Hapag-Lloyd Slashes 2018 Profit Outlook
German container carrier Hapag-Lloyd has cut its profit outlook for the year 2018 amid a challenging and volatile environment for ocean carriers. A Reuters report quoted the shipper saying that freight rates had recovered more slowly than expected while fuel and charter costs had ballooned. The report said that these developments cannot be fully offset by cost saving measures that have already been initiated. Hapag-Lloyd also referred to the uncertainty regarding the development of freight rates in the upcoming peak season as one of the factors for the outlook revision.
Oil Prices Dip as Markets Eye Potential Supply Increases
Oil prices fell on Monday as concerns about supply disruptions eased and Libyan ports resumed export activities, while traders eyed potential supply increases by Russia and other oil producers.Brent crude futures were down 26 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $75.07 a barrel at 0057 GMT.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $70.74 a barrel.Supply outages in Libya and strike action in Norway and Iraq pushed oil prices higher late last week, although prices still ended down for a second straight week."Crude oil prices fell as fears of supply disruptions eased.
Macroeconomic Trends Signal Good News for Shipping
The current global economic growth (GDP) looks like it may be as good as it gets, with indicators across the globe signaling healthy expansion, but at a slower pace compared to the levels seen in the last half of 2017.Global economic growth seems on track to reach its highest level since 2011, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) maintain its projection for the world GDP at 3.9 percent and expects the global economic growth to be supported by a strong momentum, favorable market sentiment and accommodative financial conditions in 2018 and 2019.
Maersk Expects Healthier 2017 for Shippers
Bloomberg quoted Robbert van Trooijen, APAC CEO of Maersk Line, saying that the current year (2017) will be more profitable than the last. Post-Hanjin, ocean freight customers now stressing stability and avoiding risk to supply chains, not just rates, he said. "The bankruptcy of South Korea's Hanjin Shipping and a consolidation in the container shipping industry will pave the way for a better year for the industry," he told the international news wire. Maersk Line is seeing a…
Thailand Boosts LNG Imports
Thailand is signing new contracts for LNG purchases and expanding terminals to boost imports to replace flagging domestic production, Bloomberg reported. Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy will boost LNG imports by more than 70 percent this year. The report said that the country is doing everything it can to facilitate increased LNG imports to replace the declining domestic production. These include expanding the existing terminals. Producers of the fuel are expected to expand…
Long-haul Arbitrage Trades to Benefit VLCCs
The OPEC production cuts since the start of 2017 has tightened supplies of medium and heavy sour crudes, leading to a narrowing Brent-Dubai EFS. This has made long-haul crude trades from the Atlantic Basin to the Far East economically viable, resulting in a surge in flows from the North Sea as well as Americas which has in turn boosted ton-mile demand in the VLCC sector. Growing ton-mile demand has helped to halt declining rates in a sector flooded with newbuild deliveries in Q1. VLCC rates for the benchmark AG/Japan route rebounded from w46 end-March to current levels of w65.
Sovcomflot Launches LNG-Powered Ships
Russia’s biggest tanker operator will launch four new vessels in 2018 that will run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), Bloomberg reported. Sovcomflot’s Aframax ships, capable of carrying 600,000 barrels of oil through the Baltic Sea to the port of Rotterdam, will be the first tankers run on LNG. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and other energy companies that have invested more than $700 billion in LNG projects over the past decade are going to be benefitted by this project. While ships won’t transform the market, Energy Aspects Ltd.
Qatar to Boost LNG Production by 30% Amid Arab Dispute
State-owned Qatar Petroleum said Tuesday it aims to raise Qatar’s LNG production from 77 million to 100 million tons per year. The new additional volumes will be secured by doubling the size of the new gas project in the southern sector of the North Field, which Qatar Petroleum had announced last April. This will increase the North Field’s production of natural gas, condensate and other associated products by one million barrels of oil equivalent per day. The announcement was made by Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi…
Yildirim to Sell its Stake in CMA CGM
Turkish port operator Yildirim Holdings AS has announced plans to sell its 24 percent stake in the French shipping major CMA CGM, Bloomberg reported. The company mandated China Citic Bank Corp. to find investors from Asia or the Persian Gulf for its interest in the world’s third biggest container shipping company. “We will either exit our investment completely or remain as an ordinary shareholder,” said Yildirim. Yildirim invested $600 million to become a shareholder in CMA CGM between 2010 and 2011.
COSCO to Buy OOCL for USD 6.3 bln
Chinese Shipping Major Cosco Group has agreed in principle to buy its shipping rival and Hong Kong’s No. 1 box mover, Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), in deal that could be valued around USD 6.3 billion. The takeover will catapult Cosco the world’s third-biggest container carrier after Denmark’s Maersk Line and Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Co. In a press release, the State-owned Cosco said that it will pay shareholders of OOCL,, HK$78.67 a share in cash, a 31 percent premium over the stock’s last closing price.
Abu Dhabi Ports: No Immediate Plans for a Listing
Abu Dhabi Ports has no plans to launch a public sale of shares in the short term, the chief executive of the state-owned company told Reuters on Tuesday. "There are no immediate plans to go public," Mohamed Juma al Shamisi said when asked if the company planned to sell shares and a subsequent listing. His comments came after Bloomberg News reported that Abu Dhabi Ports is considering an initial public offering, joining a growing list of state entities in the United Arab Emirates seeking to sell shares, citing people familiar with the matter.
Brazil to Stop Beaching Ships in South Asia
Brazilian authorities plan to implement legislation to help prevent that vessels owned by exporters such as Petrobras and Vale wind up on South Asia's beaching yards, Bloomberg reported. The report said that earlier this month, authorities decided to develop a legal framework to ensure former Brazilian ships don’t end up with recyclers notorious for using dirty and dangerous methods, federal environmental watchdog Ibama said by email. Brazilian companies could face fines of as…
Biggest LNG Vessel Sails to Turkey
The world’s biggest specialized vessel to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) is scheduled to be operational in November to contribute to Turkey's energy supply security, Bloomberg reported. The MOL FSRU Challenger, as long as the Eiffel Tower, is expected to arrive from South Korea this month and start by year-end. Last winter, a cold snap gripped the whole region, including Iran, where Turkey gets some of its gas from. That meant the nation couldn’t get hold of enough fuel to meet its booming gas demand and the grid asked private power plants to reduce fuel demand by as much as 90 percent.
Noble Group Sells Four Vessels to Cut Debt
Hong Kong-based struggling commodity trader Noble Group will sell four dry bulk carrier vessels for about $95 million, as it looks to cut debt to keep its business running, reports Reuters. According to company statement, net proceeds from the disposal, following repayment of bank loans associated with the ships and other costs, will amount to about $30 million. Noble said the sale of the vessels was expected to close next year between March 10 and May 31 and would not significantly impact the operations of the freight business.
Trump to Open Oil Drilling off US East Coast
The Trump administration is preparing a plan that would open up oil drilling off the U.S. East Coast, Bloomberg reported. President Trump ordered the Interior Department to create the draft proposal as part of his “America-First Offshore Energy Strategy” executive order in April. The new plan, which could be unveiled as soon as this week, would allow the U.S. to auction oil and gas drilling rights in Atlantic waters previously blocked under the Obama administration. The new proposal would span the years 2019 to 2024, replacing the Obama plan, which runs through 2022.
Driver-less Ships: Autonomy in the Maritime Sector
In a show of prototypes, a pod of unmanned sailboats from around the world competes to cross “The Atlantic” test tank in Horten, Norway. Cross the real ocean, and the Sail Bots race similarly challenges scholarly robotic-vessel designers to North America for a bit of station-keeping, collision-avoidance and “cargo moves”. For all, the future seems bright — the first commercial runs of unmanned vessels are underway or scheduled worldwide. These earliest movers have the support of governments, Google and grateful clients.
Kuwait Signs LNG Import Deal With Shell
Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (KPC) has signed a 15-year liquefied natural gas import deal with Royal Dutch Shell Plc to help the oil exporting nation meet growing domestic energy demand. A report in Bloomberg said that the sales purchasing agreement with Shell International Trading Middle East Ltd. will start in 2020. The contract will cover 2 million to 3 million metric tons of LNG a year. The volumes delivered under the contract will be used to fire up KPC’s power stations. A press…
Chelsea Technologies' Sea Sentry Secures ClassNK Certification
Chelsea Technologies announced that its Sea Sentry wash water monitoring system for ship exhaust gas cleaning systems has been certified by ClassNK, verifying compliance with IMO Annex VI wash water discharge regulations. Accurate monitoring for compliance with environmental regulations is a vital prerogative for the international shipping industry, particularly ahead of the 2020 global sulphur cap. Owners and operators are under increasing scrutiny to not only install costly compliance technologies but also to provide accurate data to demonstrate compliance…
Chinese Trawlers Travel Farthest and Fish the Most
China has the world’s largest and farthest-ranging fishing operation, outstripping the next 10 biggest combined, according to what researchers say is the most comprehensive and data-intensive study on the subject. Ships from China amassed approximately 17 million hours of fishing in 2016, mostly off the southern coast of their home country, but also as far away as Africa and South America. The next-biggest operation is Taiwan‘s, with 2.2 million hours of fishing. The data, collected and analyzed over five years by Global Fishing Watch…
Otto Marine Seeks Insolvency Protection
Singapore-based offshore shipbuilder Otto Marine is seeking insolvency protection from the High Court in a bid to salvage the company and stave off liquidation. According to a report in the Straits Times, crippled with a debt of US$877 million (S$1.16 billion), the troubled company, which is delisted from the Singapore Exchange (SGX), filed an application last week to be placed under judicial management. The company has applied for an interim judicial manager to be appointed, pending the hearing of its judicial management application. The hearing has been adjourned to March 12.
UAE to the Rescue of DP World’s Container Terminal in Djibouti
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) condemned Djibouti’s cancellation of DP World’s contract to run the Doraleh Container Terminal, calling it an “arbitrary” flouting of a signed agreement, said a report in Bloomberg. Media reports yesterday said that Dubai has accused Djibouti of illegally seizing a port operated by one of its state-owned shipping companies and started legal action against the African government. “Djibouti government’s seizure of the Doraleh port is regrettable,’’ Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash wrote on Twitter.
China Okays Merger of Two Largest Shipbuilders - Bloomberg
China's cabinet has given preliminary approval to merge the country's two largest shipbuilders, China State Shipbuilding Corp with China Shipbuilding Industry Corp, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. It said the move, which will create a firm that will dwarf its South Korean rivals such as Hyundai Heavy Industries Co , could still be subject to change as many details needed to be ironed out by ministries and regulators. The two companies have…
Kudlow says U.S.-China Trade Talks Are Ongoing
There are ongoing talks on trade between the United States and China, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Friday but he did not specify at what level the negotiations were occurring. "There are ongoing talks. I don't want to name names, I don't want to put anyone on the spot, there are ongoing talks. They'll be back and forth, U.S. and Beijing, and so forth," Kudlow told Fox Business Network. However, in an earlier interview Bloomberg TV, Kudlow said discussions had not begun. Reporting by Makini Brice