News & Media

10 September, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 695

CHINA-AUSTRALIA TRADE: IRON ORE MINER FORTESCUE SET EARNINGS, SHIPMENT RECORDS IN PAST FINANCIAL YEAR
Source: HellenicShippingNews.com
China’s ravenous appetite for iron ore has helped Australian miner Fortescue double its profits and achieve record shipments while making Australian shareholders and governments wealthier with a bumper dividend and royalty payouts. In its 2020-21 financial year results released on Monday, Fortescue said it had more than doubled its net profits to US$10.3 billion and unveiled total dividends of about US$8 billion. The miner, which ships almost all of its iron ore to China, said it reached its “highest-ever annual shipments of 182.2 million tonnes” of iron ore and achieved “earnings and operating cash flow surpassing any year in its history”.  FULL STORY  

ICS BACKS BUMPER CARBON TAXES FOR SHIPPING
Source: ShipandBunker.com
Industry body the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has submitted and IMO proposal for global bunker carbon taxation. On Friday the organisation submitted a proposal calling for a levy for ships over 5,000 GT, per tonne of carbon dioxide they emit, it said in a statement on it’s website on Monday. The money raised would go towards a fund that could be used both to substitute low-carbon fuels and to fund bunker infrastructure development. The proposal is in addition to shipping industry bodies’ previous calls for a $2/mt levy to be placed on bunker sales to fund research and development work into alternative fuels technology.  FULL STORY

SUICIDES ABOARD SHIPS ARE RISING AT AN UNPRECEDENTED RATE
Source: John Conrad (GCaptain.com)
On the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day, suicides aboard ships are rising at an unprecedented rate. Are we doing enough to help mariners in mental distress at sea? “Suicides at sea and mental health generally are talked about in trade press but the industry and more particularly governments don’t own the issue,” says Frank Coles, former CEO of Transas and Wallem Group. “Seafarer health is very much an afterthought in this industry” In July of last year, the US Navy attracted global media attention when the civilian Third Officer of the replenishment ship USNS Amelia Earhart, went onto the bridge and committed suicide. He died immediately. The official cause of death was a “self-inflicted gunshot wound” but the true cause was more complicated.  FULL STORY

OIL AND GAS SECTOR ‘LOSING APPEAL’ EVEN AS PRICES RECOVER
Source: Nick Toscano (SMH.com.au)
Rising oil and gas prices are lifting the fortunes of Australia’s big natural gas shippers, but market enthusiasm for the sector is cooling. Prices for spot cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG), one of Australia’s top exports, are trading at their highest levels in a decade during what is typically the low season for the commodity that usually benefits most from winter heating demand. Brent crude oil prices have also rebounded to pre-coronavirus levels of more than $US70 a barrel. Australian energy consultancy EnergyQuest described the uplift in global gas prices including the benchmark Asian LNG price, which last year dipped as low as $US2 per million British thermal units during the COVID-19 crisis and are now above $US19, as “extraordinary”.  FULL STORY

MEGA SHIP MANOEUVRING
Source: PortStrategy.com
Manoeuvring very large ships to port is now safer and more efficient thanks to new technology. OMC International’s Dynamic Under Keel Clearance (DUKC) system is being rolled out by the Port Authority of New South Wales. The technology is being used at the ports of Botany, Newcastle and Kembla. Port Authority of NSW’s Sydney and Botany Harbour Master, Myron Fernandes said the system is a game changer for port pilots. “The DUKC system provides them with near real-time data, taking account of a number of variables, including the height of tide, the speed of the ship, the ship’s manoeuvrability, tidal streams and the dynamic motions of the vessel – all essential information used by our highly trained team of marine pilots when manoeuvring these vessels within port waters.”  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA’S EXPORTERS CONTINUE TO FACE INCREASED SHIPPING DELAYS AND COSTS
Source: Sam Wheelan (GCaptain.com)
Australia’s agricultural exporters are losing business because of increasing shipping delays and costs, prompting fresh calls for tighter regulation of container carriers. For example, according to a new report by the Freight & Trade Alliance (F&TA), the country’s grain exporters are failing to meet contractual obligations, due to the rerouting of vessels or schedule cancellations by shipping lines. F&TA director Paul Zalai said: “Three of our members collectively paid in excess of US$117,000 in contract breaches in the past three months alone”.  FULL STORY

PORT OF TOWNSVILLE SIGNS MOU TO EXPORT GREEN HYDROGEN TO SOUTH KOREA
Source: Sophie Vorrath (RenewEconomy.com.au)
A plan to export up to 200,000 tonnes a year of Queensland-made renewable hydrogen to South Korea is being weighed as part of a MOU between Ark Energy and the Port of Townsville. The MOU was announced on Tuesday by Queensland energy minister Mick de Brenni, who said that a feasibility study would investigate the development of a “transport-focused” renewable hydrogen facility at Sun Metals zinc refinery in Townsville – dubbed SunHQ – and export facilities at the city’s port. Ark Energy, a subsidiary of Korea Zinc established to decarbonise the group’s energy supply, has cut its teeth developing the SunHQ Hydrogen Hub at the site of Sun Metals’ zinc refinery, which will be powered by the existing 124MW solar farm.  FULL STORY

SHIRE PUTS OFF PORT DECISION
Source: Keith Platt (MPNews.com.au)
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has put off making any decision on its preferred role of the Port of Hastings at least until mid-2022. Councillors decided at their 24 August meeting that there was no “legal obligation or urgency” for it to decide about the future use of the port. In doing so, they rejected advice from strategic planning manager Claire Dougall that the shire continue to oppose any dredging in Port Phillip to “accommodate” the state government’s planned container port at Bay West, near Geelong. As part of its existing opposition to the Bay West plan the shire has asked the state for “certainty” over the future role of the Port of Hastings and for it to release “surplus” land set aside for port development on the peninsula.  FULL STORY

PORT OF MELBOURNE TO EXTEND WEBB DOCK EAST BERTH
Source: Lauren DeLorenzo (InfrastructureMagazine.com.au)
Australia’s busiest container port, Port of Melbourne, plans to extend Webb Dock East  (WDE) Berth 4/5, allowing a greater number of ships, as well as larger vessels, to berth at the port. The project aims to deliver benefits for the port-related supply chain, and is part of a 30-year, $1.5 billion port development strategy that maps out an extensive investment program designed to ensure that Melbourne’s ports can service the needs of all Victorians. WDE has a berth length of 660m, enabling two vessels of 300m to be berthed concurrently. However, there has been an increasing number of vessels longer than 300m calling at the Port of Melbourne, leaving the terminal only able to service a single vessel. Port of Melbourne CEO, Brendan Bourke, said the trend of receiving vessels longer than 300m is likely to continue.  FULL STORY

SHREE MINERALS SIGNS KEY PORT STORAGE AND SHIP LOADING AGREEMENT FOR IRON ORE PROJECT
Source: John Miller (ProactiveInvestors.com.au)
The agreement with TasRail secures the infrastructure for shipping of DSO from the Nelson Bay River Project in northwest Tasmania. Shree Minerals Ltd (ASX:SHH) has passed another milestone on the path towards recommencing the Nelson Bay River Iron Project (NBR) in northwest Tasmania by signing a port storage and ship loading agreement. The agreement with Tasmanian Railway Pty Ltd (TasRail) covers the storage and ship loading of iron ore via a ship loader and warehouse known as the TasRail Bulk Minerals Export Facility (BMEF) at Berth 5 of the Port of Burnie.  FULL STORY

HIGHER SHIPPING RATES HIT AUSTRALIAN RESOURCE FIRMS
Source: ArgusMedia.com
Australian resource firms are affected by a sharp increase in shipping rates for commodity exports from their Australian and African mining and processing operations. The increased shipping rates have hit firms exporting copper concentrate from the Western Australian ports of Geraldton and Port Hedland, and mineral sands from Mombasa in Kenya. Other firms exporting manganese from Australia and South Africa have had to change their shipping programmes or seen reduced profits because of the increased shipping costs. "Freight rates for a 55,000t vessel shipping ilmenite to China were $28/t a year ago and are now around $90/t," Base Resources' chief executive Tim Carstens said at a mining conference in Perth last week.  FULL STORY

WA GOVERNMENT COMMITS $61.5M TO ADVANCE LOCAL RENEWABLE HYDROGEN INDUSTRY
Source: Imelda Cotton (SmallCaps.com.au)
Western Australia’s Labor government will inject a total $61.5 million into the state’s renewable hydrogen industry in a bid to accelerate the move towards a low-carbon future. Premier Mark McGowan announced the initiative in the lead-up to this week’s state budget to advance a homegrown hydrogen production industry and drive local demand. The funding will comprise a $50 million pool to stimulate demand in transport and industrial settings, and $11.5 million for the development of a renewable energy hub on a 64-square-kilometre site at Oakajee, north of Geraldton.  FULL STORY

GOVERNMENT MAY NEED TO STEP IN TO OVERCOME SHIPPING PROBLEMS COSTING NEW ZEALAND EXPORTERS BILLIONS, ECONOMIST WARNS
Source: NewsHub.co.nz
The government may need to get involved to help overcome shipping problems which stand to cost New Zealand exporters $10 billion in lost earnings this year, according to an economist. Export earnings in August were up 25 percent from the same time last year, having bounced from a soft spot at the start of the year. Economist Benje Patterson said shipping challenges were however denting earnings by adding costs, and that had exporters questioning whether it was worth trading and trying to sell overseas. "When you add up all those, you can quite easily get costs in the ballpark of $10 billion to our exporters next year if we can't get these logistical challenges sorted."  FULL STORY

AUCKLAND COUNCILLORS DEMAND EXPLANATION OF PORT CHIEF EXECUTIVE'S $1.8M PAYOUT
Source: Todd Niall (Stuff.co.nz)
Auckland councillors have demanded an explanation for a payout of almost $1.8 million to Tony Gibson, the former chief executive of council-owned Ports of Auckland. Gibson resigned in May after 11 years in the role, following pressure from the council about costly delays to an automation project, and health and safety issues over the deaths of three workers in three years. The final payout was revealed in the company’s annual report, without naming Gibson, who was paid $820,000 in the previous year.  FULL STORY

PORT NELSON MOVES RECORD NUMBER OF CONTAINERS, A REFLECTION OF GLOBAL SHIPPING VOLATILITY
Source: Voxy.co.nz
Port Nelson achieved an off peak-season record of 5141 container movements in a week during August. This news will be a positive signal to the exporters of Te Tauihu who have been hard hit by shipping disruptions for much of 2021, but doesn’t mean shipping’s reliability issues are over. The record level of movements does not indicate an end to on-going shipping reliability and capacity challenges for the region, the Port, or the rest of the country. The nature of importing and exporting challenges impacting the region is a result of the global and national crisis.  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.