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Mexican port posts historic high volume

Mexican major port container volume increased 12.2 percent year on year to 6,375,338 million TEU in 2017 for the first time in history, according to Mexico’s Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT). Terminals on the Pacific lifted 4,324,051 TEU, a year-on-year increase of 9.8 per cent with the Port of Manzanillo leading the National Port System with 2,830,370 TEU, up 9.8 percent.

Lazaro Cardenas saw a three percent increase coming in at 1,149,079 TEU, ahead of Ensenada in third place on the Pacific, with 230,185 TEU, up 20 percent. Gulf of Mexico ports lifted 2,051,287 TEU, up 17.6 per cent in 2017 year on year. Veracruz was up 15.7 per cent to 1,117,304 TEU, while Altamira volume increased 17.3 percent to 803,222 TEU.

Shrinking us crude discount to brent creating a risk to booming American oil exports

US crude’s significant discount to international oil prices has been a major factor in booming American exports, but the price difference has narrowed this month, setting up a potential risk to the overseas shipments.

The price difference between Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, and US West Texas Intermediate has shrunk by about 40 percent in January to its narrowest in five months. It now stands at roughly $4 a barrel, down from $7 a month ago. When Brent trades at a premium to WTI, it encourages foreign buyers to buy US crude. The spread blew out in September, when Hurricane Harvey knocked out about a quarter of US refining capacity along the nation’s Gulf Coast refining hub.

Baltic index falls, capesizes mark worst month in 2 years

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell on Wednesday as rates fell across vessel segments with the capesize index recording its biggest monthly percentage decline in two years. The overall index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, was down 39 points, or 3.27 percent, at 1,152 points. This represented its biggest daily percentage fall since Jan. 17. Baltic index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, lost more than 15 percent this month, its biggest monthly percentage decline since May last year. The capesize index fell 135 points, or 7.72 percent, to 1,613 points. It slumped 43 percent this month, most since January 2016. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $939 at $12,727. The panamax index shed 39 points, or 2.69 percent – its biggest one-day percentage fall in four weeks – to 1,411 points.

Vessel queue at richards bay coal terminal drops

Some 14 ships were delayed outside Richards Bay Coal Terminal in South Africa Wednesday, down from 16, last week, according to data from cFlow, S&P Global Platts trade flow software. High wind and swells in the region were keeping ships delayed, while routine maintenance at the loaders last week has been completed.

A shipping source said the weather had eased slightly compared with previous weeks and was expected to clear further in coming days, which could see the vessel queue reduce further. All of the ships were scheduled to arrive at the port within the past week, with the Capesize Ocean Commander originally scheduled for arrival on Friday. Five ships were returning from China, Korea, Japan, or Singapore, four from India, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka, with three from ports in South Africa and two from Mauritius.

‘K’ line back in black as revenues rise 16pc

Japanese shipping giant “K” Line is back in the black, declaring a net profit for the three quarters ending in December 31 of US$82.2 million, after a year-on-year loss of $54.5 million in 2016. Profit in 2017 was drawn on revenues of $7.8 billion, up 16 percent.

Container shipping revenues were up 20.1 percent and accounted for nearly half the sales made in the nine-month period, with dry bulk shipping taking up most of the other half. The global economy continued to be steady on the whole despite rising geopolitical tensions in some regions, said the “K” Line statement accompanying the results.

NYK back in black as sales rise 15.3pc

Japanese shipping giant NYK Line is back in the black, declaring an operating profit for the three quarters ending in December 31 of JPY24.8 billion (US$228.3 million), after a year-on-year loss of JPY226.09 billion in 2016. Profit in 2017 was drawn on revenues of JPY1.6 billion, up 15.3 percent.

Conditions in the maritime shipping market were positive overall during the nine-month period of the fiscal year ending March 31,” said the NYK statement accompanying the results. In the container shipping market, an upswing in spot freight rates stalled somewhat as the total supply of tonnage remained at similarly high levels as the previous year, it said.

Singapore, Fujairah bunker prices at multi-year highs

Bunker fuel prices in Singapore and Fujairah are currently at highs not seen late 2014 and mid-2015 respectively amid rising upstream crude oil prices and steady bunker demand.

The price of 380 CST delivered bunker fuel in Singapore was assessed at $399.50/mt last Thursday and again Friday before edging down to $395.50/mt Monday. In Fujairah, it hit $394.50/mt last Thursday before edging down to be assessed at $392.50/mt Friday and again on Monday, S&P Global Platts data showed. In Singapore, prices were last higher December 8, 2014, at $409.50/mt, and in Fujairah last higher on May 6, 2015, at $400.50/mt. Bunker prices in both markets have been supported by stronger crude prices in recent months on top of largely stable bunker fuel demand.

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