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ASIA-EUROPE CONTAINERS RATE GROWS

Spot rates for shipping containers from Asia to northern Europe rose 4.3 percent to US$1,049 per TEU in the week ending Friday. Asia-Mediterranean trade increased 1.7 percent to $963 per TEU. Asia to the US west coast fell 4.2 per cent week-over-week to $1,541 per FEU while those to the east coast off 0.5 percent to $2,613 per FEU.

SOUTH KOREA’S SHIPBUILDERS FACE GLOOMY YEAR

South Korea’s top three shipbuilders are expected to suffer from tough business conditions in 2017 with their orders likely to reach levels similar to this year.

In the face of a global vessel glut and fiercer competition from Chinese rivals, the three shipyards — Hyundai Heavy Industries Co, Samsung Heavy Industries Co and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co — are struggling to set their order targets for next year.

Industry leader Hyundai Heavy Industries has reportedly set its 2017 order target at a level similar to this year’s US$9.5 billion. In the first 11 months of this year, the shipyard bagged contracts worth $7.1 billion, much lower than its goal of $19.5 billion set at the start of the year.

CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM FOR BALTIC DRY INDEX

While there was no Baltic Dry Index pricing update last Monday with the markets closed in observation of Christmas, the BDI closed at 961 points on Friday, with the index is up significantly from 478 points it was at one year ago.

There is cautious optimism heading into 2017 with the BDI’s price up significantly from a year ago due to increased demand to transport goods. Through the first part of 2017, the BDI should remain supported by China’s continued infrastructure development, which will increase demand to ship raw materials.

There is also some optimism over economic growth in other regions of the country. When it comes to shipping demand, there could be a slowdown in the second half of the year, but shippers are not expecting the BDI to see a drop-off in demand like it did late last year.

2016, THE WORST YEAR FOR NIGERIA PORT OPERATIONS

With only a few days into 2017, maritime operators including seaport operators, clearing agents and all stakeholders are unanimous in their assessment that the outgoing year has been the most challenging and one that will linger in their mind for a long time to come.

They attributed these challenges to many of what they described as Federal Government’s unfavorable policies, a development that saw the seaports, which used to contribute a large chunk of Nigeria’s non-oil revenue becoming less active.

Recent statistics from Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), which governs and operates the nation’s ports showed that container traffic inward Nigerian ports (import) dropped to 6,831,348 tonnage as at September 2016, from 9,419,672 in 2015.

 

ROUGH SEAS FOR SINGAPORE SHIPPING

It has not been smooth sailing for the global shipping industry. The economic slowdown and falling oil prices have led to some consolidation among shipping companies and the largest bankruptcy debacle, with Korean shipping line Hanjin unable to pay its debt.

Singapore, as a key maritime hub along some of the busiest trade routes in the world, has not been spared.

PORTS OF LA-LB CONFIDENT TO STEM IMPORT SHARE BLEED

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are hoping that a US$6.6 billion investment and more dynamic operations fuelled by technology will stem the bleeding of import market share down to just shy of 37 percent to East Coast ports that are targeting even more Midwest cargo via stronger intermodal rail connections.

The Los Angeles-Long Beach share of containerised imports has declined steadily from 39 percent in 2013 to 36.6 percent through November this year. The decline was accelerated by the coastwide labor disruptions and resulting port congestion during the 2014 and 2015 longshore contract negotiations.

PARADIP PORT TO HAVE 51PC STAKE IN RAIL CORRIDOR

Paradip Port Trust (PPT) will have a 51 percent stake in the heavy haul rail corridor proposed by Indian Port Rail Corporation Ltd (IPRCL).

The corridor would connect Salegaon (Maharashtra) with the Paradip port. The project, which is to be developed on joint venture basis, is estimated to cost Indian rupee 5,849.2 crore. While the debt component is pegged at Indian rupee 4,209.7 crore, the residual Indian rupee 1,639.5 crore will come in as equity contribution from the promoters.

Apart from PPT, Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), the Odisha government and a Railway PSU would have 13 percent, 10 percent and 26 percent equity respectively. Either Rites Ltd or Rail Vikash Nigam Ltd (RVNL) is proposed to be the equity partner.

CONTAINER TRAFFIC UP AT BLACK SEA PORT OF CONSTANTA

Container traffic through the Romanian Black Sea Port of Constanta increased 5.7 percent year on year to 661,908 TEU in the first 11 months of 2016 while total cargo throughput was up 5.35 percent nationwide.

Total merchandise traffic registered in the Romanian sea ports was 54,44 million tonnes in the first 11 months of 2016, compared with 51.67 million tonnes in the same period of 2015, up 5.35 percent.

Some 19.67 million tonnes were exports while 17.22 million were imports with 12.42 million tonnes of transshipments and 5.11 million tonnes of cabotage.

Cereals traffic from Constanta port during January-November period breaking the 2015 record at 18.51 million tonnes against the 18.02 million tonnes throughput of November 2015.

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