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Container market improving, but still shaky

A less than convincing performance in the Asia to Mediterranean headhaul market and a sharp fall in Turkish imports have dulled westbound growth prospects. After a flat second quarter, westbound Asia to Mediterranean volumes in the period July-September rose by 3.4%, and returns for October yielded a growth rate of 5.6 percent, according to data from CTS.

The year-to-date rise in headhaul demand was by the end of October reading 3.5 percent – a more convincing performance than the anemic 1.2 percent recorded for the North Europe trade.

Global marine lubricants market to hit $6.66bn in 2023

The global marine lubricants market is estimated to be US$5.98 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach US$6.66 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 2.17 percent from 2018 to 2023. The growth of the market is driven by the emerging alternative technology trends, said a report by Research and Markets. Also, rising infrastructure developments (port infrastructure) to strengthen the shipping industry globally are fueling trade activities, leading to the growth of marine lubricants market.

However, fewer trade activities and the rising number of idle ships are restraining the market’s growth. Mineral oil is the largest oil type segment of the global marine lubricants market. By oil type, the mineral oil segment is estimated to account for the largest share of the global marine lubricants market in 2018. This oil type is available in light and heavy grades, depending on the usage and requirement.


Indian diesel armada heads towards Europe

A diesel glut in Asia is encouraging traders of the fuel to ramp up cargoes from India to Europe, where stockpiles were ravaged by refinery halts and unusual weather earlier this year. Around 577,000 tons of the fuel already arrived this month or are en route to Europe from India’s refineries — whose supplies get sent east or west depending on which market is best — according to shipping and port-loading information. The cargoes will arrive this month and next, implying about a doubling in the normal flow rate.

South korean shipyards fare well in 2018

South Korean shipbuilders showed better-than-expected performances this year on a rise in new orders, especially those for LNG ships, industry sources quoted as saying. The country’s shipbuilding sector, once a cornerstone of the country’s economic growth and job creation, has been reeling from mounting losses in the past few years, caused by an industrywide slump and increased costs.

Since late 2016, however, their restructuring efforts have started to pay off and new orders have increased. Hyundai Heavy has bagged orders valued at a combined US$13.4 billion, surpassing this year’s target of $13.2 billion. Daewoo Shipbuilding also secured over 90 percent of its annual order goal of $7.3 billion with Samsung Heavy meeting some 70 percent of its annual order target of $8.2 billion.


China to ban imports of waste foreign vessels

China will ban imports of waste foreign vessels to protect the environment, China Daily reported on Dec 24. The country’s ship-breaking yards, which have been tearing apart the world’s retired vessels from both civil and military sectors, and turning them into piles of steel scrap bound for mills for repurposing, will henceforth focus only on domestic ships.

Many ship-breaking yards and nearby beaches were heavily polluted by heavy metals, oil and other toxic substances, said the report published last week. The new measures of banning imports were announced in April and will take effect on Dec 31. They cover 32 types of solid waste imports, including ships, auto parts, stainless steel scrap, titanium and wood.

Oil tanker owners junked a record number of ships before boom

Oil tanker owners scrapped a record number of ships this year. Those who did missed out on a sharp rally in rates. Owners purged a record 100 of the industry’s main crude carriers so far, with most of that happening in the first half of the year, according to data from Clarkson Research Services Ltd, part of the world’s biggest shipbroker. That’s no surprise, as up to September the vessels — which transport roughly 40 percent of the world’s crude — were on course for the worst average earnings in at least three decades.

What those demoralized owners perhaps failed to foresee was a sudden surge in cargoes. With the US poised to impose sanctions on Iran earlier this year, producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia began adding barrels to the market. Between May and November, the world’s largest and second-largest exporters lifted their combined output by about 1.5 million barrels a day. American shipments are also soaring. As well as adding demand for vessels, the increased oil supply also drove down fuel prices — the industry’s single biggest expense. For those owners who didn’t scrap, rates jumped more than threefold from late September to mid-December, according to Clarkson figures.

Up in the North Sea, ships that move 600,000-barrel cargoes earlier this week were earning $72,664 a day, the highest in 3 1/2 years, according to data from the Baltic Exchange in London. At the start of December, giant 2 million-barrel carrying vessels were making $58,000 from delivering Middle East oil to China, the most since at least the start of 2017. West African rates also surged.

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