Marine Link
Thursday, February 22, 2018

China News

China, not Trump, Drives U.S. Coal Revival

A typical coal cargo underway on the inland rivers (CREDIT: Inland Marine)

If China does seek a way to retaliate against U.S. proposals to impose import curbs on steel and aluminium, then targeting President Donald Trump's favoured coal would be tempting. One of Trump's key campaign promises in the 2016 election victory was to end the war on what he termed "beautiful, clean" coal. Figures released last week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) suggest he has met with some success. U.S. coal output surged the most in 16 years to reach 773 million short tonnes, equivalent to about 701 million metric tonnes, in 2017, the EIA said on Feb. 16.

Chinese Warships Enter East Indian Ocean

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) VanderWolf)

Eleven Chinese warships sailed into the East Indian Ocean this month, a Chinese news portal said, amid a constitutional crisis in the tiny tropical island chain of the Maldives now under a state of emergency. A fleet of destroyers and at least one frigate, a 30,000-tone amphibious transport dock and three support tankers entered the Indian Ocean, news portal Sina.com.cn said, without linking the deployment to the crisis in the Maldives or giving a reason. "If you look at warships and other equipment, the gap between the Indian and Chinese navy is not large," Sina.com.cn said on Sunday.

Fugro Returns to China for Gas Hydrate Research

Fugro Voyager (Photo: Fugro)

Dutch survey and geotechnical services firm Fugro said it has been awarded a contract by China’s Guangzhou Marine Geological Survey (GMGS) to perform gas hydrate investigation on the Northern Continental Slope of the South China Sea. The contract is valued at approximately $40 million and is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2018. The gas hydrate field research program is the fifth that Fugro will undertake for GMGS, and the two companies have worked together in this field of research since 2007.

BIMCO: China Breaks New Ground… Again

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

Chinese seaborne imports of iron ore, coal and crude oil have all grown strongly throughout 2017. Both seaborne imports of crude oil and iron ore have reached the highest levels ever recorded, while coal reached the highest level in three years. Imports of crude oil and coal have benefitted the shipping industry to the greatest extent as both volumes and distances have increased. China continues to ramp up its imports of iron ore with seaborne imports growing 4.7% in 2017 compared to 2016.

ASEAN Pushes for South China Sea 'Code of Conduct'

© donvictori0 / Adobe Stock

The Association of South East Asian Nations is hoping to expedite negotiations on a code of conduct with China for the South China Sea but it is not realistic to expect an agreement within a year, Singapore's defence minister said on Wednesday. China and the 10-member ASEAN bloc adopted a negotiating framework on the code for the disputed and busy waterway, largely controlled by China but also claimed by some ASEAN states, in August and have begun talks. "We hope it will be expedited but it's a very…

China Shadows US Warship in Disputed Sea

USS Lassen (U.S. Navy photo)

A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer sailed close to China's man-made islands in the disputed South China Sea on Tuesday, drawing an angry rebuke from Beijing, which said it warned and followed the American vessel. The patrol by the USS Lassen was the most significant U.S. challenge yet to the 12-nautical-mile territorial limits China asserts around the islands in the Spratly archipelago and could ratchet up tension in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. One U.S. defense official said the USS Lassen sailed within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef.

Vietnam, Australia Call for South China Sea 'Restraint'

Vietnam and Australia called on Wednesday for "self-restraint" in the South China Sea and warned against the unilateral use of force, an obvious reference to China's increasingly aggressive presence that has stirred concerns across the disputed region. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met Australian counterpart Tony Abbott in Canberra, where they will sign a deal on issues including security and climate change. Vietnam and other wary Southeast Asian countries have complained about China's controversial policy of land reclamation on disputed isles in the South China Sea. Beijing in turn has said it is not seeking to overturn international order. Dung told the Australian parliament there was an imperative need to draw up a code of conduct for the South China Sea. "We agreed ...

China's Navy holds Missile Combat Resupply Drill

China's navy held its first drill simulating the resupply of missiles in a combat environment in the Yellow Sea, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday, the latest sign of the country's growing military prowess. The live-fire exercises, involving ships, aircraft and land-based forces, featured the firing of missiles, torpedoes and shells, some of which were new models, the ministry said in a statement on its website. They were fired to intercept surface, underwater and airborne targets, and the drill "for the first time organised a maritime missile combat resupply exercise", it added, without giving details. China has ramped up defence spending to modernise its forces, the world's largest, which are gaining experience in operating far from its coast.

China Plans to Modernise Shipping Industry: Shares Jump

China published a set of guidelines to support and develop its shipping industry on Wednesday, sending shares in shipping firms such as China COSCO and China Shipping higher. The world's biggest trading nation is focusing on the shipping industry as it looks to secure its supply chains and grows more assertive over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, unnerving neighbours such as Vietnam and Japan. China will introduce tax and other regulatory reforms while pushing shipping firms to upgrade and modernise their fleets to build an efficient, safe and environmentally friendly shipping system by 2020, the State Council, China's cabinet, said in a statement published on its website.

China Deploys Missiles on South China Sea Island

Satellite images show new missiles on Woody Island; China says entitled to necessary self defence facilities. China has deployed an advanced surface-to-air missile system to one of the disputed islands it controls in the South China Sea, Taiwan and U.S. officials said, ratcheting up tensions even as U.S. President Barack Obama urged restraint in the region. Taiwan defence ministry spokesman Major General David Lo told Reuters on Wednesday the missile batteries had been set up on Woody Island. The island is part of the Paracels chain, under Chinese control for more than 40 years but also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam. A U.S. defence official also confirmed the "apparent deployment" of the missiles, first reported by Fox News.

China Surpasses US as Largest Crude Oil Importer

Graph Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly and Weekly Petroleum Status Report, China General Administration of Customs, based on Bloomberg, L.P.

China took the crown as the world’s largest crude oil importer in 2017, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration press release. China imported 8.4 million barrels per day, and the United States imported 7.9 million barrels per day. China had become the world’s largest net importer (imports minus exports) of total petroleum and other liquid fuels in 2013. New refinery capacity and strategic inventory stockpiling combined with declining domestic oil production were the major factors contributing to the recent increase in China’s crude oil imports.

China Tells US to Play Constructive South China Sea Role

(Photo: CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative)

China told the United States on Tuesday that it should play a constructive role in safeguarding peace in the disputed South China Sea, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for talks and a peaceful resolution. China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims, as well as close military ties with the United States. China has been angered by what it views as provocative U.S. military patrols close to islands China controls in the South China Sea.

Asia's Soaring Gas Demand Beckons New LNG Projects

File Image: A typical LNG Carrier (CREDIT: GAC)

Global LNG imports rose by 20 percent in 2017; new demand emerges across South, Southeast Asia. Soaring gas demand from China, India and Southeast Asia is sucking up an LNG supply glut previously expected to last for years, opening opportunity for new production from East Africa to North America that had been deemed part of the overhang. Trade flows in Eikon show global liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports have risen 40 percent since 2015, to almost 40 billion cubic metres (bcm) a month.

Four High Speed Ferries Ordered at Aulong

Four 42-meter ferries will be constructed by Aulong for Xidao Dazhou Tourism Co Ltd of China from March 2018 (Image: Aulong)

Aulong Shipbuilding, a joint venture company between Australian shipbuilder Austal and Guandong Jianglong Shipbuilding of China, has secured contracts for four new high speed ferries. Under the recently awarded A$20 million (US$15.6 million) contracts, Aulong will design and build four 42-meter high speed catamarans for Xidao Dazhou Tourism Co Ltd. Construction will commence from Aulong’s Zhongshan shipyard in Guandong Province in March 2018, with delivery scheduled for early 2019.

Bulk Carriers Collide On Mississippi

The Panamanian bulk carrier El Flamenco and Liberian bulker China Spirit reportedly collided on the Mississippi River on February 4. The 70,046 dwt China Spirit was contacted by the El Flamenco (69,351 dwt). A two meter by two meter hole above the waterline was ripped out of the afterpeak ballast tank of China Spirit. The damage has been temporarily repaired and it is awaiting class surveyors approval before loading for the Far East, where permanent repairs will be carried out. El Flamenco was heading north to mile marker 110 to unload its cargo of pig iron from Brazil. China Spirit was anchored at 12-mile anchorage facing northbound 75-80 yards off the west bank, waiting to receive grain from ADM Gromark grain elevators.

Philippines: South China Sea not on APEC Agenda

Energy ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group will discuss climate change and business opportunities at a meeting in the Philippines next month but not the South China Sea. China claims most of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims. The Philippines has filed a case with an international arbitration tribunal over rival claims in the South China Sea but China has rejected the proceeding and says disputes must be handled bilaterally. China is a member of APEC.

US, Japan Keen to Raise South China Sea at G-7

Map courtesy: AFP

South China Sea warning looms over G7 summit. The United States is keen to raise the issue of South China Sea at a Group of Seven foreign ministers (G-7) meeting in Hiroshima. The US expects that this move would likely draw an angry response from the government in Beijing. Japan also wants to discuss South China Sea. The Shinzo Abe administration of Japan has been trying to place the South China Sea on top of the agenda at the upcoming two-day meeting in Hiroshima, despite pressing issues of combating terrorism and extremism, and the refugee crisis troubling Europe and the Middle East.

Demand for Ships in China to reach 31m DWT

According a new report on China’s shipbuilding industry from Research and Markets, from 2006 to 2010, the total demand for ships in China will reach 31 million dead weight tons (DWT), and the annual demand will be 6.2 million DWT on average. The report, dubbed China Shipbuilding Industry Report, 2005–2006, notes that China’s ship completions rank third over the past 10 consecutive years, and the shipbuilding capacity has increased from 3.462 million DWT in 2002 to 12 million DWT in 2005. The boom of China’s shipbuilding industry is closely linked with the development of marine industry, says the report. Although the global marine market declined in 2005, new opportunities emerged.

ASEAN Breaks South China Sea Deadlock

Manila drops request to refer to court ruling in statement. Southeast Asian nations overcame days of deadlock on Monday when the Philippines dropped a request for their joint statement to mention a landmark legal ruling on the South China Sea, officials said, after objections from Cambodia. China publicly thanked Cambodia for supporting its stance on maritime disputes, a position which threw the regional block's weekend meeting in the Laos capital of Vientiane into disarray. Competing claims with China in the vital shipping lane are among the most contentious issues for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with its 10 members pulled between their desire to assert their sovereignty while finding common ground and fostering ties with Beijing.

Maersk Analysts Strike Cautious Tone

File Image: One of Maersk's largr boxships, the Madrid Maersk (CREDIT: Maersk)

Analysts believe results and outlook in the final quarter report of Maersk (Feb. 9) might be weighed down by consolidation effects from the Hamburg Sud deal and the market situation in China. Morgan Stanley says integration expenses related to the deal would limit profitability contribution in 2018 and that Maersk Line will return to peak EBIT margins in 2020. Jyske Bank, which keeps rating "sell" for the company, sees a potential threat to Maersk Line Q4 volumes and EBITDA from significant cuts in China's import of waste materials.

China: No Military Force to Settle Oil Rig Spat

A Chinese official said on Friday that China will never send military forces to the scene of an increasingly ugly spat with Vietnam over an oil rig in the South China Sea, and accused Hanoi of trying to force an international lawsuit. China claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea, but parts of the potentially energy-rich waters are also subject to claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. China is also involved in a territorial dispute in the East China Sea with Japan. Scores of Vietnamese and Chinese ships, including coastguard vessels, have squared off around the rig despite a series of collisions after the platform was towed to the area in early May. The rig's deployment triggered anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam last month that killed at least four workers.

NYK Cautions of Illegal Conducts in Chinese Subsidiary

Pic: NYK Car Carrier (China)

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) said that it has discovered that there is a possibility that former locally hired management personnel in NYK Car Carrier (China), its consolidated subsidiary located in Shanghai. The China unit is engaged in finished car logistics business in China, had committed unlawful expenditure or embezzlement. The Company established an investigation committee (the Committee ) to investigat the aforementioned matter on February 5, 2018 (with Tadaaki Naito President Representative Director and President Corporate Officer as the Chairman of the Committee…

LNG Carrier to Enter Service in China by End of Year

According to reports, China LNG Shipping (Holdings) Ltd plans to put the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier built in China into operation by the end of this year, serving Guangdong Dapeng LNG Co, an official of China LNG said. A company official said China LNG would also build carriers for CNOOC Ltd's LNG terminals in the eastern province of Fujian and in Shanghai, which are expected to be operational in 2009 Xu said China needed 25-30 LNG carriers by 2020, with the country's natural gas consumption growing sharply and projected to be 200-240 bln cubic meters by then. Last year, China consumed 55.6 bln cubic meters. Source: Forbes

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Feb 2018 - Cruise Ship Annual

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