The Federal Government’s 2020 Inland Impact
It is often difficult to push through the federal government morass to focus on the issues that actually matter to the inland operator. While 2020 inevitably will be a contentious year in American politics, it is critical to stay focused on the items that will have direct impact on the U.S. maritime industry. From a potential new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill to potential Jones Act challenges, 2020 will be an important year for inland operators to stay politically engaged.Work on WRDAJanuary marked the beginning of Congress’ work in earnest toward introducing a new WRDA bill.
US Ports Get More Than $280 Mln in MARAD Grants
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced that it has awarded more than $280 million in discretionary grant funding through the new Port Infrastructure Development Program. This funding is designed to improve port facilities at or near coastal seaports.The Port Infrastructure Development Program supports efforts by ports and industry stakeholders to improve facility and freight infrastructure to ensure our nation’s freight transportation needs, present and future, are met.
US Seaborne Crude Oil Exports Up 51%
December could boast another all-time high for US seaborne crude oil exports, totaling 13.9 million metric toes and exceeding the previous October record by almost a million metric tons. In 2019, 133 million metric tons of sweet US crude oil was exported by sea, a 51% increase from 2018.Due to the US shale revolution, the country became a net seaborne crude oil exporter in October 2019, and the record-breaking exports in December solidified the trend, as imports for the month amounted to 11.5 million metric tons crude oil.
Oakland Port Volume Jump 7.3% in January
San Francisco Bay-based container ship facility Port of Oakland said its containerized import volume jumped 7.3 percent last month over January 2019 totals.Exports were up, too, the Port said, lifting hopes for recovery from a U.S.-China trade war. One question remained, however: would concern over the fast-spreading coronavirus dampen trade growth?“It’s possible,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll. “The uptick in January was encouraging but we’re hearing from…
Japan Takes Second Complaint to WTO Over South Korean Shipbuilding
Japan launched a second complaint at the World Trade Organization on Monday over support South Korea gives its shipbuilding industry, intensifying a wider dispute between the two Asian countries.Japan said in its filing that it had complained to South Korea on Jan. 31 over measures related to the development, production, marketing and sales of commercial vessels. Japan circulated it to other WTO members on Monday.Washington's two biggest Asian allies are embroiled in a widening…
Australia Becomes World's Largest LNG Exporter
Australia has become the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter in the world. The record figure knocked Qatar out of the top spot."Australia is set to become the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter this year, overtaking Qatar, with its supplies expected to reach 81 million tonnes (MT) as Ichthys LNG and Prelude FLNG increase production," Rystad Energy said.Meanwhile, Qatari exports will remain at current levels, around 77 MT. The US will increase LNG exports from about 36 MT in 2019 to 56 MT in 2020, dominating new LNG supply contributions.
Australia Ship Sim Center Opens
The Western Australian Minister for Ports, the Hon. Alannah MacTiernan MLC opened the expanded facilities of HR Wallingford’s new Australia Ship Simulation Center.HR Wallingford has added two new purpose-built simulators to its center in Fremantle, bringing the total number of simulators that it owns and operates there to six. This makes it one of the largest ship simulation centers in Australia and allows a full maneuvering team (including pilots, tug masters and vessel traffic service (VTS) operators) to conduct integrated and immersive full port scenarios.In her speech…
Coronavirus Disrupts Global Container Shipping
China's fast-spreading coronavirus is throwing the global container shipping trade out of sync, with lines re-routing cargoes and reducing calls to Chinese ports, setting the scene for months of delivery delays ahead, industry sources said.The spread of the deadly virus has shut down cities and factories in China and disrupted global air travel.China's decision to extend its Lunar New Year holiday period until Feb. 10 has compounded logistical complications, despite its ports staying open.
US Trade Deficit Narrows for First Time in Six Years
The U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six years in 2019 as the White House’s trade war with China curbed the import bill, keeping the economy on a moderate growth path despite a slowdown in consumer spending and weak business investment.The report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday also showed the Trump administration’s “America First” agenda decreased the flow of goods last year, with exports posting their first decline since 2016. President Donald Trump, who has dubbed himself “the tariff man…
Ukraine: Coronavirus Not Disrupting Grain Exports to China
Ukraine officials and traders do not expect the coronavirus epidemic to have an impact on the country's grain exports to China, although there are delays to transport and disruption to logistics throughout the country.China is a major importer of Ukrainian corn and sunflower oil."I see no reason to worry," said Mykola Gorbachev, the President of the Ukrainian Grain Association (UGA) traders' union."China is in the market, demand has not gone away, but just now American prices are quite competitive with ours so Chinese demand will be divided between us and them…
Baltic Index Down on Virus Fears
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index dropped for the 13th consecutive session on Tuesday as waning demand across vessels and the coronavirus outbreak dampened sentiment.The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels to ferry dry bulk commodities, fell 13 points, or 2.8%, to 453.The capesize index decreased 31 points to a negative 133, a fresh all-time low.Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes including iron ore and coal…
Loggers, Food Exporters Impacted From China's Virus
The economic impact of China's coronavirus lockdown is being felt across the globe, with exporters, miners and manufacturers of everything from coal and timber to meat and fruit facing delays and potential shipment cancellations.As the most populous nation and factory floor for most of the world's manufactured goods, China is normally the largest and most voracious consumer of a slew of global raw materials, fuels and foods.But the combination of an extended Lunar New Year holiday…
US Lifts Sanctions on COSCO's Dalian Unit
The United States on Friday lifted sanctions on one of two units of the Chinese tanker company COSCO, the U.S. Treasury said, partially reversing its punishment on the company for transporting Iranian oil after China complained about the measure in trade talks with Washington.President Donald Trump's administration on Sept. 25 blacklisted two units of COSCO, named after the northeastern Chinese port of Dalian. The move sent worldwide freight costs to record highs and disrupted the global shipping market.The U.S.
Vessel Grounds in the River Danube
Shipping on the river Danube was blocked in northern Bulgaria on Tuesday after a Ukrainian vessel ran aground because of low water levels, the Bulgarian maritime agency said.Efforts were being made to remove the Ukrainian ship as 15 other vessels were being held up because of the incident, near the town of Belene, an agency official said. No information was available on what cargoes those vessels were carrying.Bulgarian authorities said the Ukrainian vessel's captain would be fined for not complying with a 22-decimetre depth restriction.
Baltic Index Falls To Over Three-Year Low
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index fell to its lowest level since April 2016, dragged down by lower vessels rates across categories. The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels ferrying dry bulk commodities, dropped 11 points, or 2.0%, to 546 — its lowest in over 3 years.The capesize index fell 30 points, or 18.2%, to 135.The index registered its 32nd consecutive session of losses, touching its lowest level since April 3 last year.
Oakland Container Volumes Down 1.8% in 2019
The container ship facility located in the San Francisco Bay, Port of Oakland 2019 container volume decreased 1.8 percent from 2018. The Port attributed the decline to fewer empty containers but said loaded import and export containers were at a record high.Oakland handled the equivalent of 2.5 million 20-foot containers (TEUs) in 2019 versus 2.55 million in 2018. The Port attributed the dip to a 13 percent drop in empty container handling.On the other hand, export volume increased 3.7 percent last year, the Port said. Imports were up 1 percent.
World Seaborne Coal Trade Rose 0.7% in 2019
Seaborne coal trade around the world grew 0.7% last year, helped by higher output in China and Indonesia and more export activity by Indonesia, Australia, Russia and Canada, Germany's VDKI coal importers lobby said on Friday.Imports and exports, counted together, rose to 1.218 billion tonnes from 1.210 billion tonnes in 2018, VDKI Managing Director Franz-Josef Wodopia said in an speech made available to Reuters, citing VDKI estimates.Within the 2019 total, trade in coking coal used for steelmaking dropped by 1% to 287 million tonnes as steel production declined, the Verein der Kohlenimporteure
Port NOLA Sets New Box Record
Louisiana’s only international container port Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) moved more containers in 2019 than at any time in its history, totaling 648,538 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), up 10% compared to one year ago.The multimodal gateway for global trade said in a press release that the record marks the sixth consecutive year the Port surpassed the half million TEU-mark at its Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal, which is operated by New Orleans Terminal and Ports America.“Port NOLA has now seen double-digit growth in total container volumes for two consecutive years…
Corpus Christi Crude Exports Boom
U.S. crude exports from Corpus Christi, Texas, have surged to a record in recent weeks, often surpassing hubs such as Houston and Beaumont, Texas, thanks to faster-than-expected infrastructure additions.The infrastructure boom at Corpus Christi helped push crude exports there to a weekly record of 1.59 million barrels per day (bpd) in late December, more than doubling levels that held for the first eight months of last year, and above Houston's 2019 peak of 1.36 million bpd, according to vessel-tracking firm ClipperData.The heavy flows suggest that fears of a bottleneck that would impede U.S.
China Tax Waiver for Cleaner Ship Fuel Exports
China has approved a long-awaited tax waiver on exports of cleaner ship fuel, paving the way for refiners to boost output, though Beijing may initially limit shipments to focus on growing its coastal marine fuel market, state refiner officials say.Ships globally have switched to lower sulphur fuels, or use emissions-removing devices, to comply with new rules imposed by the International Maritime Organization this year.China's State Council, or cabinet, gave the go-ahead to waive taxes on the 0.5% or very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO)…
Russian Tanker Back in Region After Shipping U.S. LNG to Europe
A Russian gas tanker that is used to secure energy supplies in the west Russian enclave of Kaliningrad has arrived back in the region after being leased out to transport U.S.-produced LNG to Europe, Refinitiv Eikon data showed on Tuesday.Two energy sources told Reuters in November that energy trader Gunvor had leased the Marshal Vasilevskiy tanker from Russian state-controlled gas company Gazprom for loading an LNG cargo in the United States.That surprised the LNG shipping market because U.S.
French Wheat Shipments Hit 6-year High
Soft wheat exports from French ports reached a six-year high in December during the on-going transportation strikes that saw loadings at several ports around the country halted intermittently for several days, Refinitiv data showed Thursday.The volume of soft wheat exported by boat last month rose to 1.34 million tonnes, the highest for December since 2013 when the country exported 1.41 million tonnes, the data showed.The second-largest French soft wheat harvest on record, smaller…
US to Invest in Marine Highways
The US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has will invest $7.5 million in nine Marine Highway projects as it looks to make the movement of cargo and people at sea and on land more efficient.The funding, provided by MARAD’s America’s Marine Highway Program, will go towards enhancing existing services in Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.“This $7.5 million investment will improve our country’s vital fuel-efficient waterway transportation system…