Marine Link
Thursday, June 29, 2017

China Iron Ore Imports Rise in September

Chinese iron ore imports rose in September, according to Reuters data, as its steelmakers ramped up output in the face of global trade tensions about the country's steel exports. Thomson Reuters Supply Chain and Commodity Forecasts data showed 82.5 million tonnes of iron ore, which is used in steelmaking, arrived at Chinese ports in September - up 2.5 percent on August and not far off July's near record levels. The data, based on ship tracking and port figures, does not completely tally with official Chinese customs figures, but typically doesn't vary from them by more than 4 percent. China, which consumes some two-thirds of global sea-born iron ore, will release official trade figures for last month on Oct 8.

Bulk Market Suffers Despite Record China Steel Output

File photo

BIMCO reported that China's average daily crude steel output reached a record 2.29 million metric tons in April as steel mills lifted production to meet seasonal demand, though signs of weakness in factory output and the property sector could feed through later in the year. Steel demand in China traditionally improves in Q2 as construction and manufacturing pick up with better weather. April's crude steel output of 68.84 million metric tons was below the record high of 70.25 million metric tons in March, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics.

Iron Ore Industry Wavers between Hope and Reality

If the price of the product your company produced had just experienced a 20 percent price surge in one day, its biggest jump ever, it would be reasonable for you to be overjoyed. But maybe not if you are an iron ore miner. This month's leap in Asian spot iron ore prices coincided with the annual Global Iron Ore and Steel Forecast conference in Perth, capital of Western Australia state and home to the iron ore operations of three of the world's four biggest producers. Spot iron ore soared to $62.60 a tonne on March 7 from a prior close of $52.40, a record in percentage terms and the biggest dollar move in four years. The problem for the insiders at the Perth conference is that as much as they would like to believe the move is sustainable, nobody really does.

A Bumpy Ride: China's New Maritime Silk Route

Map by Alibra Shipping

China has been pressing ahead with its ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative – comprised of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road (pictured) – which was launched in 2015. Alibra Shipping Research is taking a look on China's plans. The ambitious scheme will build pipelines, ports and roads in areas home to about 65% of the world’s population and will affect about 25% of all the goods and services the world moves. The OBOR initiative aims to generate foreign demand to keep China’s excess steel mills…

Steel Prices Stay Firm

With global steel demand running at an unprecedented level, rapidly rising prices have been a constant headache for ship repairers, as well as ship builders, in recent months. And despite sharply higher steel output, there is little sign of any softening as the New Year dawns. According to the International Iron and Steel Institute (IISI), crude steel production for the 62 countries reporting their figures was 945m tonnes by the end of November, up 9% on the corresponding period one year earlier. Analysts were expecting total production to break through the billion tonne mark easily by the end of the year for the first time ever. IISI figures show that China accounted for the largest increase in output.

Multipurpose Shipping Looks Bullish

Graph: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

Many key drivers for dry cargo demand have reported a significant uptick in 2017, resulting in improving conditions for all vessels in the multipurpose shipping sector, according to the latest Multipurpose Shipping Market Review and Forecast report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry. This year started out well with most demand drivers for the breakbulk sector strengthening from the lowest levels seen in 2016 with the trend forecast to continue in the medium term at least.

Belgium's CMB Claws Back Lost Ground in Q4 2013

CMB Bulkship

CMB, Compagnie Maritime Belge, is a maritime group with its registered offices in Antwerp. Next to holding activities, the Group's main participating interests are active in the transport of dry cargo (Bocimar) and aviation (ASL Aviation). The group notes in its fourth quarter 2013 financial result that its executive committee has discussed the results recorded for the fourth quarter and the preliminary results for the full year 2013. The consolidated result for 2013 is estimated to be US$49.400.000 (2012: US$ 133.954.000).

Implications of the Japan Crisis

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that has hit Japan, fears are growing over the potential for radiation leaks from damaged nuclear plants. Equity markets have been hit while FFA prices have also sustained significant losses. With the situation still unfolding, the longer term impact of the disaster on commodity markets is unclear, although some initial conclusions can be drawn. In the short term, shipping has been disrupted with 13 ports reported by Reuters to have closed, with some of these unlikely to be operational for several months or even years. Initial assessments by Macquarie and the Steel Index put production at five large steel mills in the worst-affected region at risk, accounting for 15-18 million tonnes (Mt) of annualized steel production capacity.

Ship Recycling Prices Plunge 25%

Demolition Prices for elderly ships have fallen by a quarter in 2012 to date, and owners are encouraged to dispose of recycling candidates sooner rather than later, says Mark Williams of Braemar Seascope. Addressing the 7th Annual Ship Recycling Conference in London on 19th June, the Braemar Seascope Research Director told delegates that deflating international steel prices were likely to translate into lower offers for recycling tonnage in the coming quarters. Meanwhile, rapid reductions in the value of the Indian…

Cheap Prices Drive Record Chinese Imports

Crude oil, iron ore and soybean shipments hit monthly record. China imported record levels of crude oil, iron ore and soybeans in December as the country took advantage of cheap global prices to boost shipments, despite faltering demand growth at home. The surge in shipments helped improve China's trade figures, according to data published on Tuesday by the country's customs authority. Total imports still dipped 2.4 percent, down for a second month in succession, but they beat a decline forecast of 7.4 percent. "The surge in imports was largely due to the sharp drop in prices, which encouraged opportunistic restocking," said Nelson Wang, an energy analyst at CLSA Research.

S. Korea's Daebo Int. is 3rd Dry-Bulk Shipper to File for Bankruptcy This Month

A third dry cargo shipper has filed for bankruptcy this month following a collapse in freight rates to historic lows in what shippers call the worst market conditions since the 1980s. South Korea's Daebo International Shipping Co Ltd filed a court receivership, a form of corporate bankruptcy, on Feb. 11, mainly due to poor dry bulk market conditions, a company official said on Monday. It is the third known bulk shipper bankruptcy this month. Weaker demand from China and an oversupply of ships has led to the industry downturn, pushing the Baltic dry index - the industry benchmark for freight rates - to an all-time low this month. The index has slumped by nearly two-thirds in the past 15 months.

News: China Preps To Take World Lead

Rapidly rising prices for steel plate in China may be taking the edge off the financial performance at some Chinese shipbuilders. But it will take a lot more than that to undermine shipyards' dramatic expansion plans aimed at ensuring the country's builders produce more ships than any other nation by 2015. In the short run, however, the country's relatively inexperienced builders seem to have failed to read the steel supply signs. They have found themselves caught out by a number of factors driving up ship steel prices. These have risen by almost 60% over the last 30 months or so and now stand close to $400 a ton. On the one hand, soaring…

CMB 2013 Results Positive, but Weaker than 2012

Photo: CMB

During its meeting of March 25, 2014, Belgian shipping company CMB’s board of directors approved the final annual accounts as per December 31, 2013. The consolidated result for 2013 amounts to $49,694,000, compared to $133,954,000 in 2012. Bocimar’s contribution to the 2013 consolidated result amounts to $3,467,000 ($53,196,000 in 2012). CMB pointed out that the capacity of newbuilding deliveries has far exceeded the growth in world seaborne trade for a number of years. Today…

Second Bulk Shipper Files for Bankruptcy

Photo: Winland Ocean Shipping Corp

Dozens of iron ore and coal carriers idled as Baltic dry index falls to all-time low. A second dry cargo shipper has filed for bankruptcy following a collapse in freight rates that has forced many companies to idle vessels used to haul iron ore, coal and grain rather than hire out the ships at a loss. Weaker demand from China and an oversupply of ships has led to the worst industry downturn in 30 years, pushing the Baltic dry index - the industry benchmark for freight rates - to an all-time low.

Robust Commodity Imports Don't Tell the Whole China Story

The improved sentiment surrounding the outlook for China's demand for natural resources is being reflected by rising imports for some major commodities, but as usual it pays to be wary when interpreting the numbers. Customs data released this week shows strong import growth in the first two months of the year in copper and crude oil, a more modest expansion in iron ore and a surge in imports of alumina and bauxite, the main raw materials used to make aluminium. Taken at face value this lends support to the view that China is heading for a better spring season after a gloomy autumn and winter cast a pall over the outlook for demand in the world's largest consumer of commodities.

NGO Slams Shipper but Four Alang Recyclers Go Green

Photo: Ship Recycling Industries Association (India).

The NGO Shipbreaking Platform and Transport and Environment (T&E) have criticized Maersk Group’s decision to beach their end-of-life vessels in Alang, India. But, Four of the 167 ship recycling yards have won compliance status with a global regime that seeks to ensure that redundant ships are disposed of safely and in an environmentally sound manner, says a report in the Livemint. The recycling yards are located on the coast of Alang-Sosiya in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district, the world’s largest stretch of ship-breaking beaches.

The Economics of Ship Breaking & Scrapping

Photo Credit iStock rajami2

Sometimes being an industry supplier offers interesting insights – your business is touched by the ups and downs of the charter market, but you are never so involved in it that you lose sight of the big picture. Some of our clients have been hit hard by the market’s general downturn; one client I visited last month began 2008 with 41 maritime software licenses for their vessels – just seven remain today. “We just sold another ship yesterday,” he said, and then after a pause: “Please spare me the update costs for this one, it won’t receive any.” Of course, I nodded.

Earth, Wind & … Fire Protection

Fire Protection: Staff aboard a floating producer pass several coatings types. (Photo: Øyvind Hagen, Statoil)

Three years ago coatings giant Jotun was buying up real estate for U.S. market access and location savings. The effort to get closer to its shipping and offshore customer base is still underway with research aimed at protecting client assets in frontier areas like the arctic. An R&D expansion at Flixborough in the U.K. and in the Arctic archipelago of Spitsbergen aims to make active the fire response of passive surface treatments. There’s a need to address fires in enclosed steel workplaces plus high-temperature hydrocarbon fires.

POSCO to Invest to Boost Steel Plate Output

Reuters said that POSCO Co. Ltd. said on Friday it would invest a total of $2b to boost output of steel plates for ships as the booming shipbuilding industry led to higher demand for the product. POSCO , the world's fourth-largest steel maker, said in a statement it would spend $1.96b to build a new domestic plant and related facility to produce steel plates. The plant, which will have a capacity of 2 million tonnes a year, will be completed by July 2010. With the new plant and planned upgrades to its existing facility, POSCO plans to raise its steel plate output to 7 million tonnes a year in 2011 from 3.8 million estimated for this year, the company said. The decision comes as surging demand for steel plates from shipbuilders and heavy industry companies keep prices firm.

Shipbuilders to Demand More Steel Plates

According to Korea Times, South Korean shipbuilders’ demand for steel plates is expected to continue to rise next year due to an increase in orders, an industry body said Monday. The Korea Shipbuilders’ Association forecast the industry’s demand for steel plates will reach 5.4 million tons next year, up 300,000 tons from this year. Industry sources predict the demand for steel plates is likely to amount to 6 million tons by 2008, a steady increase from 4.6 million tons in 2004. South Korea, which dominates the industry’s global market, has the world’s top three shipbuilders: Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., and Samsung Heavy Industries.

Increased Demand for Steel Plates

South Korean shipbuilders’ demand for steel plates is expected to continue to rise next year due to an increase in orders, according to a Korea Times report. The industry’s demand for steel plates will reach 5.4 million tons next year, up 300,000 tons from this year. The demand for steel plates is likely to amount to 6 million tons by 2008, a steady increase from 4.6 million tons in 2004, says the report. South Korea is home to the world’s top three shipbuilders: Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., and Samsung Heavy Industries. Source: The Korea Times

Shipbuilders Struggle Over Steel

Shipbuilders and Japanese steelmakers are struggling to hammer out the differences on steel plate prices as the sellers insist on a 17 percent raise to $680 per metric ton. Korean shipbuilders including Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. are demanding a price cut from the current $580 to $480 per metric ton for the six months from October. "The talks (on price settlement) could go on until early October," said an official from the Korea Shipbuilders' Association. Steelmakers are pushing to lift prices in the face of rising material costs. Prices of iron ore, the key material for steel, continued to climb 17 percent this year, after jumping 71.5 percent in 2005 as a result of oligopoly trading by global iron ore miners and burgeoning demand from China.

Hempel Invests in Fire Protection Coatings R&D

Photo: Hempel

Coatings manufacturer Hempel announced that it is investing in a new research and development center focused solely on passive fire protection coatings. Located just outside Barcelona in Spain, the center is due to open toward the end of 2018. Passive fire protection (PFP) coatings are increasingly important in the construction and oil and gas industries. Applied to structural steel in large buildings and industrial oil and gas installations, the coatings expand to form an insulating layer of carbon char when exposed to high temperatures.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jun 2017 - The Annual World Yearbook

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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