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Americas MR tankers see short-haul freight up 20pc on tight tonnage, fixing spree

The Americas Medium Range tanker market saw freight increase around 17-25 percent, to rates not seen since early April on some US Gulf Coast-loading routes, prompted by tight available tonnage on the front end of the fixing window and an increase in working cargoes. A position list showed fewer than five prompt tankers available last Tuesday, and around 30 tankers available in the May 10-16 fixing window. The majority of available tankers were shown opening in the latter half of the window, most ballasting from the Caribbean or US Atlantic Coast regions.

An increase in available cargoes bolstered freights and took tonnage out of the region early this week, with almost 20 tankers heard on subjects or fixed Tuesday, according to Platts fixture data.

Activity was spread across most USGC-loading markets Monday and Tuesday, beginning with inquiry on the 38,000 mt USGC-trans-Atlantic route. Phillips 66 was heard to have booked the Nave Velocity for that voyage at w85, to load May 10.

Market sources said activity on the trans-Atlantic market may have prompted bullishness on other MR routes. Sol was heard active Tuesday on the USGC-Caribbean route, placing the Silver Joan on subjects at lump sum $440,000 to load May 13-14, and the route was assessed at that level Tuesday, up $65,000 or 17percent day on day from Monday’s lump sum $375,000 assessment.

Freight for the 38,000 mt USGC-trans-Atlantic increased around 20percent day-on-day Tuesday, assessed at w87.5, while the USGC-East Coast Mexico route increased 25percent day on day, assessed at lump sum $200,000.

Port hedland iron ore shipments bounce in April after cyclone

Pilbara Ports Authority has delivered a total monthly throughput of 58.8 million tonnes (Mt) for the month of April 2019. This throughput was a 1percent decrease compared to the same month in 2018. The total throughput for the 2018/19 financial year to date is 569.3Mt, a decrease of 1percent from the same time last year. The Port of Port Hedland achieved a monthly throughput of 42.5Mt, of which 41.8Mt was iron ore exports.

The monthly throughput was a 3percent decrease from April 2018. Imports through the Port of Port Hedland totalled 166,000 tonnes, an increase of 43percent from the same month in 2018. The Port of Dampier delivered a total monthly throughput of 15.4Mt, an increase of 2percent from April 2018. Imports through the Port of Dampier totalled 85,000 tonnes, a decrease of 34percent from the same month in 2018.

Ras Al Khaimah well-positioned for maritime trade

The tiny UAE Emirate of Ras al Khaimah does not have the massive oil reserves of its neighbours Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and is relatively poor by comparison. But with an excellent location, it is well-positioned to earn a crust from the local maritime trade, and has various other advantages; and, with the help of its ports, is planning for growth in various areas.

Located in the South of the emirate, close to the border of Fujairah, is Stevin Rock, a quarry company mining limestone, gabbro, and various other materials, 80m tonnes of which are produced there every year, and the company estimates that there may be some 2.5bn tonnes of combined reserves yet to be mined, expected to last another 300 years at current rates of depletion.


Poor month for global seaborne coal exporters

Coal exporters suffered a poor April with seaborne volumes dropping from the previous month amid slack demand, but the overall picture for the industry so far this year isn’t quite as gloomy as it may appear.

April is not traditionally a strong month for coal demand as it falls between the winter and summer power demand peaks – declining seaborne volumes are to be expected. It’s also worth noting that the world’s top coal exporters have managed to boost shipments on a year-on-year basis, not just in April but also for the first four months of the year.

Coal-carrying vessels departing US ports down 21.5pc

Coal-carrying vessels from departing from US ports totaled 73 in the week ended April 27, down 21.5 percent from the previous week and down 48.5 percent from the year-ago week, Platts cFlow trade-flow data quoted as saying.

The drop was largely driven by US Gulf Coast ports, which had 32 departures, 11 fewer compared with the week before. Off Atlantic Coast ports, coal-carrier departures totaled 26, down 7 from the prior week, and a total of 15 departed from West Coast ports, compared with 17 a week earlier.

Compared with the year-ago week, vessels departing from the Gulf Coast were down 51.5 percent, from the Atlantic down 53.6 percent and from the West Coast down 25 percent.

The top three regional destinations in the most recently ended week were North Asia, with 21 coal-carrier arrivals, and the Mediterranean and North Asia, both with 13 arrivals.

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