EUROPE BILLIONAIRES IN SHIPPING SPENDING SPREE
A shopping spree by two European billionaires is shaking up a shipping industry still recovering from years of falling rates and overcapacity. Jacques Saade’s CMA CGM SA, the world’s third-largest container line, announced an order for nine massive vessels in September, after a year of tepid sales for new ships. Within days, Gianluigi Aponte’s Mediterranean Shipping Co., the No. 2 container line, confirmed it had lobbed in an order for 11 behemoths, each of which can hold 22,000 shipping containers, enough capacity for 44,000 cars or 8.8 million 50-inch TVs. The orders amounted to almost $2.9 billion combined, according to London-based Vessels Value, an online ship-valuation database. Longer than 3 1/2 football fields, the container ships will be among the largest ever built. Some analysts, however, say it’s the last thing the market needs right now.
RUSSIA’S RIVER NAVIGATION DRAWING TO A CLOSE IN ALL REGIONS
Russia’s river navigation has already closed in the Far East and northern Russia with the last barges now leaving the southern ports.
Navigation is now completed on the Volga-Baltic Sea basin where it mostly started earlier than usual due to favorable weather, the transport ministry quoted as saying on Tuesday. Good conditions throughout the summer, with high water levels, allowed the movement of vessels with draft up to 375 cm, it said.
The last river-sea barges reached St. Petersburg around November 18, an industry source said. Barges typically carry fuel oil along the northern export channel to the Baltic Sea to the ports of St. Petersburg, Vysotsk and Sillamae.
In the past they used to take fuel oil to the offshore storage at Kronstadt, off St. Petersburg, but that stopped some three-four years ago, said a source. Navigation had also just been completed in northern Russia around the White Sea basin, the transport ministry said.
HAMBURG BUNKER FUEL PRICES DROP TO ROTTERDAM LEVELS
Hamburg 380 CST bunker fuel oil lost its premium to competing port Rotterdam after prices fell to a seven-month low Tuesday, with low demand at the German port weighing while the Rotterdam market strengthened.
S&P Global Platts assessed the differential between Hamburg and Rotterdam for 380 CST fuel oil at $0.00/mt Tuesday, down from $16/mt Monday and its lowest level since April 19. The price of fuel oil at Hamburg dropped sharply Tuesday due to low demand, sources said Tuesday. 380 CST fuel oil was assessed by Platts at $353/mt delivered Tuesday, down $11/mt day on day. “Demand is quiet,” a source quoted as saying on Monday.
PORT OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY HANDLE THEIR FIRST 14,000 TEU SHIP
The Port of New York and New Jersey has handled their first 14,000-TEU ship, the CMA CGM T. Roosevelt that is deployed on the South Atlantic Express (SAX) service from China via the Panama Canal.
The milestone was achieved five months after the opening of the elevated Bayonne Bridge. Fifty ships that could not pass under the bridge before it was raised have now done so, according to the port authority.
Fourteen percent of the ships that entered the port in 2017 could carry 9,000 TEU or more, up from nine per cent in 2016, reported IHS Media. The CMA CGM mega ship was handled at the Maher Terminals in Elizabeth and comes as the port waits to see how the elevated bridge and the widening of the Panama Canal a year earlier will impact port volumes over the long term. The latest data shows that October capped the port’s best six-month period in its history.
JNPT TO SHIFT IMPORTED CARGO TO MUMBAI PORT WAREHOUSES
The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) will be shifting its imported cargo to Mumbai Port Trust warehouses from January to reduce the cost and time taken in transactions.
Currently, all of JNPT’s 4.5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) cargo is transported via road to the warehouses of Bhiwandi, which is 59 kms from the port. From Bhiwandi warehouses, traders have to lift their cargo to designated areas of the city, in turn overlapping the route and increasing road congestion
LNG CARGOES SET FOR ASIA PACIFIC
Exxonmobil is expected to sell 110 LNG cargoes to customers across the Asia Pacific at the end of next month. Managing director Andrew Barry quoted as saying last week at the Mining and Petroleum conference. Mr Barry said this will add to more than 370 cargos sold since production first began in 2014 with no late deliveries, creating a reputation of reliability and quality. He said following a recertification of the PNG LNG project fields earlier this year, the company is now out in the Asian market with an additional 1.3MTA sale opportunity and is seeing significant interests.
The consistently high year on year performance of the PNG LNG Foundation Project is a distinctive model for reliable LNG operations in the Asia Pacific region and around the world, Mr Barry said. The project should particularly be recognized for the benefits it has brought and the positive impact it is having on the lives of many Papua New Guineans.
S KOREA SHIPBUILDERS FACE MASSIVE WORKER DRAIN
In the latest sign that Korea’s shipbuilding industry may be in for a longer slump, the sector’s workforce shrank 9.2 percent, the highest reduction among manufacturing industries last year, from 180,800 in 2015 to 164,100 in 2016, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance on Monday.
The massive workforce reduction in shipbuilding stands in sharp contrast to high-tech industries like medical precision tools, which saw a 7.4 percent expansion from 79,800 workers in 2015 to 85,800 workers in 2016. The shipbuilding sector, once the pride of Korean industry and a driver of the country’s development from economic backwater to technological powerhouse, has struggled since the 2008 financial crisis, when global demand for large vessels like cargo ships fell and competition from Chinese shipbuilders started growing.