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Oil Prices Are Down … But Are They Out?

U.S. oil prices fell Monday on renewed concerns that the OPEC cartel's recent cut in production would not be enough to counter the impact of a global economic slowdown. U.S. light sweet crude for September delivery traded down 1.4 percent, or 23 cents, at $26.96 a barrel. London Brent futures for September delivery traded down 21 cents to $24.98 a barrel. Oil prices have declined steadily since late May amid increasing evidence that the global economic slowdown is eating into demand for petroleum this year. Concern over falling prices and a sustained rise in spare petroleum stocks spurred the OPEC producer cartel to agree last week to a 1 million barrels per day (bpd) output cut. But traders were reluctant to push prices up without indications that the world economy is rebounding. "If the trend of a build in U.S. crude stocks continues and there are no signs the economy is recovering, that will push prices down in the weeks ahead," said Lawrence Eagles of GNI Research. The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday said gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic health, grew at the lowest quarterly rate in eight years, at 0.7 percent in the second quarter. A meeting over the weekend in Geneva of the oil ministers of Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Mexico ended with a vow to keep the market adequately supplied and stable following OPEC's supply curb decision.

Shipping loan losses hit Norwegian bank DNB's earnings

Q2 net profit NOK 4.65 bln vs f'cast NOK 4.77 bln; loan losses NOK 554 mln vs fcast NOK 398 mln. Bank on schedule to fulfill capital requirements, but shares down 4.6 percent, Swedish bank shares lower. Higher-than-expected loan losses in the shipping sector ate into DNB's second-quarter earnings, sending shares in Norway's largest bank down almost 5 percent on Thursday. Nordic banks made it through Europe's recent financial crisis relatively unscathed

Aframax Rates Jump 40 Percent From Mexico To Venezuela

The cost of an Aframax tanker to carry crude from Mexico and Venezuela to the U.S. has surged by 40 percent in the last week as cargo owners scrabble over a fast-dwindling fleet, but in Europe trading is dull. "You won't find a ship available now until August 12, so the ship owners are getting very bullish on rates," one U.S. broker said of the Caribbean market on Wednesday. He pegged the upcoast trade on Aframaxes (70,000 tonners) at W165.

Brent Crude Hits 16-month Low Under US$99

HFO: File image

Brent crude dropped to a 16-month low under $99 per barrel on Wednesday, stretching its losses into a fifth session amid continued worries about rising supplies and weak global demand. While a larger-than-expected fall in weekly U.S. crude stocks kept a floor under oil prices, gains were curbed by a firmer U.S. dollar that makes commodities priced in the greenback more expensive for holders of other currencies. The dollar index stood near a 14-month high, with some investors betting the U

US Oil Drillers Cut Rigs as Crude Prices Collapse

U.S. energy firms cut a surprisingly sharp 13 oil rigs this week, the first drop in seven weeks, as a renewed slump in prices this summer forced drillers to make a second round of cut-backs.   The decline erases weeks of small gains and brings the total to the week ending Sept. 4 down to 662, the lowest since mid-July, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said in its closely followed report on Friday.  

Declining Oil Output Attributed to Lackluster Tanker Stock Performance

Tanker stocks have taken a severe beating this month on declining oil output and global economic jitters, but several analysts are predicting a steady recovery and consider the slump a good buying opportunity. "Charter hire rates are expected to rebound steadily through 2001 as Iraq and OPEC increase oil production," investment bank Lehman Brothers said in a report on Wednesday. "Recent weakness in the oil tanker sector provides an extremely attractive entry point for investors

Port of Hamburg Results: Exports Up, Imports Down

hamburg container.jpg

The Port of Hamburg’s overall results for the first nine months characterized by export growth and an import downturn. In the first nine months of 2012 the Port of Hamburg achieved total throughput of 98.1 million tons (down 0.8 percent). General cargo throughput at 69.2 million tons was just ahead of last year’s figure (up 0.2 percent). Bulk cargo throughput at 28.8 million tons stayed behind the previous year’s (down 3.3 percent)

Oil-Price Slide Hits European Energy Shares

European shares fell on Tuesday, the last full trading day of the year, led lower by energy companies as Brent oil fell to a 5-1/2-year low on persistent concerns about a global supply glut. The STOXX Europe 600 oil & gas index was down 1.9 percent at 1219 GMT, taking its loss for the year to 15 percent. The price of Brent oil is down by about half since June due to a big oversupply and tepid demand, hitting energy companies hard.

Great Lakes Coal Trade Down 7.3% in November

Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes totaled 2.7 million tons in November, a decrease of 7.3 percent compared to a year ago, and well below – 35.2 percent – the month’s long-term average.  Shipments were also 4.1 percent less than October’s tally of 2.8 million tons. Shipments from Lake Superior ports totaled 1.6 million tons, a decrease of 9.2 percent compared to a year ago.  Coal transshipped from Superior, Wisconsin, to Québec City, Québec

Lakes Stone Trade Down 5.8% in June

File photo. Credit: Rod Burdick

Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3.6 million tons in June, a slight increase over May (80,000 tons), but a decrease of 5.8% compared to a year ago. Shipments were also down 7.5% from June’s total in recent years. Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 3.1 million tons, a decrease of 2.8% compared to a year ago, and loadings at Canadian quarries dipped by more than 21%. Year-to-date the Lakes limestone trade stands at 9.3 million tons, a decrease of 6

AWO Calls on Congress for Vessel Discharges Bill

A federal appeals court ruling handed down this week underscores the urgent need for Congress to pass the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) and establish a uniform federal framework for the regulation of ballast water and other vessel discharges

Commodity Surge Boosts World Equities; Dollar Falls

Major world stock markets were poised for their biggest weekly advance since 2011 on Friday, as greater investor appetite for riskier assets propelled gains in equities and a surge in commodities and crude oil prices.   Declines in the dollar

Shell Want Shipper Guarantees on Nigerian Crude Exports

Royal Dutch Shell has asked ship owners exporting its Nigerian oil to sign a "letter of comfort" (LoC) to guarantee it is not stolen, according to an email from the company seen by Reuters. In July, state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC) banned more than 100 tankers from

Container Shipping: Volumes Up, But...

Graph: BIMCO

 The container shipping market may find comfort in the fact that global volumes were up by 1.1% in the first six months of 2015. Following a disastrous first quarter, all three months of the second quarter posted year-on-year increases. Behind the headline, though

Urals Weakens Further in Baltic

Russian Urals crude differentials continued to slide in the Baltic on Thursday amid a flurry of activity with softer refining margins, pushed down by higher oil prices, still keeping buyers at bay.   In the Platts window, Statoil bought a 100,000-tonne cargo from Glencore for loadings on Oct

Box Shipping Eyes More Overcapacity, Financial Pain

File photo

Slowing global trade and a bloated orderbook of large vessel capacity mean that container shipping is set for another three years of overcapacity and financial pain, according to the latest Container Forecaster report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry.

Behave in the South China Sea, US Admiral Warns China

USS Ronald Reagan Arrives in Japan. Photo: U.S. Pacific Command

 US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift  has fired a broadside at China and other regional nations who are flouting international law in the South China Sea.   Admiral Scott has warned that if bullying behaviour at sea of the kind shown by China is not confronted

New Head for Odfjell Tankers

Harald Fotland (Photo: Odfjell)

Odfjell announced it has appointed Senior Vice President Harald Fotland to new Head of Odfjell Tankers. Fotland comes from the position as SVP/Chief of Staff and has for the past 18 months also been responsible for the cost-cutting and efficiency program in Odfjell.

Historic Pacific Trade Deal Faces Skeptics in US Congress

Photo: Port of Los Angeles

Twelve Pacific Rim countries on Monday reached the most ambitious trade pact in a generation, aiming to liberalize commerce in 40 percent of the world's economy in a deal that faces skepticism from U.S. lawmakers.   The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact struck in Atlanta after marathon

Matson Closes $75mln Debt Private Placement

Matson, Inc., a U.S. carrier in the Pacific, announced today the issuance of $75 million in 30-year final maturity senior unsecured notes pursuant to a previously announced private placement on July 30, 2015. The notes will have a weighted average life of approximately 13 years and will

Ship Operating Costs Down in 2014 -Moore Stephens

Photo: Andrew Aiello

Total annual operating costs in the shipping industry fell by an average of 0.8 percent in 2014, said international accountant and shipping consultant Moore Stephens. This compares with the 0.3 percent average fall in costs recorded for 2013

Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates Impacted by China Holidays

Weak holiday demand to pressure rates lower. Rebound seen after China returns to market on Oct 8. Freight rates for capesize bulk carriers could come under pressure next week as lower cargo volumes due to holidays in China thwart shipowners efforts to push rates higher, ship brokers said.

Slower China Growth Hurts Global Shipping Sector: Fitch

Image: China Ocean Shipping Company

 China's slower growth and economic transition will pose significant risks for the already struggling shipping sector, rating agency Fitch said.   The shipping sector is already faces overcapacity, weak freight rates and stretched financials.  

Glencore Assets Plunge But Hope for Bondholders Remains

Glencore's debt and equity plunged on Monday on the back of a damning analyst note, with only the commodity firm's shortest bonds maturing this year managing to resist the sell-off.   But the outlook for the debt-laden firm does not appear to be as bleak as the headline figures suggest

Asia-Europe Rates Further Contract

Photo: Maersk Line

 Major container shipping rates plummeted again this week, with declines on the trunk Shanghai-Europe routes falling at record amounts,  says Shangahi Containerised Freight Index (SCFI).   A eport in ASC  says that the SCFI for Far East to North Europe dropped by a staggering

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