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Maritime regulator faces growing calls for a gradual rollout of clean-fuel rules

International maritime regulators begin a new round of meetings on antipollution efforts last week under pressure from the US and other nations to soften implementation of new rules that could cost the industry billions of dollars and lead to higher prices for businesses and consumers.

The rules, put into motion through the ocean transport-regulating arm of the United Nations, take effect Jan. 1, 2020, and are aimed at slashing the amount of sulfur in marine fuel by more than 80 percent. The IMO is going into this week’s meeting in London with only a short extension until March 2020 on the agenda. That plan, which is expected to be approved, would allow ships more time to empty their tanks of the heavy oil. Also up for debate will be the availability of cleaner new fuels and whether they are safe burn on ships.

Black sea fuel oil handysize freight rates rally to 22-month high

Freight rates for Handysize vessels — the most widely used class to carry fuel oil and feedstocks in the European region — have rallied to fresh 22-month highs in the Black Sea as tonnage has tightened significantly on the back of busy loading schedules and bad weather causing delays, sources quoted as saying on Wednesday.

The Black Sea-Mediterranean route for 30,000 mt cargoes was assessed Tuesday at Worldscale 240, equivalent to $21.82/mt, the highest level since December 30, 2016, S&P Global Platts data showed. The Handytankers Glory was heard on subjects for a 30,000 mt fuel oil cargo loading in the Black Sea on November 2 for a voyage to the Med at w240, as was the Seavalour for a similar cargo with an October 30 laycan. Meanwhile Mediterranean fuel oil buyers continue to emphasize the tighter market as the region lacks resupply options from an uneconomical arbitrage from the North as the HSFO Med/North remains negative.

Japan’s bunker fuel demand improves

Bunker fuel demand in Japan has increased as shipowners turn to Japan to refuel following a spike in South Korean bunker fuel prices amid supply tightness, market sources said.

Prices for delivered 380 CST bunker fuel had risen in South Korea on the back of tight supply, with most suppliers unable to offer for October delivery. The supplier was not offering bunker fuel at the Ulsan area due to a shortage of bunker fuel at the refinery.


Global lng shipping rates double since end-August, slow Asia deliveries

Headline rates for shipping liquified natural gas (LNG) in Pacific and Atlantic basins stand at around $140,000 to $150,000 a day for a 160,000 cubic metre LNG tri-fuel diesel electric (TFDE) vessel, brokers say. That is a 6-year high and compares to Atlantic basin rates of $75,000 at the end of August and around $95,000 at the end of September.

Rates have jumped due to supply from new plants, longer distances travelled and anticipation of higher prices prompting shippers to lock in longer-duration contracts. Asian spot LNG prices have fallen for the fourth week running thanks to fresh supplies from Australia, lower oil prices and the absence of Chinese buyers. Individual spot deals for shipping LNG have been heard as high as $200,000 a day in Asia, one broker said. High shipping rates however have not deterred cargoes from Northwest Europe which is receiving an unusually high level of LNG even in the run-up to winter. European LNG supplies tend to come from Qatar, Africa and Russia, with shorter distances needing to be shipped and at lower LNG prices.

China’s shipbuilding consolidation steams ahead with new acquisition

One of China’s two shipbuilding titans will swallow a money-losing ship repair and conversion business as part of the government’s plans to scrape barnacles from the hull of the oversized and inefficient industry and get it shipshape.

China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC) will use its Guangzhou Shipyard International Co. Ltd. (GSI) unit to acquire Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard Co. Ltd. for 499 million yuan ($72 million), a filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange announced on Friday. CSSC mainly handles shipbuilding activities in China’s south and east, with subsidiary GSI largely handling construction of very large and super large-class oil and ore carriers from a base in the southern city of Guangzhou.

Adani ports q2 profit falls

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd’s (APSEZ) net profit fell 38.10 per cent to Rs. 614.23 crore in the July-September quarter of this fiscal against Rs. 992.37 crore in the second quarter of FY18 as the company booked a higher mark-to-market loss on its foreign currency loans owing to weak rupee.

The country’s biggest private port-operating firm’s total income declined marginally to Rs. 2,922.32 crore (including other income of Rs. 314.31 crore) from Rs. 2,962.12 crore last year.

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