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Baltic index hits one-month low

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Wednesday to its lowest in over a month on weaker demand across vessel categories.

The Baltic index, which reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, fell 63 points, or 3percent, to 2,053 points, its lowest level since Aug. 15.

The capesize index declined 153 points, or 3.8percent, to hit over a one-month low of 3,829 points.

The average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transports 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, dropped by $1,232 to $29,046.

The panamax index fell 39 points, or 2percent, to 1,900 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carries coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, fell by $312 to $15,205.

The supramax index dropped 12 points to 1,282 points.

First marine fuel 0.5pc cargo trade reported in platts Singapore MOC

The first deal for a cargo of Marine Fuel 0.5percent was reported in the Platts Market on Close assessment process in Singapore on Wednesday. Shell sold a 20,000 mt cargo of Marine Fuel 0.5 percent on a FOB Straits basis to P66 at a premium of $19/mt to October average of the Mean of Platts Singapore Marine Fuel 0.5 percent assessments. The MOC process on Wednesday saw bids from P66 and Sinopec Hong Kong as well as offers from Vitol and Trafigura.

Platts launched daily cargo and barge assessments for Marine Fuel 0.5percent reflecting residual marine fuels with a maximum sulfur limit of 0.5percent at key ports across the globe starting January 2, 2019. These assessments were launched 12 months ahead of the planned introduction of new sulfur limits in marine fuels by the International Maritime Organization from January 1, 2020. Marine Fuel 0.5percent reflects specifications for RMG fuels as defined by the International Organization for Standardization in document ‘ISO 8217:2010 Petroleum products – Fuels (class F) – Specifications of marine fuels,’ but with a sulfur cap of 0.5percent.


EU’s key port coal stocks swell to 4-month high

Coal stocks at northwest European dry bulk terminals have risen to four-month highs as low river levels result in reduced barge shipments to inland plants.

Stocks at four key Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp dry bulk terminals were pegged this week at 7.1m tonnes, the highest since late May.

Water levels at Kaub – the Rhine’s main indication point – were seen last at 100 centimetres and were forecast to remain around this level until the weekend, according to official data.

When river levels drop below 200cm, barge operators reduce loads in order to navigate the shallower waters and can impose an incremental “low-water premium”, to recoup lost euro-per-tonne earnings.

Nevertheless, weather forecasts show rains next week will likely help to replenish Germany’s rivers.

Pacific islands seek $500m to make ocean’s shipping zero carbon

A coalition of Pacific island nations wants to raise $500m (£400m) to make all shipping in the Pacific Ocean zero carbon by the middle of the century.

The Pacific Blue Shipping Partnership, announced on Tuesday by the governments of Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, has set an emissions reduction target of 40percent by 2030, and full decarbonisation by 2050.

The money would be used to retrofit existing passenger and cargo ferries with low-carbon technologies, and to buy new zero-emissions vessels. Pacific island populations are dependent on shipping for travel, medicines, their livelihoods and connection to the outside world.

Such countries are precariously dependent on imported fossil fuels and acutely vulnerable to price shocks or supply disruptions. The region imports 95percent of its fuels. Imported petroleum accounts for an average of 40percent of GDP in Pacific island countries, with the transport sector the largest fuel user.

In archipelago states of small island populations spread over vast ocean distances, sea travel is vital for linking communities and for economic development. The lack of regular connectivity between islands is a major constraint on domestic, social and economic development and on international trade.


Tanker freight rates soar as buyers try to replace Saudi oil

Tanker freight rates soared to their highest levels of the year this week as Asian importers scrambled to secure crude supplies from the US after attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities took a big chunk out of global output.

London and Singapore brokers said daily spot rates for supertankers were quoted at above $43,000 this week from less than $30,000 before the Sept. 14 attacks in Saudi Arabia. Average time charters, which are for longer periods, were quoted at $38,600 a day compared with an earlier rate of $28,300, according to the Baltic Exchange. The rates were the highest since the bourse introduced its pricing index in March for so-called dirty tankers, which carry crude and heavy fuels oils.

China International United Petroleum & Chemicals Co. was among the most active charterers last week, booking at least six crude cargoes from the U.S. Gulf region, the brokers said.

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