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Monday, October 26, 2020

Reuters News

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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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Top Global Traders Push to Cut Shipping Emissions

Some of the world's biggest commodities and energy players on Wednesday launched an initiative to cut and track emissions from the ships they charter as efforts intensify to reduce the maritime industry's carbon footprint.About 90% of world trade is transported by sea, and the UN shipping agency the International Maritime Organization (IMO) aims to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050.Carbon emissions from shipping rose in the six-year period to 2018 and accounted for 2.89% of the world’s CO2, the latest IMO-commissioned study showed, mounting pressure on the

Historical growth and prospects of gas investment for short-, medium- and long-term ($ billion). Source: GECF Secretariat, based on data from the GECF GGM

Rolling the Dice in Chaos: The Prospects of Investment in the Gas Industry

As stated in the Declaration of Malabo at the 5th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the GECF Member Countries, in order to sustain the security of demand and supply of natural gas, it is necessary to ensure sufficient investments through the entire gas value chain among all gas market stakeholders [1].Since the start of 2020, every aspect of the global economy, including investment projects in natural gas industry, have been strongly hit by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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EU Parliament Votes to Make Ships Pay for Their Emissions

The European Parliament on Tuesday voted in favour of including greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime sector in the European Union's carbon market from 2022, throwing its weight behind EU plans to make ships pay for their pollution.Shipping is the only sector which does not face EU targets to cut emissions, but it is coming under increased scrutiny as the bloc attempts to steer industries towards its plan to become "climate neutral" by 2050.In a vote on Tuesday, EU lawmakers said the bloc's carbon market should be expanded to include emissions from voyages within Europe…

Hurricane Sally (Photo: NOAA)

Offshore Oil Wells, Ports Shut as Hurricane Sally Advances on U.S. Gulf

Energy companies, ports and refiners raced on Monday to shut down as Hurricane Sally grew stronger while lumbering toward the central U.S. Gulf Coast, the second significant hurricane to shutter oil and gas activity over the last month.The hurricane is disrupting oil imports and exports as the nation's sole offshore terminal, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), stopped loading tanker ships on Sunday, while the port of New Orleans closed on Monday.The U.S. government said 21%…

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US Preparing Tighter Oil Sanctions on Venezuela

The Trump administration is looking to tighten oil sanctions on Venezuela in the near future, top U.S. envoy for the country told Reuters on Monday, by potentially removing exemptions that allow some oil companies to exchange Venezuelan crude for fuel from the OPEC member.U.S. President Donald Trump has ramped up sanctions on Venezuela's state-run PDVSA, its key foreign partners and customers since it first imposed measures against the company in early 2019, seeking to oust the…

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Chinese Buyers Snap up Indian Steel in Face of Trade Tensions

India's steel exports more than doubled between April and July to hit their highest level in at least six years, boosted by a surge of Chinese buying in defiance of tensions between Beijing and New Delhi.Traders said reduced prices had driven the purchases as Indian sellers sought to get rid of a surplus generated by the impact of COVID-19 on domestic demand and generate much-needed income.It was unclear whether the sales broke any trade rules, but the China Iron and Steel Association…

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Stored Crude, Condensate Could be Shipped from Shuttered Libyan Ports

A limited reopening of Libyan oil terminals could allow the export of some crude oil and condensate stored at Es Sider, Brega, Zueitina and Hariga, but leaves a months-long blockade of the ports in place, oil engineers say.East Libyan authorities said on Wednesday they would permit exports of the stored products in an effort to ease an electricity supply crisis that has resulted in increasingly lengthy power cuts.The ports have been blockaded since January by east Libyan factions as part a wider conflict…

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China Ramps up US Oil Purchases Ahead of Trade Deal Review

U.S. crude oil shipments to China will rise sharply in coming weeks, U.S. traders and shipbrokers and Chinese importers said, as the world’s top economies gear up to review a January deal after a prolonged trade war.Chinese state-owned oil firms have tentatively booked tankers to carry at least 20 million barrels of U.S. crude for August and September, the people said, moves that may ease U.S. concerns that China’s purchases are trending well short of purchase commitments under the Phase 1 of the trade deal.China had emerged as a top U.S.

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US' FBI to Help Lebanon Probe Beirut Explosion

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation on Friday confirmed that it will assist authorities in Lebanon investigating the cause of the explosion that devastated Beirut and killed 172 people."At the request of the Government of Lebanon, the FBI will be providing our Lebanese partners investigative assistance in their investigation into the explosions at the Port of Beirut on August 4th," FBI headquarters said in a statement to Reuters."As this is not an FBI investigation, the FBI will not offer additional comment at this time.

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Hapag-Lloyd Nearly Doubles H1 Profit

German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd nearly doubled net profit in the first half of 2020 and kept its full-year outlook intact but warned that the coronavirus crisis bears indiscernible risks for its operations."We have not put the pandemic behind us. Compared to a normal situation, customers' booking behaviour is volatile," Chief Executive Rolf Habben Jansen told Reuters.Transport volumes at Hapag-Lloyd, the world's number five in the industry, were down 3.5% year-on-year…

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Who Owned the Chemicals that Blew up Beirut? No One Will Say

In the murky story of how a cache of highly explosive ammonium nitrate ended up on the Beirut waterfront, one thing is clear—no one has ever publicly come forward to claim it.There are many unanswered questions surrounding last week's huge, deadly blast in the Lebanese capital, but ownership should be among the easiest to resolve.Clear identification of ownership, especially of a cargo as dangerous as that carried by the Moldovan-flagged Rhosus when it sailed into Beirut seven years ago…

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Brokers Calculate Marine Insurance Losses from Beirut Blast

Insurance claims for damage to ships, goods and the port itself after a warehouse explosion last week in the port of Beirut were likely to total less than $250 million, reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter said on Monday.Overall insured losses - including property damage - from the August 4 port warehouse detonation of more than 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate may reach around $3 billion, sources told Reuters last week.The explosion killed at least 163 people, injured more than 6…

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PDVSA Changes Oil Deals to Include Shipping as Sanctions Bite

Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA has begun offering to ship its own oil, figuring in the costs in crude supply deals to help customers who have struggled to hire vessels to carry the country’s oil due to U.S. sanctions, according to company documents seen by Reuters.The United States has blacklisted vessel owners, shipping operators and threatened to sanction any tanker facilitating the country’s oil exports as it tightens restrictions on trade with the South American country.Washington has been trying to weaken socialist President Nicolas Maduro by choking the OPEC member’s oil exports…

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Beirut Blast Caused by Ammonium Nitrate Seized from Cargo Ship

Initial investigations into the Beirut port blast indicate years of inaction and negligence over the storage of highly explosive material caused the explosion that killed more than 100 people, an official source familiar with the findings said.The prime minister and presidency have said that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilizers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures."It is negligence," the official source told Reuters, adding…

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Deadly Explosion Rips Through Beirut Port Area

A powerful blast in port warehouses near central Beirut storing highly explosive material killed 78 people, injured nearly 4,000 and sent seismic shockwaves that shattered windows, smashed masonry and shook the ground across the Lebanese capital.Officials said they expected the death toll to rise further after Tuesday's blast as emergency workers dug through rubble to rescue people and remove the dead. It was the most powerful explosion in years in Beirut, which is already reeling from an economic crisis and a surge in coronavirus infections.President Michel Aoun said that 2…

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South Korea's July Exports Record Slowest Decline in Four Months

South Korean exports fell the slowest in four months and beat market expectations, data showed on Saturday, a further sign a recovery in Asia’s fourth-largest economy is gaining traction, although threats loom from global flare-ups in the COVID-19 pandemic.Overseas sales fell 7.0% in July from a year earlier, the trade ministry said, the fifth month of decline but much less than June’s 10.9% fall and the 9.7% drop tipped in a Reuters survey.South Korea is the first major exporting economy to release monthly trade data…

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Chinese Shipments Held for Extra Customs Checks in India

Customs officials at Chennai, one of India’s biggest ports, have held shipments originating from China for extra checks, sources aware of the delays told Reuters, amid a backlash against China over a border clash in which 20 Indian soldiers died.The increased scrutiny on shipments from China at Chennai Port, which handles various cargo including automobiles, auto components, fertilizers and petroleum products, could disrupt supply chains.While there is no official order from the government yet…

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Pandemic Forces Ship Owners to Shelve Scrubber Installs

Ship owners are postponing or canceling the installation of “scrubbers” that extract harmful sulphur emissions from their vessels as the coronavirus pandemic tightens finances.Regulations from United Nations agency the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which took effect in January, were viewed by the oil and shipping industries as one of the first worldwide efforts to enforce environmental change.The rules aimed to make ships use fuel with a sulphur content of 0.5%, compared with 3.5% previously.

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CMA CGM to Impose Emergency Surcharge at Cape Town Port

CMA CGM, the world's fourth-largest container shipping line, will impose emergency congestion surcharges at Cape Town port in July due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus, it has told customers.From July 1 until further notice, it will impose a surcharge of $550 for 20-foot containers and reefers and a $1,100 surcharge for 40-foot containers and reefers, CMA said in the letter dated June 17 that was seen by Reuters.Western Cape province, which includes Cape Town, is the epicenter of South Africa's coronavirus outbreak…

Anders Gronborg (Photo: Trafigura)

New TFG Marine CEO to Leave in September

The new chief executive of Trafigura's marine fuels joint venture TFG Marine will leave the business at the end of September, the company said on Monday without disclosing the reason for his departure.Anders Gronborg was appointed CEO in April after ending a 27-year career at World Fuel Services in 2018.The company and Gronborg have agreed to part in a "mutually agreed exit", a company spokeswoman said in an emailed statement, adding that his last day will be Sept. 30."The Board…

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US Oil Exports to Europe Rebound

The United States has increased oil supply to Europe in July for the first month since May, making up for output cuts from OPEC+ members, according to traders and Refinitiv Eikon data.U.S. crude supply to Europe reached nearly 31 million barrels in July, according to Refinitiv Eikon data as of July 24. With crude prices back above $40 a barrel, U.S. producers have rushed to claim market share while the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, is still cutting supply drastically.U.S.

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Indigenous Leaders Fear Amazon Soy Port Could be Conduit for COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic reaches deep into Brazil’s Amazon, a ceaseless stream of trucks carry soybeans and construction workers to an expanding port complex in the heart of the forest.Indigenous activists have opposed the Itaituba port in Pará state for nearly a decade, even before shipments began there in 2014.But now the pandemic and expansion works are fueling new fears about the port’s impact on traditional communities and the biodiversity riches of the Tapajós river.“There’s a flow of workers all the time. Nothing’s changed.

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Spring Oil Flood Causes Summer Queues in Chinese Ports

Chinese ports are struggling to unload record volumes of crude with storage tanks full after the country rushed to buy extra barrels during April's oil price crash, according to traders and shipping data seen by Reuters.More than 80 million barrels of crude oil are currently waiting to be discharged from tankers in Chinese ports, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.Half of those are at the Qingdao port area in Shandong province, where the waiting time is two-three weeks or sometimes even longer…

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Chinese Ports Hit Capacity as Virus Tests Slow Clearing

Testing of imported foods for the new coronavirus is pushing capacity at some major Chinese ports to their limit, major shippers told customers this week, warning of additional fees and possible diversions to other ports.China stepped up inspections of imported food last month after an outbreak of the coronavirus among people working at and visiting a major food market in Beijing."Import container pick-up activities have been severely impacted and as a result reefer plugs are highly utilized especially at the port of Yantian and Ningbo," said German shipping firm Hapag-Lloyd in a customer noti

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Paranaguá Port Resumes Grain Loading After Fire

The Port of Paranaguá, Brazil's second busiest for soybean and sugar cargoes, is gradually resuming grain export operations after a fire that affected conveyor belts at two terminals, according to a statement from the port authority on Wednesday.Operations remain halted at the two affected terminals, connected to berths 212, 213 and 214, which form part of an export corridor comprising 11 terminals, the authority said.The belts at the two terminals struck by the fire were idle at the time it broke out…