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Asia shipping rates may firm on low-sulphur rules

Freight rates in Asia may firm as some ports in the key China market have tightened regulations related to pollution emissions of ships in October. But a slowdown in trading activity for liquid petrochemicals – the bulk of which are aromatics –amid plant turnarounds in the region could negate any upward pressure on shipping cost.

In the week ended 28 September, freight rates from any point of origin in Asia to mid-China ports inched up by $1/tonne week on week, according to ICIS data. Ships docking at the ports of Shanghai; and of Ningbo and Zhoushan in Zhejiang province are being required to use fuel with sulphur content not exceeding 0.5percent mass by mass (m/m), effective 1 October, based on separate notices issued by individual ports.

Value of Australian coal exports to plummet

The value of Australia’s coal exports is forecast to decline sharply over the next 18 months as thermal coal prices drop 25percent and metallurgical coal prices fall 23percent.

The decline in the spot price of both products will see their combined export value fall from $60.8 billion in 2018-19 to $49.9 billion in 2019-20, a deterioration of 18 percent. At the same time, the value of iron ore exports will also decline, but not by as much. Iron ore export earnings are forecast to decline from $60.4 billion in 2018-19 to $55.7 billion in 2019-20, a decline of 7.8percent.

Iraq crude exports extend gains in September

Iraq exported more than 4 million barrels a day for a second consecutive month in September as buyers sought alternative supplies to Iran ahead of US sanctions.

Shipments from OPEC’s No. 2 producer were 4.062 million barrels a day, the highest since November 2016 and compared with 4.061 million a day in August.

Thailand advances lng bunkering plans

Thailand’s Ministry of Transport plans to open LNG stations along the eastern seaboard for vessels using clean energy as the International Maritime Organization’s global sulfur limit rule for marine fuels looms, the Bangkok Post reported LAST Sunday.

The IMO will cap sulfur in marine fuels at 0.5percent worldwide from January 1, 2020, compared to 3.5percent currently. This applies outside the designated emission control areas where the limit is already 0.1percent.

S. Korea: shipbuilders to sign some big orders

Korean shipbuilders are starting to get orders for big ticket ships like liquefied natural gas tankers.

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) inked a $210 million order from Norwegian shipper Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers (KNOT) to build two shuttle tankers for delivery after June 2020, the company said Monday.

Shuttle tankers transport oil from offshore oil fields. The Korean company will start building the tankers from next year at its headquarters in Ulsan.


Americas VLCC freight jumps $1mn in two days

Freight rates for VLCCs making long-haul voyages east out of the US Gulf Coast and Caribbean continued to soar Monday, jumping $1 million in just two trading sessions as tonnage availability continued to wane, with an increased number of Asian buyers looking to cover cheaper US crude cargoes.

The rate to take a VLCC carrying a dirty cargo on a USGC-Singapore run, has climbed nearly 23percent since Thursday, the day before rates jumped $800,000 day on day. Freight rates rose another $200,000 Monday to reach a lump sum of $5.4 million, the highest level since S&P Global Platts began assessing the route in March 2018.

Container shipping giant CMA CGM says will cost $2bn to comply with green shipping rule

France-based box ship giant CMA CGM, which took over Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), estimates it would incur about US$1.5 billion (S$2.06 billion) to comply with a green shipping regulation that will cap sulphur content in marine fuels.

This is based on an extrapolation of CMA CGM’s share of some US$15 billion in estimated exposure, one industry publication said. The container shipping segment may sustain from the implementation of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO’s) 2020 global sulphur cap, APL’s chief executive, Nicolas Sartini, said at SIBCON 2018 (Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition) on Wednesday (Oct 3).

Singapore bunkering hub ready for IMO 2020 rule

Singapore authorities are taking measures to ensure the availability of low-sulphur marine fuels ahead of upcoming emissions regulations in 2020, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health Lam Pin Min quoted as saying on Wednesday.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will make available a list of licensed bunker suppliers of low-sulphur fuels by mid-2019, said Lam. Singapore is the world’s largest marine refuelling, or bunkering, hub. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is introducing new rules on marine fuels from 2020, limiting the sulphur content to 0.5 percent, from 3.5 percent currently, to curb pollution produced by the world’s ships.

Congestion in Malta, Piraeus ports eases

ACongestion at the Mediterranean ports of Malta and Piraeus has begun to ease after bad weather caused disruption to the delivery schedule over the weekend, sources quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Bad weather can affect bunkering operations in a number of ways. Delivered 380 CST bunker prices at the ports of Malta, Piraeus, and Istanbul were indicated as high as $492/mt, $488/mt, and $520/mt respectively Tuesday morning, up $8/mt, $6/mt, and $12/mt compared with Monday’s assessment levels.

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