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Port of Shanghai again breaks record lifting its 40 millionth TEU

Shanghai International Port Group reached a record breaking 40 millionth TEU crossing its Yangshan dock on December 29, making the city’s port the first and only in the world to move that many containers in 2017.

Shanghai lifted its first million TEU in 1994 and then surpassed 20 million TEU in 2006, then reaching 20 million TEU in 2010, at which time cargo throughput and container throughput ranked the first in the world. In 2011, Shanghai throughput exceeded 30 million TEU. Statistics show that 99 percent of the foreign trade goods in Shanghai go in and out via Shanghai Port. On December 10, after three years of construction of the world’s largest automated container terminal – Yangshan – officially opened for trial operations.

Shipping fund succeeds in slipping away with $91m raise

Shipping investment manager Tufton Oceanic spent much of last year trying to launch a high yielding closed-end fund and succeeded in getting it away just before an increasingly tight new issues market closed for Christmas. Having begun the year looking to raise $150 million (£120 million) for Tufton Oceanic Assets Limited (SHIP), it had to settle for $91 million (£67 million), just ahead of its minimum target of $81 million.

A Guernsey-based investment company listed on the specialist funds segment of the London Stock Exchange, SHIP aims to generate a total annual return of around 12 percent from trading in second-hand commercial vessels. Its main focus will be its quarterly dividends, which it hopes will yield 5 percent in the first year, rising to 7 percent thereafter.

Asian clean freight rates under pressure

Earnings for 50,000-90,000t long-range (LR) clean oil product tankers the east-of-Suez market may struggle to post growth or even decline in 2018, pressured by rising tonnage availability and uncertainty over supplies of key product naphtha. Naphtha accounts for easily the largest volume of clean product shipments from the Mideast Gulf to Asia-Pacific.

Shipments on the route received a boost in the fourth quarter of 2017, after refinery outages in northwest Europe and the impact of Hurricane Harvey in the US disrupted supplies of clean products from those regions to Asia-Pacific, and instead boosted demand for naphtha shipments on the typical Mideast Gulf to Japan route.

Strong margins keep us lng exports growing

Business is booming this winter for the US LNG-export industry. With global gas prices at their highest in over three years, export margins from the US are at their strongest yet. In December, those margins propelled cargo shipments to the highest monthly volume on record, nearly 85 Bcf.

Thanks to a natural gas shortage in China, bitterly cold temperatures in Japan and a supply shortfall in Australia, benchmark global prices, currently around $11/MMBtu, appear likely to linger through mid-February. Combined with the looming startup of exports from Dominion Energy’s Cove Point facility in Maryland, elevated global gas prices are poised to keep US exports in record-setting territory again this month. But with swaps markets betting on weaker shoulder-season demand setting in by April, US exporters could be facing prices below $8/MMBtu by early March and ultimately the upper $6s/MMBtu before the summer months.

LA-LB dockers to hold fewer stoppages to attract more cargo

Arbitrations declined 55 per cent and work stoppages decreased 82 per cent in 2017 compared to the previous year, moves interpreted as a sign that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) wants cargo to return to the US west coast to protect dockworker jobs. Referring to the four months of work slowdowns that crippled west coast ports during the coast wide contract negotiations of 2014 to 2015, Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) president Jim McKenna said there is a realisation among the ILWU leadership and rank and file that “the perception of the ports, the credibility of the ports, means jobs?. Importers and exporters have been moving cargo to east coast, Gulf Coast, and Canadian ports in the wake of the disastrous contract negotiations of 2002.

India plans to build lng ships go up in smoke

The government is abandoning a four-year effort to build LNG ships locally after GAIL (India) Ltd — the state-run natural gas firm which was central to the plan — said it no longer needed to hire some nine new sophisticated tankers for as much as 19 years in view of a potential change in the sourcing of natural gas purchased from the US.

GAIL told a high-level review meeting called by the government in December that it has swapped small quantities and was in the process of swapping larger quantities of “costly” LNG purchased from the US suppliers with other sellers. Under this arrangement, GAIL would sell a large portion of the US LNG to buyers who would be responsible for shipping the cargo. In turn, GAIL would buy similar quantities from other suppliers such as Qatar who will take care of transporting the cargo. The swap deals would free GAIL from making transportation arrangements.

India approves rs5,369 crore waterway project on national waterway-1

The government approved the Rs5,369 crore Jal Vikas Marg Project (JVMP) for enhanced navigation on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of National Waterway-1 (NW-1). The project falls in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and major districts under its ambit are Varanasi, Ghazipur, Ballia, Buxar, Chhapra, Vaishali, Patna, Begusarai, Khagaria, Munger, Bhagalpur, Sahibganj, Murshidabad, Pakur, Hooghly and Kolkata. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for implementation of the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for capacity augmentation of navigation on NW-1 at a cost of Rs 5,369.18 crore with the technical assistance and investment support of the World Bank, the ministry of shipping said in a statement.

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