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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

European Union News

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Coronavirus Rekindles Global Trade Disputes

At the start of the year, U.S.-China tensions were easing after their Phase I trade deal, while Washington, Brussels and Tokyo agreed on new global trading rules to curb subsidies. A relative calm had set in.Then the new coronavirus struck.Countries across the world imposed 222 exports curbs on medical supplies and medicines and in some cases food, according to Global Trade Alert, a Swiss monitoring group. For medical products, it was more than 20 times the usual level.Those curbs are now being lifted…

Photo: Interferry

Ferry Operators Start to See the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Interferry CEO Mike Corrigan reflects on the crushing impact of COVID-19…but suggests that the gradual easing of travel restrictions offers a turning point on the road to recovery.Last year the ferry industry was riding the crest of a wave. In an end-of-year review, I went so far as to express my belief that the industry had rarely if ever been in such good health. Throughout the developed world, most operators were reporting year-on-year traffic growth and many had set new records for passenger and vehicle volumes.

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Cuba Cancels Economic Fair as Imports Plummet

Cash-strapped Cuba has canceled its annual international trade and investment fair slated for November due to the pandemic, state-run media reported on Friday, even as fallout from the novel coronavirus hammers revenues and imports.Container traffic at the port of Mariel, responsible for 90% of containers entering the country, was down between 20% and 25% through May, compared with the same period last year, according to a shipping source with access to the data.Cuba does not reveal key economic information in a timely manner…

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Doyle Hired to Lead the Port of Baltimore

William P. Doyle, a former U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner, has been hired to lead the Port of Baltimore as the new executive director of the Maryland Port Administration, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced.Currently CEO and Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America, Doyle will take the helm at the Port of Baltimore effective July 22, succeeding Jim White, who announced he would step down at the end of 2019. Doyle was appointed by Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Greg Slater…

(File photo: Chantiers de l'Atlantique)

Gauging Impact of Fincantieri's French Deal to Take Time, Says EU's Vestager

Gauging the market impact of Italian shipyard Fincantieri's bid for France's Chantiers de l'Atlantique is proving difficult and is likely to take some time, the European Union's antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said on Tuesday.Italy sees the deal by Europe's largest shipyard as an opportunity to create a European industrial champion in the shipbuilding industry to better compete with rivals from Asia and other regions.EU antitrust enforcers, however, worry the deal between two global leaders in an already concentrated and capacity-constrained market could push up prices for cruise ships.The

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Shipping Plan Would Reel International Emissions into EU Carbon Market

The European Union's carbon market could capture a large chunk of emissions from outside Europe if the bloc succeeds in including shipping in the scheme, according to the European Commission's first report on maritime CO2 emissions.Pollution from ships plying international waters typically escapes countries' domestic emissions-cutting targets, but the EU's executive has said the sector must contribute to its trillion-euro push to achieve a "climate neutral" economy by 2050.It wants to curb shipping's carbon footprint by adding it to the Europe-wide emissions trading system (ETS)…

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Cyprus Adopts Formal Crew Change Process

The Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM) formally announced it has adopted a new process to facilitate crew changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Crew changes for vessels are possible in Cyprus provided certain conditions are met. The relevant decrees issued by the Ministry of Health also permit the long-term stay in anchorage of vessels, including cruise ships (warm lay-up).Cyprus is actively supporting and implementing such measures, in support of recommendations from the International Maritime Organization (IMO)…

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French Wheat Shipments Remain High Despite Lockdown

French soft wheat shipments outside the EU last month reached a four-year high for April, Refinitiv data showed, as exporters continued to ship high volumes during the coronavirus pandemic.Soft wheat exports to destinations outside the European Union totalled 1.56 million tonnes, the highest April volume since the 2015/16 season, an initial estimate based on Refinitiv loading data showed.The April volume was about 70,000 tonnes lower than non-EU soft wheat exports the previous month, which marked the highest monthly total so far in the 2019/20 July-June season.Exporters have faced transport an

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Japan Exports Slump as Coronavirus Hits Demand

Japan's exports slumped the most in nearly four years in March as U.S.-bound shipments, including cars, fell at the fastest rate since 2011, highlighting the damage the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on global trade.Monday's bleak data underscored the challenges Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government faces in dealing with a collapse in activity that is expected to send the global economy into its deepest slump since the Great Depression of the 1930s.After a jump in virus cases…

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Coronavirus Slows Brazil's Tropical Fruit Exports to EU

Brazilian producers of tropical fruits including mangoes and papayas have been hit by falling European demand amid coronavirus and feel burnt after excessively relying on EU sales, lobby group Abrafrutas told Reuters on Monday.Europe was the second major hot-spot for the COVID-19 epidemic that began in China and orders from the continent began to fall as a result of lockdowns to contain the virus, Jorge de Souza, manager for projects and international promotion at Abrafrutas, said in an interview.While most domestic fruit production can be redirected to the Brazilian market…

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Intermodal Supply Chains Strain Under the Weight of Coronovirus Lockdowns

LONDON/MADRID/LOS ANGELES, March 23 - Freight carriers are struggling to deliver goods by land, sea or air as the coronavirus pandemic forces Western governments to impose lockdowns, threatening supplies of vital products including medicines into the most affected areas, such as Italy.While China's draconian steps to stop the spread of the virus are now allowing its economy slowly to come back online, supply chains are backing up in other parts of the world.Problems ranging from…

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Western Supply Chains Buckle as Coronavirus Lockdowns Spread

Freight carriers are struggling to deliver goods by land, sea or air as the coronavirus pandemic forces Western governments to impose lockdowns, threatening supplies of vital products including medicines into the most affected areas, such as Italy.While China's draconian steps to stop the spread of the virus are now allowing its economy slowly to come back online, supply chains are backing up in other parts of the world.Problems ranging from finding enough truck drivers to restrictions on seafarers and a lack of air freight are hitting the smooth flow of goods…

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Barcelona Turns Shipping Containers Into Affordable Homes

Down a cobblestone street a few meters from Las Ramblas boulevard, a vivid, contemporary-style building sits incongruously among the ancient churches and medieval squares that typify Barcelona’s old quarter.The minimalist structure is home to a dozen new flats built out of disused shipping containers, the latest innovation in Barcelona’s search for a solution to its ongoing social housing crisis.Rising rents coupled with a shortage of public housing that stems from policies geared toward home ownership are putting pressure on Spain’s most vulnerable citizens…

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Shipping Not Immune to a Pandemic -BIMCO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus a pandemic. There is little doubt that this will have significant implications for the shipping industry. But to what extent? BIMCO expects that the strict containment measures imposed by governments around the world will result in substantially lower global economic growth and consequentially, lower demand for shipping. Container and dry bulk shipping are at the front line when it comes to feeling the fallout…

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BIMCO Revises 2020 Forecast

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting global shipping demand for 2020 negatively. The speed of the virus spread makes it difficult to assess the full consequences. Nevertheless, we see a need to update our 2020 forecast to make some of this massive uncertainty tangible.What is going on in addition to the coronavirus pandemic?Geopolitical tensions that made the OPEC+ alliance break down, has subsequently made the crude oil tanker spot freight market erupt. The events that followed the breakdown - and those that are likely to follow…

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Shipping Goods into Nigeria Costs More Than for African Peers

It costs as much as five times more to ship goods into Nigeria than it does to deliver items via other African ports, consultancy SBM Intelligence said in a note on Wednesday.SBM tracked shipments from the European Union into Appapa, a key import hub in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos, Durban in South Africa and Tema in Ghana over three months.The results showed that total costs to get items into Lagos are five times higher than in Durban and three times higher than in Tema.Local transport added the biggest amount, costing 10 times as much in Lagos compared with the other portsThe figure

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LNG Bunkering Operations Triple in Spain in 2019

Ship operators carried out 195 liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering operations at Spanish ports in 2019, 135 more than in the previous year, Spanish authorities said on Friday.81,704 cubic metres of LNG was supplied to ships during the year.The upward trend continued in January 2020, with 35 operations supplying 12,055 cubic metres.Spain has seven LNG terminals, more than any other country in Europe. The terminals have been or are being adapted to allow them to provide small…

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US Trade Deficit Narrows for First Time in Six Years

The U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six years in 2019 as the White House’s trade war with China curbed the import bill, keeping the economy on a moderate growth path despite a slowdown in consumer spending and weak business investment.The report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday also showed the Trump administration’s “America First” agenda decreased the flow of goods last year, with exports posting their first decline since 2016. President Donald Trump, who has dubbed himself “the tariff man…

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Capesize Index Turns Negative for the First Time Ever

Capesize index plummets to -133, the first time ever in negative territory – is it all up from here?The Baltic Exchange Capesize Index (BCI) dropped to -133 index points on February 4, 2020, turning negative for the first time ever on January 31, 2020. The composite BDI index (BDI), which has excluded the more stable handysize segment since March 2018, also dropped on February 4, 2020 to settle at 453 index points.The BCI has been on a freefall through the entirety of December, but the descent started to pick up more steam during the past couple of weeks.

Image: Fueltrax

Fueltrax Earns Certification by Verifavia

Verifavia Shipping, the independent accredited environmental verification and auditing body for maritime industry, has certified Fueltrax, against the European Union’s (EU) Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV) regulation requirements and IMO Data Collection System (DCS).The EU MRV regulation requires ships of 5,000 gross tonnages or higher to collect data from previous years to monitor CO2 emissions, fuel consumption, and other parameters, such as distance traveled, time at sea, and cargo carried on a per voyage basis.

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Trump to Discuss Traded Deal with EU's Von der Leyen

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he was going to discuss a trade deal with the European Union (EU) in a meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.Speaking ahead of a meeting with von der Leyen on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Trump said: "Hopefully, we'll get something done."He earlier told delegates that trade deals struck this month with China and Mexico represented a model for the 21st Century.(Editing by Alexander Smith)

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Maersk Chief Warns EU Antitrust Policy Benefits China, US

Strict EU enforcement of competition rules prevents the development of the global champions necessary to compete with Chinese and U.S. companies, the head of shipping company Maersk warned in an interview."Is it really a good idea that we don't allow the creation of a European global champion? In doing so, we risk being outperformed by a Chinese company, over which the European Union has no influence," Maersk CEO Soren Skou told Danish business daily Finans.A Maersk spokeswoman confirmed his comments to Reuters.Skou is a member of the European Round Table for Industry (ERT)…

Image: YIT Eesti

YIT Eesti to Build Tallinn Cruise Terminal

Estonian port authority Port of Tallinn (Tallinna Sadam) has signed an agreement with compatriot construction company YIT Eesti AS for the construction of new cruise terminal in Tallinn Old City Harbour.The value of the contract is EUR 13.7 million. New cruise terminal will be completed in July 2021.The contract includes a 3-storey terminal building with a net area around 4000 m2, pedestrian promenade area at the pier, children’s playground and parking spaces.The multifunctional…

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Georgia Scraps Deal on Major Port Project

Georgia has ended an investment agreement with an international consortium for one of the biggest projects in the former Soviet country, the construction of a major deep sea port on the Black Sea coast, its infrastructure minister said on Thursday.The nine-phase project to improve access to Central Asia and the Middle East had received support from Georgia's strategic partner, the United States, as well as the European Union, which had labelled the planned port at Anaklia a priority project."The government discussed this issue and decided that further postponement does not make sense…

Calais VTS (Photo: Wärtsilä)

Wärtsilä's VTS for Two French Ports

The technology group Wärtsilä will supply its Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) solution to two of France’s leading ports, Calais and Boulogne. The Wärtsilä VTS will effectively manage vessel traffic in these busy harbors to deliver greater operational efficiency and safety. The order with Wärtsilä was placed in October 2019 by Région Hauts-de-France, the government entity responsible for this tender.The system optimizes planning and traffic monitoring to reduce waiting time for vessels and allow just-in-time pilotage.

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Stocks Nearing Record Highs on Trade Hopes

World shares made another push for an all-time high on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington and Beijing were in the final throes of inking an initial trade deal.European trading was restrained, with MSCI's all-country world index now within 0.4%, or 2 points, of its record high from January 2018.London, Frankfurt, Paris and Wall Street futures all rose, and though Shanghai had struggled after Chinese industrial company profits shrank, Australia had set its…