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BALTIC INDEX INCREASES ON HIGHER RATES ACROSS ALL SEGMENTS

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Wednesday, helped by higher rates across all vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 29 points, or 3.49 percent, at 859 points. The capesize index gained 91 points, or 12.05 percent, to 846 points.

LONG BEACH JUNE VOLUME SETS ANOTHER RECORD

The port of Long Beach posted a 9.2 percent year-on-year increase in container throughput in June to 658,000 TEU, making it the second best June in history. Imports grew seven percent to 335,328 TEU, while exports fell 7.7 percent to 118,304 TEU with empties up 26.8 percent to 205,095 TEU. Second quarter throughput was rose 8.3 percent year on year to 1.9 million TEU.

SHIPPING INDUSTRY REMAINS SLUGGISH AS MERGER, ACQUISITIONS GO ON

After Korea’s largest shipping company Hanjin Shipping went under last year, a number of global shipping giants are pursuing mergers and acquisitions in order to survive as the industry remains sluggish. Korea, however, is left out of the M&A game.

The latest offer was made by Chinese shipping giant Cosco Shipping Holdings last Monday to acquire shares of Orient Overseas International Lines (OOIL), the world’s seventh largest shipping company, at an offer price of HK$78.67 ($10.07) in cash, a 37.8 percent premium over the stock’s last closing price.

DUTCH ILLEGAL SHIPPING FUEL CARTEL UNDER PROBE

The Dutch competition watchdog said on Wednesday it was investigating a possible illegal, price-fixing cartel by fuel companies in ports in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The watchdog, known by its Dutch acronym ACM, said it had visited some of the dozens of companies active in fuel production, transportation, storage and trading in Rotterdam, Antwerp and Amsterdam after receiving information from the police.

BIG VESSELS OF US GULF COAST STRUGGLE

Larger vessels carrying 10 ppm diesel from the US Gulf Coast to Europe are unable to fill shorts into smaller Mediterranean ports, tightening up the market in the region amid a lack of sufficient local production.

CHINA’S IRON ORE IMPORT SET HIT ANOTHER HIGH MARK

Iron ore imports by China this year are on course to exceed 1 billion metric tons by a comfortable margin, breaking 2016’s record, after first-half figures showed another jump in cargoes and highlighted the ability of the top steelmaker to absorb rising supplies.

Miners’ shares advanced. Shipments in June were 94.7 million tons, up from 91.5 million in May. In the first six months, imports rose to 539 million tons, 9.3 percent higher than the same period in 2016.

SAUDI ARABIA CURBS CRUDE SHIPMENTS TO US

Saudi Arabia is trying to support oil prices by reducing its crude shipments to the United States in a bid to cut the amount of oil in commercial storage.

US crude imports from Saudi Arabia averaged less than 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the four weeks ending on July 7. US imports from Saudi Arabia are running at the slowest rate since 2015, and the slowest for the time of year for over five years. Imports from Saudi Arabia will fall even further to less than 800,000 bpd in August.

COASTAL SHIPPING CARGO MOVEMENT TO DOUBLE BY 2025

The Indian Shipping Ministry aims to double the share of transportation of cargo through coastal shipping and inland water navigation by 2025 from six percent under Sagarmala program. At present, about 54 percent of the cargo is transported through the roads, 33 percent by rail, 7 percent by pipelines and 6 percent by coastal shipping.

In the total modal mix in India, coastal shipping accounts for 6 percent. It is estimated that the cost per tonne per kilometer of moving cargo through the coastal or inland navigation route can be 60 per cent to 80 per cent cheaper than moving the cargo through rail or road.

India with 7,500 kilometers of coastline and almost 14,000 km of navigable rivers provide the perfect platform for the development of integrated water based transport system for domestic and EXIM freight as well as passenger transport.

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