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Shipping confidence dips as trade wars intensify

Confidence in the shipping industry fell in the past three months to its lowest level for two and half years, according to the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from leading shipping adviser and accountant BDO. Yet owners, charterers and managers were more confident than they were at the time of the previous survey in May 2019.

The average confidence level recorded by the survey in the three months to end-August 2019 was 5.8 out of a possible maximum of 10.0. This compares to the figure of 6.1 recorded for the quarter ended May 2019. Confidence was highest in the chartering sector (up from 6.2 to 7.0), while the increased ratings for owners and managers were from 6.3 to 6.4 and from 5.8 to 5.9, respectively. The rating for brokers, however, was down from 5.7 to 5.1.

European port coal stocks decline from record highs

Slowing vessel arrivals and some export activity have seen coal inventories at northwest European dry bulk terminals decline 5 percent from last week’s multi-year high of more than 7.3 million tonnes. Stocks at four key Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp dry bulk terminals were pegged this week at 6.96 million tonnes, the lowest since mid-September but still more than 20 percent higher on the year. A source at one terminal said vessel arrivals had slowed, but reloadings from stock onto barges – for shipment to inland plants – were also relatively low. He also pointed to some reloading of stockpiled material for onward shipment to other destinations, including Black Sea ports. Of the total inventories, the EMO terminal had 3.6 million tonnes in stock – down 200,000t on the week – while Rotterdam’s smaller EBS terminal had 415,000 tonnes. Amsterdam’s OBA terminal had 2.64mn tonnes and Ovet’s Vlissingen terminal, near Antwerp, had 300,000 tonnes. High port stocks have played a prominent role in pressuring regional coal prices in recent months, with the Global Coal Des ARA index pegged last at below USD 60/t, compared with more than USD 85/t at the start of the year.


America’s IMO 2020 clean tanker boom off to a delayed start

Clean tanker market participants expect to see rates in the Americas begin a long-awaited rally in the second half of October, rather than at the onset of the fourth quarter, they said. Such expectations are based upon the projected return of US Gulf Coast refining capacity around October 15 and exports of ULSD and marine gasoil increasing ton-mile demand ahead of the implementation of the global bunker fuel sulfur reduction to 0.5 percent on January 1 from 3.5 percent.

Trades in the paper market for the Medium Range 38,000 mt USGC-trans-Atlantic run show the Americas market rising around 40 percent from October to November and around 15 percent from November to December, with the October contract having traded at Worldscale 96.24, compared with w94 a week earlier. The November contract traded at w135.58, and the December contract at w157, according to a shipbroker.

Baltic index rises on uptick in capesize demand

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, jumped on Wednesday, on stronger demand for capesize vessels driven by a seasonal uptick in Brazilian iron ore exports.

The Baltic index, which reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, rose 72 points, or 4percent, to 1,873, its biggest daily percentage gain since Aug. 30. The capesize index jumped 177 points, or 5.8percent, to 3,208, recording its steepest percentage rise in over five weeks. The average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $1,470 to $25,598. Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, increased by $387 to $14,840.


Adani ports unveils ‘Mundra-like’ ambitions for Dhamra port

India’s Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) plans to invest as much as Rs. 48,933 crore to scale up its port at Dhamra in Odisha to handle 314 million tonnes (mt) of cargo. The country’s biggest private port operator looks to make the eastern coast port as big as its flagship Mundra port in Gujarat on the western coast. Mundra Port is India’s biggest private commercial port. The expert appraisal committee (EAC) in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has recommended environmental and coastal regulation zone (CRZ) clearances for the expansion of Dhamra on a revised master plan filed by APSEZ.

Dry bulkers still in demand

Ship owners are still craving for dry bulk carriers, as evidenced by the latest weekly reports. Shiproker Banchero Costa said this week that “in the dry market 2 x Kamsarmax under construction at COSCO Zhoushan were sold en bloc at $29mn each basis prompt delivery.

A Chinese built Panamax, the Genco Thunder, 76,000 dwt built Jinagnan in 2007 was sold at $10.4mn to Greek buyers. In the Supramax segment the Darya Mahesh, 56,000 dwt built 2008 by Mitsui was reported sold to European buyers at $12.5mn, two weeks ago the Torenia 56,000 dwt, built in 2007 by Mitsui was sold at $11.3mn. In addition, two Chinese built Supramax, the Lefkoniko and the Anogyra bouth around 57,000 dwt built in 2010 and 2011 respectively b Jiangdong were sold en bloc at $10mn each.

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