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Friday, November 16, 2018

Commodities Trader News

Blockchain Benefits Still Murky for Most Commodities Trading

© Riza / Adobe Stock

Commodity firms and banks have been diving into blockchain pilot schemes over the last two years but the new technology's application for most trading has likely been over-hyped, a report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said.Blockchain, originally the platform behind cryptocurrency Bitcoin, is viewed by some as a solution to inefficiencies, improving transparency and reducing to the risk of fraud. But BCG believes its potential has been exaggerated.A high-tech ledger, blockchain…

Cargill Aims to Cut Ship Emissions 15% by 2020

© Lidian Neeleman / Adobe Stock

Cargill Inc aims to cut carbon emissions from its international shipping unit by as much as 15 percent by 2020, to meet U.N. regulations to reduce pollution and demands from some of its food manufacturer customers for more environmentally-friendly operations.The global commodities trader, which was scheduled to announce the emissions goal late on Monday, told Reuters the reduction of CO2 per cargo-ton-mile was targeted at its time-chartered fleet. But overall, Cargill plans to cut total greenhouse gas emissions on an absolute basis across all company operations by 10 percent by 2025.Cargill…

Cargill to Close London Shipping Unit as Sector Crisis Worsens

Global commodities trader Cargill will close its London shipping office in another sign of the worsening crisis battering the dry freight market, the company said on Thursday. Financial markets have been in turmoil since the start of the year due to worries over the health of the world economy, China's finances and the fallout from low oil prices. The dry bulk sector -- which transports commodities such as coal and grain -- has been particularly hurt by slower Chinese business at a time when the sector is struggling with huge overcapacity. Cargill, a leading shipping player, said the move to shut the London office of its ocean transport business was because the dry freight market…

Chinese Marine Builder to Work with Singapore Trader to Buy Fuel

(Photo: CCCC Marine Construction & Development Co)

The marine construction unit of the state-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) on Tuesday signed an agreement to work with Singapore-based commodities trader Zenrock Group to purchase fuel.Marine Construction & Development Co (MCD), which is involved in major infrastructure projects around the world as part of China's Belt and Road initiative, wants to streamline its process for buying fuel, said Chief Financial Officer Jin Xinxiang."In the past, (our) oil procurement activities have been very segregated into individual projects.

Quadrise Fuels Signs MoU with Freepoint Commodities

Image: Quadrise Fuels International plc

Fuel oil technology firm Quadrise Fuels International said it had signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with commodities trader Freepoint Commodities to provide commercial opportunities for its MSAR fuel technology product.The Synthetic fuel developer said that this followed the effective end of a trial in Saudi Arabia for a combustion boiler project that would have used MSAR due to the lack of an agreement between the utilities involved. MSAR is a low viscosity oil in water emulsified synthetic HFO.Freepoint…

Trafigura to Build U.S. Deep-Water Oil Port

Image: Trafigura

Swiss commodities trader Trafigura has applied to build a deep-water port in Corpus Christi, Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico, which will be able to load supertankers, reports FT.The report said that the plan would see the commodity house build an offshore deepwater port facility  with a view to accommodate very large crude carriers (VLCC) capable of carrying more than 2m barrels of crude. It requires approval from the US Department of Transportation’s maritime division.According to a Reuters report…

Corpus Christi Port to Build Oil Export Terminal

Photo: Port of Corpus Christi

Port to build oil export terminalPrivate equity firm Carlyle Group will partner with the Port of Corpus Christi, the top oil export hub in the United States, to develop a major crude oil export terminal on Harbor Island.Carlyle's announcement comes as infrastructure in the U.S. oil industry struggles to keep up with record levels of production, driven by the Permian shale patch in West Texas. Both international buyers and American producers are waiting for export capacity to increase.Corpus Christi has its own plan to expand operations to handle larger export tankers.

Dieleman Takes over as Cargill Shipping Head

Commodities trader Cargill has appointed a new head of its shipping business, weeks after announcing it would close its London freight unit amid a worsening global seaborne market. The dry bulk sector, which transports commodities such as coal and grain, continues to suffer from too many ships available for hire and slowing demand for goods, especially from top importer China, which has led to freight rates slumping to record lows. Cargill, a leading shipping player, said on Friday Jan Dieleman had taken the helm since March 1 of its ocean transportation business, succeeding Roger Janson who had run the division since 2011. Dieleman, who had run Cargill's North America power and gas business since 2014, will operate from the group's freight headquarters in Geneva.

Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates Flat as Rally Fades

A ValeMax buk carrier at the berth (File image: Vale)

Higher fuel prices could help lift freight rates - Shanghai broker. Freight rates for capesize bulk carriers on key Asian routes are likely to hold around the current levels, after a revival in charter rates this week ran out of steam as the fundamentals of too many ships chasing little cargo remained unchanged, ship brokers said. "Next week is going to be flat," said a Shanghai-based capesize broker on Thursday. "But bunker prices might give some support for owners to push the market up. So we might see a little improvement in the rates," the broker said.

Trafigura Clinches $5.1 Bln Loan as Trading Grows

Swiss commodities trader Trafigura has signed a $5.1 billion European revolving credit facility aimed at financing its growing operations. Trafigura, which reported in December an annual profit of $1.1 billion as it racked up record oil trading volumes, also said on Thursday it had closed a 46 million yen ($413 million) three-year loan, almost doubling the size of its 2014 Samurai Loan. Trading houses require large credit lines in order to finance shipments of commodities such as oil, gas and metals. Trafigura's 2015 profits were boosted by a 17 percent increase in the volume of commodities traded by its main divisions - oil and metals - to 198.4 million tonnes.

Noble Group Reports $1.75 Bln Q2 Loss

Commodities trader Noble Group reported a second- quarter loss of $1.75 billion on Thursday, weeks after warning it faced its steepest quarterly loss in a year and a half and would slash jobs and sell assets to cut debt. Once Asia's largest commodities trading house, Noble is slimming down drastically to its core Asian coal trading business after a crisis-wracked two years. Last month, it announced the sale of its U.S. gas and power business and began a process to sell its oil liquids unit. "Conservative liquidity management, scaling back of risk positions and constraints placed on the group's access to trade finance lines led to disruption costs and prevented the group from taking advantage of profitable opportunities," the Singapore-listed company said in a statement on Thursday.

Magdalena River Project Dredges Up Economic Promise

Magdalena River (Photo: Wiki Commons)

The hulking backhoe dredges up rocks and silt from the shallows of the muddy Magdalena River in the first laborious step to transform the waterway into an engine of economic growth. The excavation along a verdant stretch near Barrancabermeja, an inland oil and coal hub, is part of a $600 million government bid to reclaim the river, once Colombia's primary transport route. By clearing logjams, the aim is to allow big cargo barges to steam up 900 km (560 miles) from the Caribbean coast to Puerto Salgar, close to the capital Bogota.

First Alaskan North Slope Cude Export Planned for Nicaragua

Alaskan North Slope (ANS) crude will be shipped to Nicaragua for the first time in July, two trade sources said on Friday, underscoring a shift in oil flows to and from the U.S. West Coast. A parcel of the medium grade crude is on its way to the Pacific Area Lightering (PAL) near southern California on Exxon Mobil Corp's Liberty Bay, a U.S. flagged vessel, according to the sources and Reuters vessel tracking data. From there, it will transfer to the Liberian-flagged Panamax tanker Chantal for delivery to Nicaragua, where Swiss commodities trader Trafigura Trading LLC will take the crude, said the sources who were not authorized to speak to the media about the matter. Representatives for Trafigura and Exxon declined to comment.

Vitol Returns for $8 Bln Loan Refinancing

Geneva-headquartered energy and commodities trader Vitol has signed an US$8bn loan refinancing of credit facilities agreed in October 2016, the company announced on Wednesday. The revolving credit facility, which is used for working capital and general corporate purposes, comprises a three-year tranche and a 364-day tranche. The three-year tranche totals over US$7bn. ABN AMRO Bank, Commerzbank, Credit Agricole CIB, HSBC Bank and ING Bank were active bookrunners on the transaction. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, MUFG, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Lloyds Bank, Mizuho Bank, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered Bank, SMBC and UniCredit Bank were mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners.

Dark Cloud of Offshore Storage Looms

Glencore books the STI Grace tanker to store fuel at sea-traders. This has not been the summer many oil traders had expected after last year's bumper profits. Banking on more of the same, the world's refineries have churned out more diesel, gasoline and jet fuel than eager drivers and holiday makers have been able to consume even over the summer travel season. Fuel inventories in the United States, Europe and Asia are brimming despite the height of peak summer driving. European traders are now moving to store diesel on tankers at sea as on shore storage tests its limits yet again. At least one vessel, the 90,000 tonne STI Grace has dropped anchor off the chic holiday town of Southwold on England's east coast in what traders said was floating storage. The vessel was chartered by Glencore.

Glencore Sees Record Oil Trading Volumes as Margins Shrink

Glencore looks set to cement its position as the world's second-largest oil trader as it tries to offset low volatility and tight margins with record volumes this year, its global head of oil, Alex Beard, told Reuters. The London-listed commodities trader and miner will shift around 6 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude and refined product this year, up 25 percent from last year. The figure represents around 6 percent of global supply and only rival Vitol trades more oil, at some 7 million bpd. Most merchants are being forced to ramp up volumes to protect profits in an environment of low volatility. "We don’t set targets in terms of volumes," Beard told the annual Reuters Global Commodities Summit.

Santos Port Reduces Drafts at Noble, Copersucar Terminals

Brazil's Santos port authority has decided to reduce the drafts on some terminals, including the ones operated by Noble Agri, a local subsidiary of Asian commodities trader Noble Group, and Copersucar due to excess sediment, two shipping agencies said on Monday.   The reductions vary from 0.30 to 2 meters, possibly reducing ship loading capacity at the terminals, the agencies said.     (Reporting by Gustavo Bonato; Writing by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by David Gregorio)

FSL Trust Buys MR Product Tanker

Alan Hatton and Roger Woods (Photo: FSL Trust)

FSL Trust Management Pte. Ltd. (FSLTM), as the trustee-manager of First Ship Lease Trust (FSL Trust), announced that FSL Trust has entered into a memorandum of agreement to purchase a 2007, Japanese-built, 45,998-dwt MR product tanker for $21.8 million. The acquisition will be financed through existing cash reserves that totaled $41.8 million at June 30, 2015. The vessel’s delivery is expected between November 1, 2015 and January 31, 2016, bringing FSL Trust’s fleet to 24 vessels: 12 product tankers, three chemical tankers, two crude oil tankers and seven containerships.

Noble Group Share Trading Halted

Trading in shares of Noble Group was halted on Wednesday, just days after the commodities trader said it was very close to reaching final terms with a group of senior creditors to restructure its debt. The Singapore-listed company asked for the trading halt pending the release of a statement. Embattled Noble has been negotiating a $3.4 billion debt-for-equity swap - crucial to its survival - after selling billions of dollars of assets, taking hefty writedowns and cutting hundreds of jobs over the past three years. The Hong Kong-headquartered firm, which reported a $4.9 billion loss for 2017, also said on Monday that it had opted not to pay the coupon on a $750 million bond which was due last week. Noble has a $379 million bond that matures on March 20.

Noble Group Founder Resigns Due to 'Amicable Differences'

Noble Group Ltd said this week's resignation of its founder Richard Elman was due to "amicable differences" with the board and a group of senior creditors who are negotiating a debt restructuring that is crucial for its survival. The clarification, in response to a query from the Singapore bourse, comes days after Goldilocks, an Abu Dhabi Financial Group equity fund - a leading shareholder of Noble - filed a lawsuit in Singapore against the firm and some of its former and current senior executives, including Elman, alleging they inflated Noble's assets. Singapore-listed Noble said it planned to resist any and all allegations or claims made against it.

Trafigura to Install Scrubbers on its New Tankers

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

Commodities trader Trafigura will install scrubbers on its fleet of newbuild tankers to comply with new regulations from 2020 that will slash sulphur levels that ships are allowed to burn, a company spokesperson told Reuters on Monday. Trafigura confirmed an order, announced last June, for up to 32 newbuild crude oil and product tankers, for delivery from late this year although most will arrive in the first quarter of 2019. "The first vessels will be delivered in October this year. All will be equipped with scrubbers," the Trafigura spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Buckeye, Trafigura Load Suezmax Tanker in U.S. Port

File Image: A VLCC alongside in the port of Corpus Christi, Texas (CREDIT: port of Corpus Christi)

U.S. midstream oil firm Buckeye Partners and commodities trader Trafigura said on Thursday that modifications to their terminal in Texas to accommodate large tankers were completed and the first shipment of crude on a Suezmax tanker took place. The Buckeye Texas Hub terminal located in Corpus Christi shipping channel is 80 percent owned and operated by Buckeye while Trafigura holds a 20 percent stake. "North American supplies have launched the U.S. on to the world stage as a new crude provider.

Course Change for China-bound U.S. Sorghum Bulker

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Igor Strukov)

A vessel carrying 58,503 tonnes of sorghum from the United States switched its destination from China to South Korea early on Thursday, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon ship tracking data. The Peak Pegasus loaded U.S. sorghum from trader ADM's Corpus Christi grain elevator in Texas and departed on April 3 for Nansha in southern China, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. It is now due to arrive in Gunsan in South Korea on May 10, according to the data. The cargo is one of almost two dozen bought by China but now stranded after Beijing said it would impose a hefty deposit on U.S.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Oct 2018 - Marine Design Annual

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