WORLDWIDE SHIPPING INDUSTRY
Baltic index at 5-1/2 years high
The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose to its highest since December 2013 on Wednesday, pushed by strong demand across all vessel categories, with the panamax index hitting an eight-year high.
The Baltic index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, gained 54 points, or 2.4 percent, to 2,267, a peak since December 2013. The capesize index jumped 131 points, or 3.2 percent, to 4,213, its highest in more than a month. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $1,066 to $32,182.
Poor cargo volume at major Indian ports
Cargo growth at India’s major ports fell to two percent in April-July this fiscal year. Ports in Karnataka’s New Mangalore, Goa’s Mormugao, and Tamil Nadu’s Chennai and Kamarajar (Ennore) reported cargo shipment decelerating in the period. The Mormugao port was hit after the Supreme Court banned mining in the state and neighbouring Karnataka curbed iron ore exports.
Other ports were affected by cyclical slowdown in key sectors. Liquid cargo like crude oil, petroleum products, LPG and LNG grew by 2.63 percent, contributing largely to muted volumes. Fertiliser cargo shipments were a dampener too. Raw fertilizer cargo moved through major ports nosedived 17.66 percent whereas finished fertilizers slid by 1.74 percent.
Biggest US box ports achieve 2.7pc yoy increase in import volumes
The top ten US container ports recorded better-than-expected 2.7 percent year-on-year import growth in container volumes in July, amounting to a total of 1,865,645 TEU.
The result supports the upbeat view of the transpacific market by Maersk Line that growth was mainly driven by the increased trend for Asian shippers to route their cargo through US east and Gulf coast ports, reported UK’s The Loadstar. Container imports for US east and Gulf coast ports last month rose by 5.6 percent compared to July 2018, reaching 862,313 TEU, with the port of Savannah achieving the highest growth rate of 8.5 percent.
Oil tankers with US crude race to beat China tariff deadline
A handful of oil tankers carrying US crude to China are racing to beat the September 1 deadline when Beijing’s 5 percent tariff on US crude imports will kick in, but not all will cross the finishing line on time.
The 321,075-dwt Svet sailed from the Southwest Passage Lightering area in the US on July 7, and arrived at China’s Qingdao port on Wednesday. The 308,285-dwt Landbridge Prosperity sailed from the Offshore Galveston Lighterage area in the US on June 30, stopped at Covenas for an additional cargo, and is scheduled to arrive at Rizhao port on Thursday.
Cargo ships urged to cut speed and pollution
Moving cargo ships into the slow lane, an idea French President Emmanuel Macron floated at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, would be one way to cut maritime transport’s giant carbon emissions footprint.
Shipping represents 2.3 percent of carbon dioxide (C02) emissions, according to French transport trade body Armateurs de France and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – a bigger share than the 2.0 percent generated by the aviation industry as estimated by the International Aviation Organisation (OACI).
Singapore HSFO cash differential hits record high
The Singapore 380 CST high sulfur fuel oil cash differential hit a record high of $33.65/mt Tuesday on tight prompt availability, but traders do not expect this strength to be sustained as the market heads into trading of October-loading barrels. They expect these heady premiums to cool off as soon as the market is more ready to meet the low sulfur mandate.
The cash differential for FOB Singapore 380 CST HSFO rose $9.05/mt day on day to $33.65/mt Tuesday, S&P Global Platts data showed.
Hong Kong box volume slowdown continues
The Port of Hong Kong suffered another container volume decline of 8.3 percent to 10,578 TEU in July after an 8.2 percent slip in June and nine percent drop year on year after unbroken slippages back to January 2018.
Kwai Tsing Terminal suffered an 8.7 percent decline to 8,262 TEU in July year on year while the smaller river trade fell 6.8 percent to 2,316 TEU.
Hamburg first half volume up 7.5pc
The Port of Hamburg’s first half container volume 7.5 percent year on year to 4.7 million TEU, the port authority announced.
Seaborne cargo throughput at Germany’s largest port rose 4.1 percent in the first half to 69.4 million tons, but bulk cargo slipped 0.3 percent to 21 million tons.
The increase in containers was attributable to the four new liner services that have linked the Hanseatic City with ports in the US, Canada and Mexico, said the release. The 283,000 TEU handled in Hamburg on container services with the US since the beginning of the year took the United States into second place among Hamburg’s most important partners for container services.