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ASIA OIL 180-CST CASH PREMIUMS PARE GAINS

Cash premiums of Asia’s 180-cst high-sulphur fuel oil gave up gains made in the previous session as buying interest for the lower viscosity fuel oil dried up following a 2017 record volume of cargo deals for the fuel seen in the previous session, trade sources said.

Liquidity in the front-month visco spread was also limited on Wednesday, keeping the swap price differential between the 180-cst and 380-cst fuel oils little changed, broking sources said.One cargo trade was reported in the Platts window, totaling 20,000 tons of 380-cst fuel oil.

GLOBAL DEMAND FOR MARITIME SHIPPING PICKED UP LAST YEAR

Global demand for maritime shipping picked up last year, but the pace was still below the historical 3 per cent average and continued to lag behind supply, keeping freight rates and earnings low in most segments, a new UNCTAD report says.

The Review of Maritime Transport 2017 says that seaborne trade grew by 2.6 per cent in 2016, reaching 10.3 billion tons. Although this was a welcome improvement to the 1.8 per cent growth recorded in 2015, the boost in demand was offset by a 3.2 per cent increase in the industry’s carrying capacity, which reached 1.86 billion dead-weight tons earlier this year.A supply-demand imbalance continued therefore to weigh down industry profits, with the container shipping market, the largest in terms of value, reporting a collective operating loss of US$3.5 billion.

SOUTHEAST ASIAN BUYERS RETURN TO APW WHEAT BUYING AS RATES DECLINE

Australia Premium White wheat is back on the radar for Asian buyers amid lower offers and higher freight rates making cargoes from other origins more expensive.

Sellers attributed the lower offers this week to a weaker Australian dollar, which has depreciated against the US dollar by about 2 percent from last week.

Higher confidence among growers amid the ongoing harvest in parts of Australia also helped push down the price. There is more tonnage received now and growers felt more confident selling in the track market,” a trader said, referring to domestic prices at which traders buy directly from the farmers.

Freight was higher for Supramax cargoes from the Black Sea region to Surabaya, rising from $30/mt two weeks ago to $35-36/mt on Wednesday, for 2-port discharges, which has pushed up the offers for Black Sea 11.5 percent wheat on a CNF basis, a trader said.

RUSSIA’S NOVOROSSIISK BUNKERS FUEL DISCOUNT TO ISTANBUL WIDENS

The traditional discount of bunker fuel at Novorossiisk, Russia, to Istanbul, Turkey, reached its widest point in five weeks Wednesday amid bullish market conditions at the Turkish port and increased supply at the Russian port.

S&P Global Platts assessed 380 fuel oil at the Russian Black Sea port at $357/mt delivered Wednesday, $37/mt below the level at Istanbul. This was the largest the discount has been since September 21.Supply at Novorossiisk has recovered following a spell of bad weather, which caused a backlog at the terminal, with deliveries by rail from refineries delayed by full tanks of product the port, which in turn caused further holdups.

SPOT LNG SHIPING FLEET’S OPERATING LOSS US$230M THIS YEAR

The pressure on LNG shipping spot rates will continue for another year on account of strong fleet growth. However, rates should strengthen from 2019 as fleet growth slows and trade remains strong, experts said.Spot rates (East of Suez) for modern LNG vessels averaged $33,000pd in the nine months to September 2017, an increase of 5 percent compared with the same period last year. While current spot rates are enough to cover operating costs of around $15,000pd, they are still below breakeven, which ranges between $45,000pd and $60,000pd. Experts also calculate that the global spot fleet will make aggregate operating losses of USD 230m in 2017. Shipowners with substantial spot market exposure face continued challenges as Drewry expects pressure on the freight market to continue in 2018 on account of strong fleet growth.

PANAMA ANNOUNCES INNOVATIVE NEW TOOL TO ENCOURAGE EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS

As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability, the Panama Canal has announced the launch of the Emissions Calculator, an innovative new tool which will offer shippers the most accurate assessment of their carbon emissions, rank those who have reduced the most emissions by transiting the Canal versus alternate routes, and encourage action to reduce carbon footprints. With this announcement, the Panama Canal reaffirms its commitment to reduce the impact of greenhouse gases (GHG) and demonstrates its support of the global efforts at this week’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) meeting to set the new IMO Strategy on GHG reduction.

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MOL TO LEVY US$200/TEU HIKE ON CARGO FOR MADAGASCAR & MOZAMBIQUE

Japan’s MOL has announced a general rate increase (GRI) covering cargo transported from Asia to Madagascar and Mozambique from November 1.

The GRI will be US$200 per TEU and $400 per FEU, applicable for cargo carried from Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Middle East to Madagascar (Tamatave) and Mozambique (Maputo, Beira).

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