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HONG KONG CONTAINER THROUGHPUT DIPS 1.7PC

Hong Kong’s container volume dipped slightly in August falling 1.7 percent to 1.76 million TEU compared to 1.79 million TEU in the same month last year, according to statistics from the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board.

Most of Hong Kong’s volume is from the container terminals at Kwai Tsing that handled 1.34 million boxes in August, an increase of 3.5 per cent over the same month last year. However, boxes handled by the other terminals in Hong Kong saw a sharp decline of 15.5 per cent to 420,000 TEU compared to 497,000 TEU in August, 2016. Export containers totaled 635,000 TEU, a year-on-year increase of 2.6 per cent. Imports totaled 707,000 TEU, 4.4 per cent higher than in August last year.

ASIA FUEL OIL EDGE LOWER

Cash differentials of Asia’s 380-cst fuel oil edged lower on Monday but remained near Friday’s two-month high. Despite a decline in buying interest for physical cargoes relative to the start of the month, traders said 380-cst fuel oil cash premiums and time spreads were holding firm near their recently elevated levels as sellers did not offer down the market.

Earlier, cash premiums of Asia’s 380-cst fuel oil narrowed for a second consecutive session on Tuesday following lower deal values, while the front-month time spreads of the mainstay fuel were offered down amid limited trade activity. Three 20,000-tonne 380-cst fuel oil cargo trades were reported in the Platts window on Tuesday. Coastal was both a buyer and seller of 380-cst fuel oil cargoes in the window. Trafigura sold 20,000 tonnes of the fuel to Coastal at a premium of $1.25 a tonne to Singapore quotes for Sept. 4-8 loading and then Coastal sold to Hin Leong a similar cargo loading over the same laycan at a lower premium of $1 a tonne to Singapore quotes. The third 20,000 tonne cargo was sold by Mercuria to Coastal for loading over Sept. 9-13 at a premium of $1.25 a tonne to Singapore quotes. A total of 1.862 million tonnes of high-sulphur fuel oil has traded in the window since the start of the year, compared with 1.4 million tonnes in August.

BALTIC MAIN INDEX GAINS

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, continued its winning streak for the fourth day on Tuesday, supported by firmer rates across vessel types and sizes.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 17 points, or 1.22 percent, at 1,415 points, a peak since Nov. 10, 2014.

The capesize index climbed 42 points, or 1.57 percent, at 2,723 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $219 to $19,797. The panamax index rose 7 points, or 0.46 percent, at 1,536 points.

DP WORLD BUYING DRYDOCKS WORLD AND DUBAI MARITIME CITY

Terminal operator DP World is buying both Drydocks World and Dubai Maritime City (DMC) for $405m increasing its position in the marine services market.

In a major consolidation of Dubai’s maritime sector is buying 100 percent of shipyard group Drydocks World through a capital injection of $225m.

The largest ship repair yard in the Middle East is being acquired by DP World’s marine services arm P&O Maritime. The shipyard sector has been hit hard by the downturn in the offshore market. The injection of $225m in capital is eight times Drydocks World 2016 annual EBITDA.

ASIA AFRAMAX RATES AT FOUR-MONTH HIGH

The Aframax market in Asia rose to the key Worldscale w100 level for the first time in four months Friday on an increase in trading volumes.

The Indonesia-Japan Aframax rate was last assessed at w100 on May 15, S&P Global Platts data showed. The last time we fixed w100 bunkers were at $295/mt, now it is about $45/mt more, which means some $50,000 more cost for an owner on a round trip Indonesia-Geelong voyage, so rates have to go up, source said. Source further said that in addition to two outstanding Indonesia-Australia type requirements from Ampol and Shell, other long-haul cargoes for Indonesia-North Asia were heard for Citus, ST Shipping and Shell.

SOUTH KOREA’S SHIPYARDS, STEELMAKERS AT ODDS

South Korea’s major shipbuilders and steelmakers have been in talks over a steel price hike for weeks, but they still face difficulties narrowing their differences.

Last week, the Korea Offshore & Shipbuilding Association urged top steel producer POSCO and No. 2 player Hyundai Steel Co. to cut the prices of thick steel plates used for shipbuilding, adding that local shipyards are struggling with falling prices for their products and increased competition.

The association claimed that prices of iron ore, the raw material for steelmaking, have suffered ups and downs since late last year after posting a decline for two straight years. It called for the steel industry to reconsider the price hike plan, as it could further worsen shipbuilders’ profitability.

ANOTHER PETLIM CONTAINER TERMINAL LAUNCHED

The stage 2 of Petlim container terminal, invested by Azerbaijan’s energy giant SOCAR, was launched on September 19. The completed container terminal has doubled the capacity of port located near the city of Izmir, Aliaga region.

The new port was built in two stages and $450 million has been spent for the construction. It includes 700 meters of linear berth, 42 hectares of container storage area, 150 meters cargo and cargo ferry. The overall construction of Petlim took 8.5 million man-hours. The 16 meters deep facility will serve vessels of 16,000 TUE capacity. Total of 600 workers will be employed in the container terminal.

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