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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Reuters News

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Ever Given Held in Egypt as Compensation Talks Continue

A ship that blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week in March has not been given clearance to leave the waterway as discussions continue over a compensation claim made to the vessel’s owner Shoei Kisen, an official from the Japanese company said on Tuesday.The Ever Given has been in a lake separating two sections of the canal since it was dislodged on March 29, as the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) conducts investigations.Yumi Shinohara, deputy manager with owner Shoei Kisen’s fleet management department…

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French Container Shipping Firm Offers to Rebuild Beirut's Port Within Three Years

French container shipping group CMA CGM is pursuing a plan to rebuild Beirut's port within three years, despite political deadlock in Lebanon that has prevented decisions on the port since a blast last August, a company executive said.A chemical explosion at the port killed 200 people and destroyed entire neighborhoods, deepening Lebanon's worst political and economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.CMA CGM's plan, first outlined to Lebanese authorities in September, envisages the reconstruction of damaged docks and warehouses…

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Global Supply Lines Struggle to Clear Container Backlog After Suez Chaos

A backlog of container ships carrying consumer goods has grown in some key strategic ports after a near week-long blockage in the Suez Canal, adding to ongoing disruptions to global trade, industry sources say.Dozens of container ships were stuck when the 400-metre-long (430-yard) Ever Given ran aground in the canal on March 23, with specialist rescue teams taking almost a week to free the vessel.The suspension of sailings through the waterway left shipping companies - including container lines - with millions of dollars in extra costs…

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Reinsurers Set to Bear Brunt of Costs for Suez Canal Grounding

Reinsurers are set to foot most of the bill for the grounding of the ship that halted traffic in the Suez Canal, industry sources said, with payouts expected to run into hundreds of millions of dollars.International supply chains were thrown into disarray when the 400 meter Ever Given ran aground in the canal on March 23, with specialist rescue teams taking almost a week to free the vessel.Around 400 vessels were affected by the canal’s closure, which led to some having to divert around Africa to get supplies to global markets.Ships typically have protection & indemnity (P&I) insurance…

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Suez Canal May Expand Southern Channel, Chairman Says

The Suez Canal Authority is considering expanding the southern section of the waterway where the container ship Ever Given became stranded, its chairman said on Tuesday.It is also looking into procuring cranes that could potentially offload cargo at heights of up to 52 meters, Osama Rabie told Reuters in an interview.“Our procedures are sound, we are just aiming to improve the service,” he said.The 400-meter-long Ever Given became grounded diagonally across the southern section of the canal during high winds on March 23.

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Suez Blockage May Lead to Large Reinsurance Claims, Broker Says

The blockage of the Suez Canal is likely to lead to large reinsurance claims, adding to upward pressure on marine reinsurance rates, James Vickers, chair of reinsurance broker Willis Re International, told Reuters.Formal investigations began this week into how the giant container ship Ever Given ran aground in the canal, shutting down shipping in the major global waterway for almost a week.The incident and its impact on hundreds of ships delayed in the canal would be a “large loss” for insurance market Lloyd’s of London…

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Lloyd's of London Sees 'Large Loss' Due to Suez Canal Blockage

The blockage of the Suez Canal for nearly a week will result in a “large loss” for Lloyd’s of London, its chairman said on Wednesday, as the insurance market recorded a 900 million pound ($1.2 billion) pretax loss in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The Canal is working to clear the backlog after the refloating this week of a stranded giant container ship. The blockage threw global supply chains into disarray.Bruce Carnegie-Brown told Reuters it was too early to estimate the exact loss…

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Global Reinsurers Stare at Massive Losses from Suez Canal Blockage

The blocking of the Suez Canal by one of the world’s largest container ships is likely to result in losses worth hundreds of millions of euros for the reinsurance industry, Fitch Ratings said, even as rescue teams were successful in partially refloating the vessel on Monday.The 400-metre (430-yard) long Ever Given got wedged diagonally across the canal in high winds early last Tuesday, blocking the path for hundreds of vessels waiting to transit the shortest shipping route between…

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Stranded at Sea, Coronavirus Takes a Toll on Seafarers' Mental Health

When Ritesh Mehra, 43, enlisted for a four-month stint as captain on a liquid gas tanker last July, he never expected to be stranded at sea until spring.“Twice it has happened that the ports are not allowing crew change,” Mehra told Reuters via Zoom from the bridge of the 80,000 tonne ship docked outside the Indian port of Haldia.“My family won’t trust me anymore. I have been giving them dates when I would come home from December.”Mehra, who has 20 years’ experience at sea, is also trying to buoy the spirits of his nervous crew of 23…

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Suez Crisis Adds to Pandemic Supply Worries

A stranded container ship blocking the Suez Canal threatens to make it even more difficult for European and U.S. retailers to keep products in stock during the coronavirus pandemic.The Suez Canal saga that began on Tuesday and could go on for weeks, is just the latest crisis to strike the global supply chain that was upended when coronavirus shutdowns spurred house-bound consumers to upgrade appliances, sofas, televisions and backyards.IKEA, the world’s largest furniture seller…

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Stranded Suez Ship's Owner, Insurers Face Millions in Claims

The owner and insurers of one of the world's largest container ships stuck in the Suez Canal face claims totaling millions of dollars even if the ship is refloated quickly, industry sources said on Wednesday.The 400-metre, 224,000-tonne Ever Given ran aground on Tuesday morning after losing the ability to steer amid high winds and a dust storm, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said in a statement, threatening to disrupt global shipments for days.GAC, a Dubai-based marine services company…

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Jurong Port Buys Lim Family's Stake in Universal Terminal

Singapore port operator Jurong Port has completed its acquisition of a stake in a major oil storage terminal in the city-state from the family behind collapsed oil trader Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd, a port spokesman said on Saturday.The spokesman said government-owned Jurong Port had completed the purchase of a 41% stake in Universal Terminal from the Lim family. He declined to give details on the transaction.A lawyer for the family did not immediately respond to a Reuters email…

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Oil Demand Drag Takes a Toll on Tankers

U.S. refiners are scaling back on hiring ships for longer periods to save on costs in another sign of uncertainty over when global oil demand will return to pre-COVID levels, shipping and trade sources say.The global rollout of coronavirus vaccines and the expectation that government-offered stimulus packages will boost the world economy has raised expectations of a recovery in oil consumption. But fuel demand remains sluggish, keeping oil refiners under pressure and looking for ways to limit further losses.The International Energy Agency…

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US Corn Shipments Flirting With All-time Highs

Record U.S. corn sales, especially those to China, mean that exporters will be extremely busy for at least the next six months. But they no longer need to set new records, as the recent corn shipping pace has sufficiently boosted the efforts.Updated figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday placed corn export inspections, a proxy for actual exports, at 2.05 million tonnes for the week ended February 25. That is the second-largest volume for any week behind the one ended Nov. 30, 1989, with 2.3 million tonnes.Market participants have been anxiously watching the pace of U.S.

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India Gearing Up to Start Full Operations at Iran's Chabahar Port

India expects to start full-scale operations at Iran’s Chabahar general cargo port it has built by the end of May, the country’s shipping minister said in a boost for regional trade.India has been developing a part of the port on Iran’s south-eastern coast along the Gulf of Oman as a way to transport goods to Iran, but also Afghanistan and central Asian countries, and avoiding rival Pakistan.But U.S. sanctions on Iran slowed down the port’s development and Indian officials are…

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MARKETS: Hedge Funds Sell Oil

Hedge funds have reduced their position in petroleum futures and options for the first time in 16 weeks, the first weekly net sales since the first successful coronavirus vaccine trials were announced in early November.Hedge funds and other money managers sold the equivalent of 9 million barrels in the six most important petroleum futures and options contracts in the week to Feb. 23.The sale comes after portfolio managers purchased a total of 548 million barrels over the previous 15 weeks, according to records published by ICE Futures Europe and the U.S.

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One-third of Hin Leong Founder's Ships Sold to Pay Down Debt

About one third of the roughly 150 ships owned by companies controlled by Singapore tycoon Lim Oon Kuin and his family have been sold as part of efforts to repay billions of dollars of debt owed to creditors, two sources told Reuters.Accounting firm Grant Thornton, court-appointed supervisor of Xihe Holdings, put up several vessels for sale through shipbrokers in September last year. Xihe Holdings is owned by the Lim family and held the bulk of their fleet.The rest of the ships…

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Lebanese Court Removes Investigator Who Charged Politicians Over Beirut Blast

A Lebanese court on Thursday dismissed a judge who had charged top politicians with negligence over last year’s Beirut port explosion, infuriating families of victims who said it showed that the state would never hold powerful men to account.Judge Fadi Sawan had led the investigation into one of the largest non-nuclear blasts in history. In December, he charged three ex-ministers and the outgoing prime minister with negligence.Two hundred people died in the August blast when a huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate, stored unsafely for years, detonated at the capital’s port.

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Cold Snap Shuts Houston Ship Channel

A deep freeze that hit Texas over the weekend wrought more havoc on the U.S. energy sector on Tuesday, curbing output in the largest U.S. oil field, knocking out a fifth of the nation's refining capacity, and shutting a key shipping channel in Houston.Historic cold has knocked out roughly 4 million barrels per day of refining capacity, more than one-fifth of national capacity, according to Reuters calculations. About 500,000 to 1.2 million bpd of crude production has also been affected…

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Brazil's Slow Soybean Harvest Widens US Export Window

Harvesting delays in Brazil, the world’s top soybean producer, are prompting buyers led by China to rely on rival exporter the United States for longer than usual in 2021, according to government data and traders.Sustained demand for U.S. soybeans is accelerating an historic drawdown of U.S. supplies of the oilseed and could further drive up soybean prices at a time of rising food inflation as countries hoard staples during the pandemic.Concerns over tight global soybean supplies after China dramatically increased purchases in recent months ignited a 4.5% U.S.

India Lines Up Port for Rice, Exports to Surge Amid Global Shortage

India’s southern state of Andhra Pradesh will use a deepwater port to export rice for the first time in decades amid a global shortage of the grain, according to a government order seen by Reuters, which could raise shipments this year by a fifth.The order, issued late on Wednesday, allows Kakinada Deep Water Port to handle rice until more capacity is created at the adjoining Anchorage Port.Congestion at the Kakinada Anchorage Port, India’s biggest rice-handling facility, had led to a waiting period of up to four weeks compared with the normal wait of about a week…

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Oil Tanker Market Facing Rougher Seas

A plunge in the volume of crude oil stored on ships combined with unexpected cuts from top producer Saudi Arabia have created a glut of vessels available for hire, pressuring the outlook for supertankers this year.Earnings for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) in 2020 reached record highs of more than $240,000 a day as the coronavirus battered demand, creating an oil surplus and a scramble for storage on land and sea. Rates have since dropped to $7,000 a day.“Right now, it is really as bad as it gets for the VLCC market.

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China Low-sulphur Marine Fuel Exports Hit New Heights

China's exports of clean marine fuels rose in December to a record since shipments began a year ago, taking 2020 exports of the ship fuel to 15.45 million tonnes, customs data showed on January 20, 2021.Chinese oil refineries began exporting very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) in January to comply with emission rules set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), after Beijing granted tax incentives to boost production and help create a regional bunkering hub. In December…

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Beirut Blast Chemicals Possibly Linked to Syrian Businessmen

The company that bought the ammonium nitrate which exploded in Beirut last August had possible links to two Syrian businessmen under U.S. sanctions for ties to President Bashar al-Assad, according to a report by a Lebanese journalist and London company filings.Savaro Ltd, the trading firm which procured the chemicals in 2013, shared a London address with companies linked to George Haswani and Imad Khoury, according to the report by documentary film-maker Firas Hatoum, which aired on Lebanon’s al-Jadeed TV station this week.Haswani…

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LNG Carrier Bottleneck at Panama Canal Could Last Until March

Congestion delaying LNG shipments via the Panama Canal is expected to last through the peak demand winter months, traders close to the situation said, although the canal's regulator said it had made changes to speed up transit.The price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and shipping rates have hit record highs because of the bottleneck, supply constraints and heavy demand from Asia, where freezing weather has placed the energy supply system under strain.Ships carrying LNG from the United States to meet the Asian demand waited for up to two weeks in December to navigate the canal.

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Interpol Issues Red Notices for Ship Captain, Owner Over Beirut Blast

Interpol has issued red notices for the captain and owner of the ship that carried the chemicals which devastated Beirut in an explosion in August, killing 200 people, Lebanon’s state media said.Five months since one of the biggest non-nuclear blasts on record, big questions remain about the ammonium nitrate that detonated after being stored at the port for years.The Interpol notices, which are not international arrest warrants, ask authorities worldwide to provisionally detain people pending possible extradition or other legal actions.