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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Bloomberg News

Photo: DP World

DP World Set to Acquire Topaz Energy

The world’s largest port operator DP World is in advanced discussions to acquire Topaz Energy & Marine, marking the Dubai-based company's first potential foray into the oil and gas industry.Britain’s Sky News, citing sources, earlier reported that a $1.3 billion deal for DP World to take over Topaz could be announced as early as Monday. The report didn't specify whether the valuation was referring to the equity or enterprise value of the transaction.However, Bloomberg reported that the port operator is in “very advanced” discussions to acquire Topaz Energy.

Senator Cassidy: No Jones Act Waiver

A Republican U.S. senator on Wednesday said President Donald Trump will not waive rules requiring that only U.S.-flagged ships move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Northeast.The nearly 100-year-old Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. Republican senators said the administration was seriously considering waiving the requirements for 10 years. Bloomberg News reported last week that Trump was leaning in favor of some kind of waiver.Senator Bill Cassidy…

The El Coqui, a U.S. flag ConRo carrier, recently built specifically for the Jones Act Caribbean trades and powered by environmentally friendly LNG. CREDIT: Crowley Maritime

Trump to Meet with GOP Senators on Jones Act

President Donald Trump is set to meet with Republican senators on Wednesday over a proposal to waive rules that only U.S.-flagged ships can move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Northeast.The nearly 100-year-old Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. Bloomberg News reported last week the administration was seriously considering waiving the requirements for some energy shipments and that Trump…

File Image: AdobeStock © dbvirago

Shipping Ponders the Ultimate Cost of ‘Green’

Low sulphur fuels, scrubbers, LNG and other solutions are all part of the mix. Handicapping the impact of any of these options for the bottom line is anything but easy. Getting greener is not the problem; determining the best way to get there is quite another.By any measure, the business of running vessels will not be the same after January 1, 2020, when the present 3.5% limit on sulfur content will ratchet downward to 0.5%. With the implementation date for the changes, enacted…

(Photo: Glencore)

Glencore CEO Glasenberg Plans to Retire in 3-5 Years

Glencore Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg has told investors he plans to retire from the commodities trader and miner in three to five years, Bloomberg reported on Monday.Glasenberg has started training three to four people to succeed him in the job, but did not disclose the shortlist of candidates, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.Glasenberg, who is also the company's second-largest shareholder with a 8.56-percent stake, according to Refinitiv Eikon data…

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China Vows Retaliation if US Trade War Heightens

China said on Wednesday that "blackmail" wouldn't work and that it would hit back if the United States takes further steps hindering trade, as the Trump administration considers slapping a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.The proposal would increase the potential tariff rate from 10 percent the administration had initially put forward on July 10 for that wave of duties in a bid to pressure Beijing into making trade concessions, a source familiar with the plan said on Tuesday.The tariffs target thousands of Chinese imports…

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Oil Prices Dip as Markets Eye Potential Supply Increases

Oil prices fell on Monday as concerns about supply disruptions eased and Libyan ports resumed export activities, while traders eyed potential supply increases by Russia and other oil producers.Brent crude futures were down 26 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $75.07 a barrel at 0057 GMT.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $70.74 a barrel.Supply outages in Libya and strike action in Norway and Iraq pushed oil prices higher late last week, although prices still ended down for a second straight week."Crude oil prices fell as fears of supply disruptions eased.

Hamburg Express. Photo: Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd Slashes 2018 Profit Outlook

German container carrier Hapag-Lloyd has cut its profit outlook for the year 2018 amid a challenging and volatile environment for ocean carriers. A Reuters report quoted the shipper saying that freight rates had recovered more slowly than expected while fuel and charter costs had ballooned. The report said that these developments cannot be fully offset by cost saving measures that have already been initiated. Hapag-Lloyd also referred to the uncertainty regarding the development of freight rates in the upcoming peak season as one of the factors for the outlook revision.

Photo: Canadian Pacific Railway

Over 3,000 Canadian Pacific Workers Go On Strike

More than 3,000 employees at Canadian Pacific Railway staged a walk-out late Tuesday night, threatening various industries dependent on cargo shipments by the country's second-largest railroad operator.Talks between Teamsters Canada and Canadian Pacific are ongoing and the labour union is working with federal mediators to reach a negotiated agreement, Teamsters said on Tuesday, adding that commuter train services will not be affected.Industry bodies representing the mining, aluminium…

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Macroeconomic Trends Signal Good News for Shipping

The current global economic growth (GDP) looks like it may be as good as it gets, with indicators across the globe signaling healthy expansion, but at a slower pace compared to the levels seen in the last half of 2017.Global economic growth seems on track to reach its highest level since 2011, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) maintain its projection for the world GDP at 3.9 percent and expects the global economic growth to be supported by a strong momentum, favorable market sentiment and accommodative financial conditions in 2018 and 2019.

Photo:  DP World - Doraleh

UAE to the Rescue of DP World’s Container Terminal in Djibouti

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) condemned Djibouti’s cancellation of DP World’s contract to run the Doraleh Container Terminal, calling it an “arbitrary” flouting of a signed agreement, said a report in Bloomberg. Media reports yesterday said that Dubai has accused Djibouti of illegally seizing a port operated by one of its state-owned shipping companies and started legal action against the African government. “Djibouti government’s seizure of the Doraleh port is regrettable,’’ Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash wrote on Twitter.

Photo: Otto Marine Limited

Otto Marine Seeks Insolvency Protection

Singapore-based offshore shipbuilder Otto Marine is seeking insolvency protection from the High Court in a bid to salvage the company and stave off liquidation. According to a report in the Straits Times, crippled with a debt of US$877 million (S$1.16 billion), the troubled company, which is delisted from the Singapore Exchange (SGX), filed an application last week to be placed under judicial management. The company  has applied for an interim judicial manager to be appointed, pending the hearing of its judicial management application. The hearing has been adjourned to March 12.

Photo: Shell

Kuwait Signs LNG Import Deal With Shell

Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (KPC) has signed a 15-year liquefied natural gas import deal with Royal Dutch Shell Plc to help the oil exporting nation meet growing domestic energy demand. A report in Bloomberg said that the sales purchasing agreement with Shell International Trading Middle East Ltd. will start in 2020. The contract will cover 2 million to 3 million metric tons of LNG a year. The volumes delivered under the contract will be used to fire up KPC’s power stations. A press…

Photo: Noble Group

Noble Group Sells Four Vessels to Cut Debt

Hong Kong-based struggling commodity trader Noble Group will sell four dry bulk carrier vessels for about $95 million, as it looks to cut debt to keep its business running, reports Reuters. According to company statement, net proceeds from the disposal, following repayment of bank loans associated with the ships and other costs, will amount to about $30 million. Noble said the sale of the vessels was expected to close next year between March 10 and May 31 and would not significantly impact the operations of the freight business.

Photo: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.

Biggest LNG Vessel Sails to Turkey

The world’s biggest specialized vessel to import liquefied natural gas (LNG)  is scheduled to be operational in November to contribute to Turkey's energy supply security, Bloomberg reported. The MOL FSRU Challenger, as long as the Eiffel Tower, is expected to arrive from South Korea this month and start by year-end. Last winter, a cold snap gripped the whole region, including Iran, where Turkey gets some of its gas from. That meant the nation couldn’t get hold of enough fuel to meet its booming gas demand and the grid asked private power plants to reduce fuel demand by as much as 90 percent.

Image: NGO Shipbreaking Platform

Brazil to Stop Beaching Ships in South Asia

Brazilian authorities plan to implement legislation to help prevent that vessels owned by exporters such as Petrobras and Vale wind up on South Asia's beaching yards, Bloomberg reported. The report said that earlier this month, authorities decided to develop a legal framework to ensure former Brazilian ships don’t end up with recyclers notorious for using dirty and dangerous methods, federal environmental watchdog Ibama said by email. Brazilian companies could face fines of as…

(Photo: Abu Dhabi Ports)

Abu Dhabi Ports: No Immediate Plans for a Listing

Abu Dhabi Ports has no plans to launch a public sale of shares in the short term, the chief executive of the state-owned company told Reuters on Tuesday. "There are no immediate plans to go public," Mohamed Juma al Shamisi said when asked if the company planned to sell shares and a subsequent listing. His comments came after Bloomberg News reported that Abu Dhabi Ports is considering an initial public offering, joining a growing list of state entities in the United Arab Emirates seeking to sell shares, citing people familiar with the matter.

Photo: Orient Overseas Container Line Limited

COSCO to Buy OOCL for USD 6.3 bln

Chinese Shipping Major Cosco Group has agreed in principle to buy its shipping rival and  Hong Kong’s No. 1 box mover, Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), in deal that could be valued around USD 6.3 billion. The takeover will catapult Cosco the world’s third-biggest container carrier after Denmark’s Maersk Line and Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Co. In a press release, the State-owned Cosco said that it will pay shareholders of OOCL,, HK$78.67 a share in cash, a 31 percent premium over the stock’s last closing price.

Photo: Yildirim Holdings AS

Yildirim to Sell its Stake in CMA CGM

Turkish port operator Yildirim Holdings AS has announced plans to sell its 24 percent stake in the French shipping major CMA CGM, Bloomberg reported. The company mandated China Citic Bank Corp. to find investors from Asia or the Persian Gulf for its interest in the world’s third biggest container shipping company. “We will either exit our investment completely or remain as an ordinary shareholder,” said Yildirim. Yildirim invested $600 million to become a shareholder in CMA CGM between 2010 and 2011.

Photo: Qatar Petroleum

Qatar to Boost LNG Production by 30% Amid Arab Dispute

State-owned Qatar Petroleum said Tuesday it aims to raise Qatar’s LNG production from 77 million to 100 million tons per year. The new additional volumes will be secured by doubling the size of the new gas project in the southern sector of the North Field, which Qatar Petroleum had announced last April. This will increase the North Field’s production of natural gas, condensate and other associated products by one million barrels of oil equivalent per day. The announcement was made by Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi…

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Flexport & the Changing Face of Shipping Logistics

Ryan Petersen and his Flexport team are seeking the help re-write the global logistics playbook. Ryan Petersen is the founder and CEO of Flexport. He is also the founder and ex-CEO of ImportGenius.com, the largest provider of business intelligence to the import-export industry. Armed with an MBA from Columbia and a B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley, he is also a licensed customs broker and freight forwarder, with his built company squarely around an online dashboard backed by leading venture capital firms like Founders Fund, Google Ventures and Bloomberg BETA.

Photo: PAO Sovcomflot

Sovcomflot Launches LNG-Powered Ships

Russia’s biggest tanker operator will launch four new vessels in 2018 that will run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), Bloomberg reported. Sovcomflot’s Aframax ships, capable of carrying 600,000 barrels of oil through the Baltic Sea to the port of Rotterdam, will be the first tankers run on LNG. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and other energy companies that have invested more than $700 billion in LNG projects over the past decade are going to be benefitted by this project. While ships won’t transform the market,  Energy Aspects Ltd.

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Breaking Down IMO’s 0.5% Bunker Sulfur Cap

Breaking down the challenges of the 2020 sulfur cap can be confusing. Matti Bargfried provides a primer. What has happened so far? The IMO this October voted in its 70th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee to globally cap the maximum amount of sulfur allowed to 0.5 percent. HFO will be further allowed (there is no mandate to disallow usage) provided it meets the set standards. Alternative measurements like scrubbers are also accepted to reduce the ship emissions.

Photo: Maersk Line

Maersk Expects Healthier 2017 for Shippers

Bloomberg quoted Robbert van Trooijen, APAC CEO of Maersk Line, saying that the current year (2017) will be more profitable than the last. Post-Hanjin, ocean freight customers now stressing stability and avoiding risk to supply chains, not just rates, he said. "The bankruptcy of South Korea's Hanjin Shipping and a consolidation in the container shipping industry will pave the way for a better year for the industry," he told the international news wire. Maersk Line is seeing a…

Photo: Hyundai Merchant Marine

Hyundai Merchant Sees More Losses

South Korea's largest deep sea carrier Hyundai Merchant Marine expects to post losses through the first half of next year due to poor market conditions, reports Bloomberg quoting its CEO Yoo Chang-keun. “This year will be the year to strengthen our financials,” Yoo told Bloomberg. “We are targeting to make an operating profit in the third quarter of next year. By early next year, we expect much of the overcapacity in the market will be resolved. Yoo says that HMM is also making investments in overseas port operations…

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Drewry Finds Risk of Carrier Failure Still High

Drewry’s Z-score carrier financial stress index sunk to its lowest ever point following the first-half 2016 results. After Hanjin’s bankruptcy shippers are demanding more financial transparency from carriers. There is still much work to be done to clean up the logistical chaos created by Hanjin’s bankruptcy, but even so there are lessons from the sorry mess that need to be learned to avoid a repeat occurring. Firstly, all stakeholders must understand that no carrier is too big to fail. The hitherto expectation that some white knight would rescue an ailing carrier has been erased forever.