder and slaughter cattle to Vietnam, 8,513 breeders to China, and 7,175 feeder cattle to the Philippines. Exports to Vietnam dropped to zero in March and improved only slightly to 3,713 head in April before returning to more usual monthly volumes in May. A total of 118,400 cattle have been exported in the calendar year to date from Darwin, including 26,935 head shipped in May.  FULL STORY

PORTS FEUD AHEAD?
Source: Ports Strategy
Tension is increasing over Australian ports following a recent court ruling. Australia’s Federal Court has dismissed the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) proceedings against NSW Ports Operations Hold Co Pty Ltd and its subsidiaries Port Botany Operations Pty Ltd and Port Kembla Operations Pty Ltd (NSW Ports). The ruling could be costly for the State of New South Wales (NSW), which are locked into a Port of Newcastle container traffic deal that the ACC say is “anti-competitive and illegal”. The proceedings concerned agreements, known as Port Commitment Deeds, which were entered into as part of the privatisation of Port Botany and Port Kembla by the NSW Government in May 2013, for a term of 50 years.  FULL STORY

RFNSW URGES END TO PORT BOTANY TERMINAL DISPUTE
Source: ATN
Cessation crucial to avoiding supply chain chaos in Covid-hit state. Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) joins calls for an end to container terminal industrial disputation at Port Botany. With the state’s economy to suffer an estimated $2 billion hit from the two-week Covid lockdown, the state industry body has joined other voices urging stevedore Patrick and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) to end their escalating dispute in an effort to avoid further congestion and disruptions across local supply chains. The industrial dispute has led to the cancellation of several rail freight windows to Port Botany through June-July, resulting in containers unloaded at already-congested suburban intermodal freight depots and then placed on to trucks for transport to the wharf.  FULL STORY

SHIPPING SCHEDULE RELIABILITY WORST IT HAS EVER BEEN
Source: Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff.co.nz)
Shipping schedule reliability has plunged to a historic low of 6 per cent from above 80 per cent before the pandemic. Maritime Union of New Zealand national secretary Craig Harrison says we are now facing the very real danger of shipping services cutting back services. Numbers from Sea Intelligence show the full extent of our port congestion and shipping woes. The delays were initially forecast to end after Christmas, but the numbers show things have only deteriorated since then. Shipping reliability across all ports was running at 70 per cent in August. Which means 70 per cent of ships were turning up to ports on time. But this fell to 8.87 per cent in November, with Auckland at 9.57 per cent and Tauranga operating at 7.5 per cent reliability.  FULL STORY

PORT OF TAURANGA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR WORKER HARM
Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand (Scoop.co.nz)
The Maritime Union has backed calls by whistle blowers at Port of Tauranga who have come forward after suffering serious workplace injuries. Several workers spoke to Newshub after suffering chronic injuries while driving long shifts on container straddles, but had to remain anonymous for fear of retribution by employers. Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says Port of Tauranga gets glowing references as a profitable business in the media – but that profit is obtained from unsatisfactory working practices. Mr Harrison was a waterfront worker at Ports of Auckland for 19 years and worked as a straddle driver during that time.  FULL STORY

K1 BILLION FOR PORTS
Source: Melissa Wokasup (Looppng.com)
PNG Ports Corporation Limited (PNGPCL) celebrated the signing of an MoU between the Australian and PNG Government worth $300 million, equivalent to K1 Billion. PNG Ports also launched their 30-year Ports infrastructure plan, providing the blueprint that underpins the Australian Government’s financial support to PNG Ports. The financial facility from the Australian Government of K1 billion comprises a combination of interest free grants and concessional financing to support the modernisation of PNG Ports’ maritime infrastructure across the country.  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.