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Shipping industry braces for new sanctions on Iran

The US decision to reinstate sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, may result in more trade, to and from the Persian Gulf country, on ships controlled by European companies, but credit finance related hassles cannot be ruled out, market participants quoted as saying on Wednesday. The development is significant as it can have serious implications on trade flows with billions of dollars worth of commodities being moved regularly in and out of Iran by trading and shipping companies such as Vitol, Glencore, Torm and Maersk Tankers.

Major port workers unions plan indefinite strike

Major port workers unions plan to go on an indefinite strike at all the 12 major ports on or after May 30, 2018 to press their demands, according to T. Narendra Rao, general secretary of the Water Transport Workers’ Federation of India.

The national co-ordination committee of six federations of major port workers also decided to call for a nation-wide one-day protest strike on May 28 against “the casual attitude of the ministry of shipping and Indian Ports Association (IPA) in settling the demands of the port workers for revising the existing wage structure and other service conditions, including pensionary benefits with effect from January 2017 consequent to the expiry of the existing wage settlement”.

Panamax index remains bearish

The Panamax index remains in bearish territory and is now looking to test the long-term range support. The RSI and Stochastic are signalling a trending environment and we will need to see price action make a new high for the technical to be regarded as bullish.

The May futures remain technically bearish. However, there are signs that momentum is slowing down based on price action and the 21 period RSI as we approach long the rolling contract support. The Q3 futures remain below its key averages which keeps the technical in bearish territory. However, price action has produced a lower high and higher low which should be regarded as neutral.

Outside of the neutral range we have a secondary support and the 55 period MA as resistance suggesting we need to see price action below USD 11,950 or above USD 12,515 for technical confirmation. The Cal 19 futures is the only technical that is showing positive price action in the complex, however the moving averages are in bearish territory. The complex is showing signs it could base soon but is countered by negative returns in May on the seasonality chart.


Iran oil flow may be hit by foreign tanker exodus

The snap-back of US sanctions on Iran’s oil exports may well see international shipping companies, which have carried more than half of Iran’s oil exports over the past six months, pull back from the trade, leaving the Persian Gulf country to depend much more on its own tanker fleet.

Over the past six months 53 percent of Iran’s observed exports of crude and condensate have been carried on non-Iranian vessels, including ships owned by companies including Frontline, Dynacom, SK Shipping, Minerva Marine, Delta Tankers and Cosco Shipping. During the previous sanctions, which ran from 2012 until early 2016, much of Iran’s own tanker fleet was tied up storing crude and condensate that the country was unable to sell. During that period, the volume of oil stored on Iranian tankers rose as high as 45 million barrels, tying up as many as 25 vessels, from an Iranian fleet of around 60 ships at the time.


Singapore’s bunker industry deals with demurrage claims

Some demurrage cases had arisen in Singapore after the city-port was recently hit by a few off-specification bunker fuel issues, resulting in some affected vessels to debunker, industry sources quoted as saying to S&P Global Platts.

Singapore is the world’s largest bunkering port. In 2017, bunker sales in the city-port rose 4.2 percent year on year to a record 50.6 million mt, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore data showed. S&P Global Platts assesses a daily demurrage for 80,000 mt Aframax tankers basis no heat dirty petroleum products cargo out of Singapore at $18,500 per day on Tuesday.

Australian North Queensland’s Apr coal exports hit 12-month low

Coal exports from Australia’s North Queensland hit a one-year low in April due to Tropical Cyclone Iris and scheduled maintenance at one of the three ports in the region, data from the North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation showed Wednesday.

A total 10.28 million mt of coal was shipped from the key metallurgical coal production region’s three export terminals Abbott Point, Dalrymple Bay and Hay Point in the month, down 17 percent from March. However, the total was still up 218 percent from last April, when the region was more severely impacted by Tropical Cyclone Debbie, the data showed.

Shanghai rebar extends losses on tepid spot trade, high supply

China’s construction steel rebar futures fell for a fourth straight day on Wednesday, pressured by lukewarm trading in spot market amid an increase in supplies.

Shanghai benchmark rebar contracts was down 1.3 percent at 3,604 yuan ($565.65) a tonne. Earlier in the session, the rebar contracts dropped 1.8 percent to touch their lowest in nearly two weeks. Prices of spot steel products dropped 0.1 percent to 4309.35 yuan a tonne on Tuesday, slipping for a third consecutive trading session since Thursday, while benchmark Tangshan billet prices slipped 10 yuan to 3,590 yuan, data from Mysteel consultancy showed.

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