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First-ever independent audited benchmark for container shipping

For the first time ever the global container shipping industry will have an independent, audited benchmark thanks to an innovative tie-up between the Baltic Exchange, the most trusted name in freight benchmarking, and Freightos, the digital container freight platform.

The two organizations on (25 April) announced at Singapore Maritime Week that the Freightos International Freight Index, which reflects weekly spot rates for 40-foot containers based on 12 to 18 million price points collected every week on 12 main shipping trade lanes, will be audited by the Baltic Exchange and republished as the Freightos Baltic Indices.

Singapore’s bunker market rallies

The Singapore fuel oil market has rallied last week as inventories have dropped at the same time that some supplies in the region do not meet the standards for use as shipping fuel, further reducing the amount of supply available, five trade sources cited as saying said.

Cash premiums for 380-centistoke fuel oil, which is primarily sold for ship fuel, known as bunker fuel, have soared this week to the highest since May 2017.

Pick up seen in Pakistan ships demolition market

News broke this past week that Pakistan has reportedly reopened the market for tanker imports, bound for recycling.

In its latest weekly report, Clarkson Platou Hellas commented that “it has finally happened following reports received, it is our understanding that there has been a breakthrough in Pakistan with news that the provincial government has finally signed off and consented to the lifting of the restrictions imposed for the importing of tankers into Pakistan for recycling.

Singapore advances with concurrent bunkering

Vopak Terminals Singapore and Stolthaven Singapore’s recent moves to offer concurrent bunkering services at its terminals have been hailed as a solution to ease congestion at Singapore’s anchorages, one of the busiest in the world.

However, there are still many logistical and safety aspects to overcome before the service becomes an industry practice in Singapore, trade sources told. Singapore is the world’s largest bunkering port. In 2017, bunker sales volumes at the city-port rose 4.2 percent year on year to a record 50.6 million mt. Annual vessel arrival tonnage increased 5.1 percent over the same period to 2.8 billion gross tons.

Rotterdam may see first ship-to-ship LNG refueling

The port of Rotterdam expects to see its first ship-to-ship (STS) liquefied natural gas (LNG) refuelling operation in June, marking an important milestone in the use of the cleaner burning fuel in shipping.

The opening of STS marine refuelling, also known as bunkering, is significant because it makes the cleaner fuel more accessible to shippers, Cees Boon, senior safety adviser at the Port of Rotterdam quoted as saying.

In June, it is expected that short-haul sea vessels will be the first to undergo LNG bunkering through STS operations in the port of Rotterdam, followed by LNG-fuelled cruise ships in November and then larger deep-sea vessels by the end of 2019, said Boon.


Singapore ex-wharf 380 cst bunker premium rises

The Singapore ex-wharf 380 CST bunker premium rose to a 15-month high of $5.45/mt at the Asian close Monday on tight availability of the finished 380 CST bunker fuel grade.

Singapore ex-wharf 380 CST bunker premium to the Mean of Platts Singapore 380 high sulfur fuel oil assessments rose $2.49/mt day on day to $5.45/mt Monday. The premium was last assessed higher at $6.31/mt on January 13, 2017, S&P Global Platts data showed.

Tide turning in favour of shipping sector: Deutsche

Deutsche Bank is turning positive on Asia Pacific’s shipping sector with the strongest preference for the container sub-segment, followed by tanker and dry bulk.

This comes on the belief that industry conditions have now fundamentally turned, with the peak in deliveries of mega vessels and the recent acceleration of industry consolidation in recent years, which in turn means operators have the potential to achieve stronger price discipline.

China’s seaborne trade: a spectacular upwards trend

Brisk growth in China’s enormous seaborne trade has resumed over the past couple of years, following an earlier sharp slowing of the upwards trend.

Potential for further expansion ahead is still visible, but it is not easy to foresee precisely how some aspects will evolve. Adding to the mix a trade dispute with adverse implications magnifies uncertainty about prospects.

Bunker costs to rise on higher oil prices

The rise of oil prices in the past few weeks will translate into higher bunker costs, but not change the current balance in the market and thus freight rates. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Gibson said that “last night saw ICE Brent close at $73.78/bbl, the highest since November 2014. Oil prices have been on a rollercoaster journey over the past four years. Geopolitical risk, most notably ongoing Libyan disruptions and the fall of Mosul to ISIS drove oil prices up to $115/bbl in June 2014.

Crude and containers – an odd couple close together

Across the spectrum of seaborne trade, crude oil and containers could hardly be more different. The former is the classic raw material commodity, whilst the latter represents the shipping of all sorts of manufactured end products. Yet in 2017, total seaborne trade in each stood less than 170 million tonnes apart, with a combined volume of 3.8 billion tonnes accounting for 33 percent of overall global seaborne trade.

Tankers VLCC market on the mend?

Tanker owners were granted some respite over the course of the past week, as demand in the VLCC market edged higher. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Affinity Research commented that VLCCs experienced a positive start to the week, with 32 cargoes covered in the MEG for May’s first decade.

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