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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Imports News

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BIMCO: China Cements Top Position in the Bulk Market

The turbulence of the past year has in many ways clouded the underlying fundamentals in the dry bulk shipping market, but with 2020 now behind us, we are in a better position to establish an overview of expectations for 2021. Overall, total tonnes transported by the dry bulk shipping industry fell by 1.3% to 5.49 billion tonnes, from 5.56b in 2019, which is however still higher than the 5.46b tonnes shipped in 2018. China has further cemented its position as the dominant player…

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China's Ban on Australian Coal Forces Trade Flows to Realign

China's effective ban on imports of Australian coal is forcing a realignment of flows between the world's two biggest importers and two largest exporters.Indonesia and Australia dominate the global seaborne coal trade, with the Southeast Asian nation tops in thermal coal, used mainly in power plants, while Australia is the biggest shipper of coking coal, used to make steel, and the number two in thermal coal.China is the world's biggest coal importer, while India ranks second.China's major coal supplier was Australia…

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Australian Exports Feel China Chill

Australia's trade surplus narrowed in November as China curbs on coal and farm goods took some steam out of exports, while a rebound in the domestic economy sucked in record goods imports.Other data out on Thursday showed Australia's property market roaring back to life with approvals to build new houses hitting the highest in two decades.Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the country's trade surplus contracted to A$5 billion ($3.90 billion) in November, from A$6.6 billion the month before.Overall exports rose 3% in the month…

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EU Imposes Duties on Some Turkish Iron, Steel Imports

The European Union will impose tariffs from Friday on hot-rolled iron and steel products from Turkey based on an ongoing investigation into dumping.The duties will range from 4.8% to 7.6% and affect Turkish companies Erdemir, Isdemir, Colakoglu Metalurji and Habas, according to the text of the EU official journal published on Thursday.The complaint shows that EU steel consumption was 4% lower in 2019 than 2016, while Turkish exporters increased their market share to 8.1% from 2.8%…

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Baltic Index Marks First Yearly Gain in Three

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index posted its first annual gain in three years on Thursday as iron ore shipments to China bounced higher, despite a hit to shipping activity due to the coronavirus pandemic.The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, was up 4 points, or 0.3%, at 1,366, its highest level in over eight weeks.The index firmed by 3.1% this week, marking its third consecutive weekly rise.For the year, the overall index has gained by 25.3%."China forges more steel than the rest of the world combined…

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BIMCO’s Shipping Number of the Week: US imports Christmas Tree Lighting Sets Imports Up 3%

During the first 10 months of the year, the US has imported a total of 151.4 million sets of Christmas tree lights to decorate their homes this holiday season. Although that represents a 3% rise compared with the same period last year, the figure fails to match the record 189.9 million Christmas tree lighting sets that were imported during the first ten months of 2018.BIMCO has closely followed US imports of Christmas tree lights since tariffs were imposed on imports of these from China in September 2018…

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Britain's Retail Industry Demands Probe of Disruption at Ports

Britain’s retailers and food manufacturers have called on lawmakers to urgently investigate ongoing disruption at UK ports, warning that delays were hurting their plans to build stocks ahead of Christmas and the December 31 end of the Brexit transition period.The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said on Thursday they had written to Lilian Greenwood, chair of parliament’s Commons Transport Select Committee, and Angus Brendan MacNeil, chair of the International Trade Committee…

Source: BIMCO

BIMCO Number of the Week: Europe-bound Container spot rates Exceed $6,000

As spot container freight rates entered December, they also entered record-braking territory, climbing from $3,076 per FEU on the last day of November to $4,858 per FEU on first day of December. This was a milestone in its own way.Since then, all stars aligned for a continued climb that has seen spot rates break through the $6,000 per FEU mark on 15 December, now quoted at $6,102 per FEU (on December 16, 2020). (source: Xeneta).Massive BREXIT frontloading imports and so much moreThe…

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Busiest US Seaport, Buried in Imports, Plucks out Toys to Load Santa's Sleigh

Workers at the busiest U.S. seaport are plucking containers of toys off ships and out of massive stacks of cargo swamping docks at the Southern California trade gateway to get holiday gifts under trees in time for Christmas.“We’ve never had this much cargo,” Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said on Tuesday, when the port announced that imports spiked 25% during the month of November.With so much cargo flooding in ahead of Christmas, “we’re essentially in a triage situation…

Ships lined up at Port of Oakland docks (photo courtesy of Port of Oakland)

Port of Oakland: Imports Rise, Exports Fall in November

Full import containers at the Port of Oakland were up just under 1% in November 2020 compared to November of last year. Loaded export boxes at the Oakland seaport dipped 2.6% in November 2020 compared to the same month in 2019.Full import containers in November 2020 totaled 78,045 TEUs (one TEU is the equivalent of a 20-foot container). This figure was 0.9 percent higher than November 2019 loaded imports which totaled 77,367 TEUs.Although strong import demand continues in the U.S., November import cargo volume was not as high as anticipated at Oakland.

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China Says Coal Imports Failed Environment Standards

Some coal imported into China had failed to meet environmental standards, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday in response to reports of dozens of shipments of Australian coal stalled in Chinese ports."In recent years Chinese customs have conducted risk monitoring assessments on the safety and quality of imported coal, and we found that many coal imports have failed to meet environmental standards," foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said when asked about the Australian…

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Global Crude Market Finds Support From China Demand

China, the global oil market's lifeline this year, has stepped up purchases from exporters like Russia, the United States and Angola in recent weeks, while buyers elsewhere pare orders as coronavirus infections surge and fresh lockdowns are put in place.China, the world's largest importer of crude, is the only major buyer expected to see increased oil demand this year as the pandemic destroyed consumption globally.With China's imports expected to reach 12 million barrels per day (bpd) next year…

(Photo: Port of Los Angeles)

US Import Boom is Delaying Cargo at Nation's Busiest Port

Record cargo imports are causing delays that are rippling from the nation’s busiest U.S. port complex to other parts of the transportation network, port officials and other executives said.Total volume at the Port of Los Angeles hit 980,729 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) in October, up more than 27% versus the year earlier. Loaded imports, which accounted for more than half of shipments, jumped 29% - marking the third consecutive month of robust growth.The typical holiday shipping…

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Port of Oakland Imports Jump 10.4%

The Port of Oakland said Wednesday that its October imports grew 10.4% compared to October 2019. The port also said containerized export volume was down 0.5% when compared to October 2019. Total TEUs for October were 216,686, up 5.8% compared to October 2019 when TEUs were 204,880.The port attributed the jump in imports to the pandemic changing consumer spending habits. The port said consumer products are driving the strong import performance from Asia. In turn, this is causing…

Synergy Group, one of the world’s leading ship managers, has successfully converted an LNG carrier into a Floating Storage Unit. Pictured: The FSU at Sembcorp Marine’s Admiralty Yard in Singapore. Photo: Synergy Group

LNG to FSU Conversion Completed at Sembcorp

Ship managers Synergy Group converted a 1992-built, 126,000 cubic meters capacity Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carrier into a Floating Storage Unit (FSU). The conversion was performed at Sembcorp Marine’s Admiralty Yard in Singapore.Synergy will manage, maintain and operate the FSU, which has a projected lifespan of 15 years. It will be deployed in Myanmar where it will be manned by a Synergy crew of 25 seafarers.The FSU will be moored permanently and used to receive and store…

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China October Iron Ore Imports Dip

China’s iron ore imports slipped 1.7% in October from a month earlier, but still hovered well above 100 million tonnes, official customs data showed on Saturday, propped up by firm demand at Chinese mills and shipments from major miners.The world’s top iron ore consumer imported 106.74 million tonnes of the steelmaking ingredient in October, 14.9% more than in October 2019, but still below the 108.55 million tonnes brought in during September, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.For the first 10 months of 2020…

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BIMCO: "Soya bean bonanza," U.S. Exports Strongest in History

Following years of disruption to US soya bean exports due to the US-China trade war, the first seven weeks of the 2020/2021 marketing year, which runs from 1 September to 31 August, have seen the strongest exports ever. By October 15, 11.4 million tons of soya beans had been exported by the US, an 85.3% jump from the first seven weeks in the previous marketing year. It is also 19.4% above the previous record in the 2017/2018 marketing year in which 9.6 million tons of soya beans were exported in the same period.Average weekly exports so far this year stand at 1.6 million tons…

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Container Lines Expect US Import Binge to Lose Steam

Surging shipments into the United States are fueling record high freight costs and logjams at seaports, but transportation executives say the rally will lose steam with a second wave of COVID-19 restrictions on the cards.Container shipping companies, which move goods for customers including Amazon.com and Walmart, got stung late last year and early this year when COVID-19 halted trade around the world, and they question whether the U.S. import boom can be sustained."Let's not get carried away," Rolf Habben Jansen, chief executive of Germany's Hapag Lloyd, told reporters.

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China Set to Become World's Top Corn Importer

China’s government is discussing permits for millions of tonnes of additional corn imports over the next year, three industry sources told Reuters, amid a surge in animal feed demand and after storms and drought damage tightened domestic supplies.A round of new import orders from China would make it the world’s top importer of corn for the first time and likely drive up global prices of corn and other grains. That would amplify food inflation caused by disruptions to global supply chains due to the coronavirus pandemic.Food security has emerged as a global theme during the pandemic…

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Japan Export Decline Slows Dramatically

Japan’s exports fell in September at the slowest pace in seven months as U.S.-bound vehicle shipments rose from lows brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating easing pressure on the world’s third-largest economy.Exports fell 4.9% in September compared with the same month a year earlier, more than the 2.4% economists forecast in a Reuters poll. Still, the pace followed six months of double-digit decline, including a 14.8% drop in August.Fewer exports of iron to Taiwan and ships to Panama left September marking the 22nd consecutive month of export decline…

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MARAD Awards $220 Mln in Port Infrastructure Grants

More than $220 million in discretionary grant funding has been awarded to improve U.S. port facilities in 16 states and territories through the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Program, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced Thursday.“This $220 million in federal grants will improve America’s ports with nearly half the projects are located in Opportunity Zones, which were established to revitalize economically distressed communities,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L.

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Ships Wait to Unload at Port of Los Angeles as Imports Boom

Incoming cargo to the Port of Los Angeles is surging as businesses restock depleted inventories and retailers prepare for an early holiday season, the executive director for the nation's busiest seaport said on Wednesday.Workers unloaded 471,795 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) of imports in September, 17% more than the year earlier, marking the second month of robust import gains at the No. 1 gateway for U.S. trade with China.That trend has carried into October, said Gene Seroka…

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China Has Reportedly Banned Australian Coal Imports

Australia is investigating media reports that China has stopped taking its coal shipments, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday, adding that such import quotas to support China's market were "not uncommon".Trade industry reports late last week suggested that some Chinese ports had been told not to accept Australian thermal and metallurgical coal, and that Australian shipments were being sold along to other markets at the last minute.China's imports of coal had been expected to slow in the second half…

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Container Shortage Delays Shipments of Brazil's Record Coffee Crop

Coffee traders are struggling to ship cargos out of Brazilian ports because of a shortage of available containers or space in vessels to hold them, according to traders and analysts.Brazil's economy is suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic, causing a 40% slide in its currency, the real. That spurred a flood of exports of now-cheaper goods, but imports have dropped sharply, causing the imbalance in containers that has led to delays.That's a direct hit to Brazil, which with…

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US, China Reach 31% of Phase One Commitments in 8 Months -BIMCO

In the first eight months of 2020, value of the trade of the commodities included in the Phase One agreement between the U.S. and China reached 30.9% of the total commitments under the agreement, says shipping association BIMCO. The goods are separated into three categories, with manufactured goods closest to reaching the target (36.4%), agricultural goods next (28.8%) and energy goods last (17.4%). The share of commitments reached is measured in value terms, as these form the basis of the agreement.August was the strongest month of the year…

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BIMCO Analyzes Stall in China Coal Imports

Although many of China’s major bulk imports, such as iron ore and crude oil, have seen strong growth so far this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, imports of coal have followed the opposite trajectory. Staggering high growth in January through April has been replaced with monthly coal import growth rates in May through August below the levels recorded in the same months of 2019.This year’s coal import volumes have seen the lowest growth rate in the past three years. In the first eight months of this year…