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Friday, September 21, 2018

Steel Mills News

China to Cut Steel Capacity by 2025

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China will shut down more outdated steel plants and bring total capacity to less than 1 billion tonnes by 2025, the president of the country's steel industry association said, adding that national demand for the metal is set to decline gradually. With more than three quarters of firms suffering losses as a result of a price-sapping capacity surplus, China vowed in early 2016 to shut 150-150 million tonnes of annual production in five years in a bid to raise profitability and utilisation rates in the sector. Its capacity then was estimated at 1.2 billion tonnes.

China and Shifting Seaborne Iron Ore Dynamics

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The seaborne iron ore market appears to be in something of a sweet spot currently, with largely steady demand and prices that have been flatlining for the past couple of months. Of course, another way of saying that a market is enjoying relatively stable and good times is that it's boring, but in iron ore there is plenty of action bubbling beneath the seemingly calm exterior. It's not so much that iron ore prices or volumes are expected to shift dramatically in the coming months, it's more that structural changes in the world's biggest importer, China, are re-shaping how the industry works.

BIMCO: What Shipping Market can Expect for 2017

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The shipping industry has its work cut out going forward in 2017 as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast the lowest level of global GDP growth since 2009. 2017 will see another year of die-hard competition, which now includes tankers. In 2016, the container shipping industry bit the bullet in terms of demolition and consolidation to help the market to recover. The dry bulk sector needs to copy that approach. The longer global economic growth remains weak and lacks investment, the lower future growth potential for shipping.

Great Lakes Shipyards Heating up for Winter

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As temperatures drop, the pace is heating up at Great Lakes shipyards where winter is typically the busiest season, and this year is no exception. U.S.-flag Great Lakes vessel operators will spend more than $80 million to maintain and modernize their vessels for the 2017 shipping season, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). “Once again Lake Carriers’ Association members are demonstrating their commitment to Great Lakes shipping,” said James H.I. Weakley, President of the trade association representing the major U.S.-flag carriers.

China June Seaborne Iron Ore could Set Record

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Lucasz Z)

June seaborne iron ore imports to reach 98.22 mln Tons; local mills to ramp up output to reap large margins. China's June seaborne iron ore imports are on track to rise to a record high, data on Thomson Reuters Eikon showed, stoking concerns of oversupply as hundreds millions of iron ore are being stockpiled at Chinese ports. Iron ore arrivals for June are set to be 98.22 million tonnes according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Thomson Reuters Supply Chain and Commodity Forecasts. That would be the highest ever for the Supply Chain data going back to February 2016.

Dry Bulk Shipping: No Room for Newbuilds

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DemandThe improved fundamentals during 2017 are clearly seen in the freight rate levels during the first four months of 2018. Freight rates for Handysize, Supramax and Panamax went up by 25-27 percent as compared to the same period of last year. All three sectors moved from loss-making average earnings in the full year of 2017 to a profitable level in first four months of 2018.Meanwhile, capesize freight rates improved by only 5 percent as compared to the same period last year…

Oil Tanker Scrapping to Hit Multi-year High

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The shipping industry will this year scrap the largest number of oil tankers in over half-a-decade, driven by weak earnings, firm prices for scrap steel and the need to prepare fleets for strict new environmental regulations.The surge in scrapping underscores how the sector is grappling with one of its worst-ever crises, hit hard after rates for transporting oil plunged to multi-year lows in the wake of excess tanker supply and tepid demand as OPEC production cuts bite."The tanker markets are definitely in a trough at the moment…

China's Steel, Coal Curbs a Double-edged Sword for Imports

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China's determination to tackle its choking pollution by cutting steel and coal capacity should be a long-term negative for exporters of iron ore and coal to the world's biggest commodity importer, but the reality is likely to be far more nuanced. "We will make our skies blue again," Premier Li Keqiang told the opening of parliament on Sunday. That's an unequivocal statement that gives political impetus to Beijing's plans to shutter more excess steel and coal capacity. The policy…

Baltic Index Down for 15th Straight Day

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The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, on Monday fell for the 15th straight session, hurt by weak rates across all vessel segments. The overall index — which considers rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels — fell 9 points, or 1.08 percent, to 821 points, its lowest level in over three months. The capesize index shed 21 points, or 1.53 percent, to end at 1,353 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, dipped $128 to $9,837.

China Iron Ore Output at 20-month High

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China's iron ore output jumped in June to its highest level since October 2015, data showed on Wednesday, the strongest sign yet that soaring prices have spurred miners in the world's top consumer of the steelmaking raw material to boost production. Output rose 5 percent from a year ago to 124.7 million tonnes, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. Prices have been on a tear in recent months as steel mills have churned out record volumes of metal, taking advantage of bumper margins. Beijing's infrastructure spending has boosted optimism about demand for construction-grade steel.

Bulkers to Benefit as China Iron Ore Appetite Grows

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It has been quite awhile since the global bulk carrier market has had much to cheer about, but U.S. dry bulk shippers are set to post strong revenue growth in the next two years thanks to soaring Chinese demand for high-grade iron ore from Brazil and Australia. To combat severe winter smog, China has slashed iron ore output, pushing steel mills in the world's second biggest economy to import more high-grade ore. China also wants to make pollution control a priority for the next three years.

Port Hedland May Clear Ships as Storm Builds off Australia

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Lidian Neeleman)

Giant iron ore port may close as Australian storm builds. Vessels may be cleared from Australia's Port Hedland, the world's biggest iron ore export terminal, as early as Thursday as a safety precaution because of a tropical storm, port manager Pilbara Ports Authority said on Wednesday. The authority said Port Hedland may start clearing vessels on Thursday morning if the tropical low builds overnight into a cyclone off the Western Australia coastline. Port Hedland is used by three of Australia's top four iron ore miners - BHP,, Fortescue Metals Group and Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting.

Port Hedland to Reopen as Cyclone Fades

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Australia's Port Hedland iron ore terminal will likely reopen on Saturday after Australia's weather bureau cut the forecast strength of a cyclone bearing down on the continent's far northwest, the port's operator said on Friday. Cyclone Joyce, a Category 1 storm, is holding just off the beaches of Pilbara iron ore belt, prompting the overnight closure of the world's biggest iron ore export terminal, 1,700 km (1,050 miles) north of Perth, as a safety precaution. Shipping operations are expected to resume at 6 a.m. Saturday (2200 GMT Friday) should weather conditions improve.

Baltic Index Stretches Losing Streak

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The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index extended its slide to a fourth straight session to touch a near six-month low on Thursday, as rates fell for all vessel segments amid a seasonal slowdown in demand. The overall index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, dropped by 38 points, or 3.3 percent, to 1,114 points, the lowest since Aug. 10, 2017. The index recorded a 15.66 percent decline in January, its biggest monthly percentage fall since May 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.

US-flag Lakes Cargo Volume Dips in September

File photo: Paul Csizmadia

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.1 million tons of cargo in September, a decrease of 7 percent compared to a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). The September float was also 8.7 percent below the month’s five-year average. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.3 million tons, a virtual repeat of a year ago. Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.8 million tons, a decrease of 14.3 percent. Limestone for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.5 million tons, a decrease of 15.2 percent compared to a year ago.

Duluth-Superior Shipping Season To Open Today

Photo provided by Duluth Seaway Port Authority

The anticipated departure of six vessels this week signals a strong start to the 2018 commercial shipping season for the Port of Duluth-Superior and the entire region. All will be leaving their winter berths to load iron ore for delivery to steel mills on the Lower Great Lakes—this nation’s industrial heartland. U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alder made several passes through the ice in the shipping channels last week, and, starting today, Heritage Marine tugs will be assisting with breakout operations in the harbor.

US-flag Lakes Cargos Down in October

File photo: Jerry Mueller

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 8.8 million tons of cargo in October, a decrease of 9.2 percent compared to a year ago, and 10.2 percent below the month’s five-year average, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). October was also the sixth consecutive month in which cargos trailed the previous year. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.4 million tons in October, an increase of 5.3 percent compared to a year ago. However, coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.3 million tons, a decrease of 43 percent, LCA said.

Can Trump Make Coal Great Again?

File Image: a cargo of barged coal  makes its way on the U.S. inland river system (CREDIT: Inland Marine)

Most of the U.S. coal industry doubts Donald Trump can fulfill his promise to make the ailing industry great again in a country awash in dirt-cheap natural gas, a competing fuel. But a small sub-section of the coal sector that mines metallurgical coal - a variety used by steel makers instead of power plants - is gearing up for a Trump-inspired boom. That's because the Republican president-elect has promised a spending surge for roads, bridges and tunnels after he takes office on Jan.

Ken Konrad: A Driven Innovator

Ken Konrad and his wife Kathy decided to diversify from their steel mill operations in the early 1990s and Konrad Marine was born. (Photo: Konrad)

At his core Ken Konrad is an innovator and engineer, looking at problems and seeing solutions. Walk around Konrad’s manufacturing and testing facility for even a short time and it is easy to see that Ken Konrad, owner and president, possesses a sharp intellect and an engineer’s mind, as he clearly revels in sharing insight on business and manufacturing practice that goes in each of his company’s rugged stern drive units. While Konrad has quickly established itself as a quality name in the commercial stern drive sector, it is still a newer business line within the company’s overall scope.

China's Thermal Coal Futures Rally on Tight Import Policy

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China's most-active thermal coal futures jumped 2.9 percent on Monday, marking the biggest gain since August 2017, as concerns of tightening the import policy dampened outlook for foreign coal supplies ahead of summer.Coal futures prices ended at 570 yuan per tonne after touching a two-week high of 578.8 yuan per tonne earlier in the session.Futures rallied as traders took cues from a wider ban on coal imports after some ports in Fujian province put a temporary halt on them."Our company received instructions that Chuanshan anchorage under Ningbo port has banned docking by any vessel, which car

U.S.-Flag Lakes Cargos Up Nearly 7%

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 8.4 million tons of cargo in November, an increase of 6.7 percent compared to a year ago. However, the November float was  6.7 percent below the month’s 5-year average. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.7 million tons in November, an increase of 29.6 percent compared to a year ago. However, coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.2 million tons, a decrease of more than 20 percent. Aggregate and fluxstone for construction projects and steel production totaled 2 million tons, a decrease of nearly 10 percent compared to a year ago. Year-over-year U.S.-flag carriage stands at 76.2 million tons, a decrease of 4.5 percent. Iron ore cargos are up 6.6 percent, but coal loads have dipped 25.8 percent.

Great Lakes/Seaway Iron Ore Trade Behind 2017

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Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 5.5 million tons in April, a decrease of 6.3 percent compared to a year ago but nearly 15 percent ahead of the month’s five-year average, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) reported.Shipments from U.S. Great Lakes ports in April were down 4.5 percent at 5.1 million tons, LCA said. The mine that shipped through Escanaba, Mich. has been permanently idled, meaning all the iron ore shipped to U.S. steel mills in April had to transit the Poe Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Sep 2018 - Maritime Port & Ship Security

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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