Sabine Pass LNG Plant Suffers Outage
Production at Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in Louisiana is running well below capacity, resulting in disruption to cargo loadings, trade sources said. Feed gas supply into the liquefaction plant plunged sharply during the weekend, data on the Thomson Reuters Eikon terminal showed. Flows fell to 630 million cubic feet/day on Jan. 19 from 3.2 billion cubic feet/day on Jan. 15. Freezing weather may have disrupted water supply to Sabine Pass, market sources said.
China to top Japan as World's Biggest LNG Importer
Pollution fight drives surge in pipeline, LNG imports but Japan remains world's biggest importer of LNG. Beijing's crackdown on pollution has put China on track to overtake Japan this year as the world's biggest importer of natural gas, used to replace dirtier coal. China - already the biggest importer of oil and coal - is the world's third biggest user of natural gas behind the United States and Russia, but has to import around 40 percent of its total needs as domestic production can't keep up with demand. Data compiled from the Thomson Reuters Eikon terminal indicates China's 2017 imports of pipeline gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) will top 67 million tonnes, up by more than a quarter from a year earlier. LNG imports alone surged more than 50 percent.
China, Australia Ports Clogged as Coal, Ore Demand Soars
Around 300 ships caught in jam that would stretch 40 miles; freight rates for biggest coal, ore carrier hit 3-yr high. More than 300 large dry cargo ships are having to wait outside Chinese and Australian ports in a maritime traffic jam that spotlights bottlenecks in China's huge and global commodity supply chain as demand peaks this winter. With some vessels waiting to load coal and iron ore outside Australian ports for over a month, key charter rates have jumped to their highest in more than three years. Placed end-to-end, the total delayed fleet would stretch more than 40 miles, enough to span the English Channel from Dover to Calais and back.
Capesize Rates to Climb in a 'Market on Fire'
Freight rates for large dry cargo ships on key Asian routes, which hit three-year highs this week, are likely to rise further on a shortage of ships available for immediate charter, brokers said. Rates for 180,000 deadweight tonne (DWT) capesize ships are set to break $10 a tonne from Australia to China in the next few days, while rates could also surpass $20 a tonne from Brazil to China. "There are more chances of rates breaking $10 than $20 because the Australian market is more active among miners and vessel operators," a Singapore-based capesize broker said on Thursday.
Capesize Rates Further Impacted by Cyclone Debbie
Coal shipments from eastern Australia could stop for 3-4 weeks. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo vessels on key Asian routes, which fell to multi-week lows this week, are likely to remain depressed in the absence of Australian coal cargoes and iron ore and coal from South Africa, brokers said. Coal shipments from ports including Hay Point have been badly disrupted after Cyclone Debbie struck eastern Australia last week, causing extensive flooding and resulted in mine closures with BHP Billiton declaring force majeure on coal shipments. "The market is saying nothing will come out of the east coast of Australia for three or four weeks. If that's the case, shipments will be cancelled and vessels will need to find fresh cargoes," a Singapore-based capesize broker said on Friday.
Asia Tankers-VLCC to Stabilise as Owners Stand Firm
40 MidEast VLCC cargoes fixed for early April loading. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which have fallen to six-month lows, are likely to hold steady around current levels as owners resist charterers' attempts to push rates lower, brokers said. "Rates are stabilising now - owners are resisting further falls. But I don't see the market going up," a European tanker supertanker broker said on Friday. "There's been a consensus of sentiment rather than any real improvement in the market. There are still a lot of ships available for charter," the broker said. Charter rates from the Middle East to Asia are around $15,000-$20,000 per day, according to the route and specification of the ship, the broker said.
VLCC Rates to Remain Weak on Output, Tonnage Woes
Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which fell to a near six-month low on Thursday, will remain weak until the Asian refinery maintenance season gets completed, starting April-end. "I haven't seen a collapse in rates like this for some time. People are taking insane rates," said Ashok Sharma, managing director of ship broker BRS Baxi in Singapore. Output cuts by oil producers, refinery maintenance in Asia and the reactivation of older vessels previously used as…
Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates to Climb Again
Number of spot capesize cargoes double from January levels; Pacific capesize earnings now around $14,000 per day. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo vessels on key Asian routes, which hit multi-month highs this week, are set to jump further next week on tight tonnage supply and buoyant cargo volumes, brokers said. Rates on the capesize route from Brazil to China soared to the highest level in nearly 18 months on Thursday, fuelled by chartering activity by Brazilian iron ore major Vale and ship operators including Louis Dreyfus, according to ship brokers and chartering data on the Reuters Eikon terminal. "I think we'll see rates continue to go up. The supply of tonnage for April loading is very tight. Tonnage is tight generally," a Singapore-based capesize broker said.
Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates Pressured Abundant Tonnage
Capesize rates from Western Australia to China at 8-week high; shipowners parking ships off South Africa to stop rates falling. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo vessels on key Asian routes could remain rangebound next week as abundant tonnage puts a ceiling on freight rates even as some owners resist attempts by charterers to push rates lower, brokers said. "I expect the market to take a breather. Rates have been on a yo-yo this week," said a Singapore-based capesize broker on Friday. Charter rates fell at the beginning of the week, but rebounded after charterers, including Cargill and Fortescue Metals Group, fixed ships from Brazil and Australia to China, he said.
Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates Up on Increased Traffic
Record iron ore prices fuelling capesize chartering boom; freight rates rise by around $1 per tonne in a week. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo vessels on key Asian routes, which hit multi-week highs on Wednesday, are set to continue to climb next week on buoyant iron ore cargo volumes, brokers said. More than 30 capesize fixtures were reported in the week to Feb. 22, almost double the number in the last two months, according to data on the Reuters Eikon terminal. "The capesize market should continue to push higher for now - it's all looking good," a Singapore-based capesize broker said on Thursday. The surge in charters for capesize vessels…
Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates to Hold Steady
25 MidEast cargoes still to be fixed; VLCC rates fall to 4-month low. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which hit a four-month low on Thursday, are likely to hold around current levels or nudge higher as charterers fix the final charters in February's loading programme from the Middle East. Brokers however said an oversupply of tonnage from a raft of new vessel deliveries and older tonnage coming free after being used for floating storage are expected to cap any gains in rates. Around 25 VLCC cargoes from the Middle East have yet to be fixed, said Ashok Sharma, managing director of ship broker BRS Baxi in Singapore. "That will make for a busy week next week.
Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates Likely to Slide
Chartering activity could slow down in March due to refinery work; growth in tanker fleet could climb 6.5 pct, pressuring rates. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are likely to fall next week as charter activity from China slows ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday, ship brokers said. Rates on the West Africa-to-Asia route have already started to slide probably because of the Chinese New Year impact, said Ashok Sharma, managing director, BRS Baxi Far East, Singapore. "I feel the Middle East has plateaued. If next week the market is slow and quiet then the market will take a bit of a correction," he told Reuters. Around 30 VLCC cargoes have been fixed for loading from the Middle East in the first 10 days of February, brokers said.
Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates to Hold Steady
Brazil-China rates hit 15-month high for second time this year. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo ships on key Asian routes could hold steady or slip slightly next week after unexpectedly climbing this week on strong cargo volumes, ship brokers said. "It is a case of two oceans. In the Atlantic, Vale has been active from Brazil, and volumes from Saldanha Bay in South Africa are steady," said a Singapore-based capesize broker on Thursday. "In the Pacific, it's a waiting game with owners and charterers haggling over a 50 cent difference in the freight rate," the broker added. This occurred as capesize freight rates on the Brazil-to-China route on Wednesday hit the highest level since September 2015 for the second time this year following a surge in fixtures.
Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates to Hold Steady
Unipec charters 20 VLCCs for West Africa, MidEast cargoes; China's oil demand to climb 3.4 pct this year - CNPC. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are expected to remain stable next week as buoyant chartering activity from the Middle East is offset by the large number of supertankers available for charter, ship brokers said. "We're going to see rates holding at current levels," a European supertanker broker said on Friday. "Saudi Arabian cargoes for February loading should be out on Monday. Charterers might be a bit nervous, trying to fix as soon as they see the cargoes in case rates climb. But it looks like there's enough ships to keep the market in check," the supertanker broker said.
Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates to Slip; Low Demand, Overcapacity Weigh
Despite lower rates, rental prices doubled from last year; capesize vessels totalling 15 million DWT to be delivered this year - broker. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo ships on key Asian routes are likely to drift lower as tonnage volumes outpace cargo demand even as owners resist charterers' attempts to push rates lower, ship brokers said. Despite the subdued market, capesize charter rates are still around twice the level as compared with previous year. "The market is holding up relatively nicely. Last year, we didn't fix ships at current rates until June," a Singapore-based capesize broker said on Thursday. "Owners are doing what they can to resist charterers' lower offers, but there is no shortage of ships, especially in the Pacific," the broker said.
Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates Firm as Weather Delays Weigh
Brazil-China rates climb to a 15-month high; about 80 capesize, panamax ships waiting to unload around Tianjin. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo ships on key Asian routes are likely to remain firm for at least two more weeks as bad weather conditions in China and Australia help tighten the supply of ships available for charter, ship brokers said. That came as capesize charter rates from Brazil to China climbed to a 15-month high on Thursday. The surge in freight rates on the Brazil-China and Australia-China routes have surprised ship owners and brokers who were anticipating a lacklustre market during the holiday season, brokers said. "The market is still looking firm.
Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates to Slide on Lower Cargo Volumes
34 VLCC MidEast cargoes fixed for early Jan -Reuters terminal; only nine fixed so far for mid-Jan. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which hit a new nine-month high this week, are on course to soften amid a weaker cargo market as owners wait for more charters to be released from the Middle East and labour unrest affects loading programmes from West Africa. "I think a lot of owners have started to give up now. It's way too quiet - a lot of owners expected this week to be really busy but it has been dead quiet," a European supertanker broker said on Friday. "Owners are sitting on tonnage but there is no cargo," the broker added. Around 34 cargoes have been fixed for loading in the Middle East in the first 10 days in January, according to data on the Reuters Eikon terminal.
Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates to Slip Further
Chartering activity falls as holidays loom; Rio Tinto offering rates 5.5 pct lower than index level. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo ships on key Asian routes will slide further next week in a lacklustre chartering market ahead of Christmas, ship brokers said. "The market is pretty dead," a Shanghai-based capesize broker said on Thursday, adding that: "It is hard to find the ship owner's person in-charge of chartering. Australian miner Rio Tinto was seen putting pressure on charter rates on Thursday, offering $4.80 per tonne for four capesize cargoes - nearly 30 cents per tonne, or 5.5 percent, lower than the benchmark rate at Wednesday's close, a Singapore-based capesize broker said. "Vale is sniffing around with cargoes for January-loading," the broker said.
Winson Oil buys VLCC for Med Storage
Buys VLCC to store gasoil in Mediterranean. Hong Kong-based trader Winson Oil has bought a very large crude carrier (VLCC) to store oil in the Mediterranean as it pushes to expand its business in Europe, two company sources said. The step could boost Asian gasoil margins if the firm enters the spot market to make large purchases to fill the vessel, traders said. Winson bought the VLCC in July for $28 million and has renamed it Winson No. 5, one of the sources said on Tuesday, declining to be identified as he was not authorised to speak with media. The ship is currently docked in Shenzhen, China for repairs and maintenance and will be moved in about 1 or 2 months, ready to receive oil products.
Asia Tankers-VLCC Steady After Bumping Four-Month High
Power struggle breaks out between between owners and charterers; West Africa cargoes hit a monthly record. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which surged to a four-month high on Thursday, to hold steady as ship owners await the release of November cargoes, ship brokers said on Friday. "There's a power struggle going on between owners and charterers," said a European supertanker broker on Friday. "Few charters were done on Thursday. There are no fresh cargoes out of the Middle East Gulf," the broker added. That came as rates surged 10 points on the Worldscale measure in one day, equivalent to a more than $10,000 increase in daily earnings, the broker said.
Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize Rates to Remain Steady
Owners seeking to push rates higher, close to year-long highs; dry bulk sector to see greater consolidation - BIMCO. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo ships on key Asian routes are likely to remain steady next week even as owners try to push rates up close to year-highs, ship brokers said. That came as charter rates stayed firm despite China's week-long National Day holiday which ends at the weekend. "Owners were asking around $6.10 per tonne from Western Australia to China on Thursday and $13 per tonne from Brazil to China," a Singapore-based capesize broker said on Thursday. Freight rates are climbing towards the year-highs touched on Sept. 22. "The market has been rising on the back of operators chartering vessels to move iron ore, but all the miners are in the market today.
Asia Bulk-Capesize Rates to hold firm during China holiday
Capesize rates slip from year-long highs as miners absent; owners still optimistic of Q4 rate bounce. Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo shippers on key Asian routes, which hit the highest in about a year last Thursday, are set to remain buoyant during China's week-long National Day holiday that starts on Saturday, ship brokers said. "The market is always firm during Golden Week holidays, so I don't think the capesize market will fall off a cliff," a Shanghai-based capesize ship broker said on Friday. "I think the market will stay around current levels and maybe go up a bit as we start the fourth quarter," the broker said. Capesize…
Asia Tankers-VLCC Rates Soar on West Africa, MidEast Liftings
VLCC earnings double in a week. End of force majeure in Nigeria buoys cargo volumes. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are set to rise further next week, fuelled by a raft of cargoes from West Africa and the Middle East amid tight tonnage supply, ship brokers said on Friday. VLCC freight rates hit a multi-month high on Thursday. "The optimism among owners is punchy - I think the market has legs on it and could easily increase by another 10 points (on the Worldscale measure)," a European supertanker broker said on Friday. That would be a rise of around $10,000 per day in earnings for a VLCC from the Middle East to Asia, freight rate data on the Reuters Eikon terminal showed. "Rates have come from $10,000 per day and owners have been able to whack it up to $20,000 day.