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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Reuters News

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Mnuchin: China Talks "So far, so good"

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said talks with China went well on Wednesday, as the world's two largest economies try to iron out an agreement to resolve their trade dispute."So far, so good," he said when asked by reporters on how the meetings in Beijing went. He did not say who he met.Mnuchin said earlier he hoped for "productive" trade meetings as the two countries seek to end a festering dispute that has seen both sides level tariffs at one other.U.S. tariffs on $200…

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Libya Dreams of a Mega Port

A white foundation stone next to a deserted beach near the soporific Libyan port of Susah is all to show for a seven-year dream to build one of North Africa's biggest ports.Yet officials say Libya is now in final talks to award a U.S. firm a $1.5 billion deal to set up a "mega port" intended to transform the picturesque coast where families go for picnics into a vast container hub.Texas-based security firm Guidry Group confirmed to Reuters it planned to sign a 35-year deal to build and operate the project in a region once occupied by the ancient Greeks…

Photo: Ceva Logistics

CMA CGM Aims for Ceva Logistics Breakeven in 2019

CMA CGM is aiming for Ceva Logistics to break even this year, its finance chief said on Tuesday, as the French shipping group opened a share offer to cement its control of the Swiss freight specialist.CMA CGM's public tender will offer other shareholders 30 Swiss francs ($29.75) per share, valuing Ceva at 1.67 billion francs, a price agreed after Ceva rejected a takeover bid in October from Danish freight firm DSV.Marseille-based CMA CGM, one of the world's largest container shipping lines, became Ceva's core shareholder when the Swiss company floated on the Zurich stock market last year, as p

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U.S. Soybean Inventories at Record Levels

U.S. soybean supplies as of Dec. 1 were the biggest on record as demand for the oilseed fizzled amid a trade war between the United States and China, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Friday.USDA also trimmed its forecast of the U.S. soybean crop harvested last fall to 4.544 billion bushels from its previous estimate of 4.600 billion bushels.Soybean stocks as of Dec. 1 stood at 3.736 billion bushels. That compares with 3.161 billion bushels a year earlier, which had been the record.

Photo courtesy of Sri Lanka Port Authority

Sri Lanka Port Strike Ends

Sri Lankan customs officers on Tuesday called off a strike that left 6,000 containers stranded at the country's main port and put pressure on food prices, after the government agreed to reinstate their boss for three months.The strike by thousands of officials began a week ago in protest at the sacking of Director General P.S.M. Charles, who authorities blamed for a drop in customs revenue last year.It was not immediately clear how long the backlog of containers would take to clear after unions said late on Tuesday that the strike had ended.About 1…

Photo courtesy of Stena

Transport Firms Reviewing UK-registered Ships Ahead of Brexit

Sweden’s Stena and Bermuda-registered Stolt-Nielsen are reviewing their UK-registered ships ahead of Britain’s departure from the European Union, the two leading transport companies told Reuters separately on Wednesday."In the light of the Brexit process we are considering whether the UK flag can become a possible issue for us when it no longer will be an EU flag post the 29th March 2019, but we have taken no decisions and are reviewing different scenarios," said Ian Hampton, chief people & communications officer and Brexit spokesperson for Stena Line.A spokeswoman for Stolt-Nielsen…

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UK Shipping Lobby: 'Get a grip on Brexit'

British businesses implored politicians on Monday to stop quarrelling over Brexit and agree an orderly exit from the European Union, as some big firms set up emergency situations rooms to cope with the possible tumult of a no-deal divorce.With less than nine weeks until the United Kingdom is due by law to leave the European Union on March 29, there is no agreement yet in London on how and even whether to leave the world's biggest trading bloc.Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement…

File Image (CREDIT: CMA CGM)

CMA CGM in Effort to Buy rest of CEVA Logistics Shares

CMA CGM launches 30 Sfr/shr tender offer for CEVA shares; CEVA recommends shareholders decline the offer.ZURICH, Jan 28 (Reuters) - French shipping company CMA CGM on Monday formally launched a cash offer to buy out other shareholders of Ceva Logistics, valuing the Swiss freight forwarder at $1.67 billion as the companies pursue closer ties aimed at fueling growth and savings.CMA CGM, which already controls 50.6 percent of CEVA, and the Swiss company last year began developing a business plan to boost commercial cooperation and complementary services.At the time…

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LNG Import: China is World's No. 2 buyer in 2018

China's imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in December soared 25 percent from the same period a year earlier to a monthly record of 6.29 million tonnes, customs data showed on Wednesday.The previous record of 5.99 million tonnes was set in November.For the whole of 2018, imports grew 41 percent from 2017 to a record 53.78 million tonnes, according to the data from the General Administration of Customs. That saw China retain its position as the world's second-buyer buyer of the super-chilled fuel after Japan…

IMO 2020: Fujairah Tightens Exhaust Rules Ahead of 2020

Key Middle East oil terminal bans open-loop scrubbersFujairah in the United Arab Emirates has become the latest major port to ban a type of fuel exhaust cleaning system to comply with a coming tightening in rules regarding global sulphur emissions, mirroring similar moves in Singapore and China.Under International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that come into effect from 2020, ships will have to reduce the sulphur content in their fuel to less than 0.5 percent, compared with 3.5 percent now…

Photo: Port of Fujairah

UAE's Fujairah to Ban Ship Exhaust Cleaner When IMO 2020 Kicks In

The port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates has decided to ban the use of a type of ship exhaust cleaner, becoming the latest location to impose restrictions on so-called open-loop scrubbers, a port document showed.In recent months, many shipping companies have opted to fit scrubbers onboard their ships, ahead of major changes in the use of marine fuel across the world.The International Maritime Organization (IMO) will prohibit ships from using fuels with sulphur content above 0.5 percent from Jan.

Photo: NPT Group

Turkmen Oil Exports via Russia’s Novorossiisk Port to Resume

Exports of Turkmen oil via Russia's Black sea port of Novorossiisk will resume in February, four market sources said.Turkmenistan stopped transit of its oil via Russia in 2016 and has been exporting all its crude via the Azeri Caspian port of Baku.Pumping Turkmen oil through the Makhachkala-Novorossiisk pipeline could add as much as 200,000 tonnes of crude per month into Russia’s Transneft system. Turkmenistan is currently shipping oil via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline…

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IMO 2020: Oil Refining Capacity to Grow at Record Pace

Global oil refining capacity is set to increase at its fastest pace on record this year, possibly boosting stocks of products such as diesel, gasoline and marine fuel, the International Energy Agency said.Oil refining capacity will rise by 2.6 million barrels per day (bpd) and demand for refined products by around 1.1 million bpd, the IEA said in a monthly report.It was not clear yet what that meant for margins, which slumped as the price of crude rose last year, said the Paris-based IEA…

A bulk carrier loading coal in Port of Gdansk, Poland (© Nightman / Adobe Stock)

World Seaborne Coal Trade Rose 3.7% in 2018

World coal seaborne trade grew 3.7 percent last year helped by higher output in India, Indonesia and Russia, Germany's VDKI coal importers lobby said on Friday.Imports and exports rose to 1.202 billion tonnes from 1.159 billion tonnes in 2017, VDKI Managing Director Franz-Josef Wodopia said in an speech made available to Reuters.Of the total, trade in steam coal used in power stations rose by 3.6 percent to 920 million tonnes.Trade in coking coal used for steelmaking rose by 4.4 percent to 281 million tonnes…

(Photo: Coast Guard Netherlands)

MSC Starts Clean up in Dutch Waters after Container Spill

MSC has started cleaning up Dutch sea waters, 10 days after it lost nearly 300 containers from one of its largest cargo vessels in a storm."The clean up will likely take months," Dutch water authorities spokesman Edwin de Feijter said. "The largest part of the debris has been located, but there are still parts missing."291 containers, some holding hazardous chemicals, fell off one of the world's largest container ships, the MSC Zoe, on Jan. 2 in German waters near the island of Borkum during a North Sea storm.Two salvage ships left the harbor at IJmuiden…

U.N. Struggles to Implement Deal over Disputed Yemeni Port City

The guns have mostly fallen silent around the Yemeni port of Hodeidah and the skies are clear of warplanes, but a U.N.-sponsored deal for the warring armies to quit the city has stalled, risking efforts to end a conflict that has pushed the country to the brink of famine.The Iranian-aligned Houthis and the Saudi-backed government agreed to a ceasefire in Hodeidah and to withdraw forces at peace talks in Sweden in December following months of diplomacy and Western pressure to end…

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China Bans Open-Loop Scrubber Discharge at 'Some' Ports

China's maritime authority has banned the discharge of "wash water" used in ships to strip hazardous sulphur emissions from engine exhaust gases from Jan. 1 for some ports, according to a government document reviewed by Reuters on Tuesday.The ban on water discharge from so-called open-loop scrubbers is part of an effort to prepare for International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that will ban ships from using fuel oil with a sulphur content of more than 0.5 percent from 2020…

(Photo: Coast Guard Netherlands)

Dutch Authorities Demand Clean-Up Costs From MSC Line

Dutch authorities will hold Swiss shipping line MSC liable for the cost of cleaning up debris from more than 270 cargo containers that fell off one of its vessels and washed up on shore, officials said on Friday.The Dutch coastguard said a criminal investigation had been launched by prosecutors into the incident, one of the largest of its kind off the coast of the Netherlands.The containers, some holding hazardous chemicals, fell off one of the world's largest container ships…

UK Defends Brexit Ferry Contract to Inexperienced Ferry Operator

Britain's transport minister has defended awarding a 14 million-pound ($18 million) contract for shipping goods after Brexit to a new ferry company that owns no ships.The government last week awarded three contracts to charter extra ferries to ease congestion if the United Kingdom fails to secure a trade deal before leaving the European Union in March.The smallest contract was won by Seaborne Freight, a British business that has never previously operated a ferry route, raising concern about whether the new service would be ready."I make no apologies for supporting a new British business…

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Brexit:: P&O Re-flags Two Ships for Tax Reasons

British ferry and shipping freight operator P&O is reviewing its UK-registered fleet and is already re-flagging two vessels to keep European Union tax arrangements ahead of Britain's departure from the bloc, the company said.A P&O spokesman said two of its UK ships operating on the English Channel route to France would be re-flagged to Cyprus."The change is being made to preserve the tonnage tax financing arrangements, under which the ships should remain flagged in an EU member state," a statement said.The spokesman added that P&O was reviewing the flag status of its four other ships operating

Moda Midstream Loads First Supertanker at South Texas Terminal

Moda Midstream LLC, owner of a U.S. Gulf Coast crude export terminal, on Thursday began partially loading the first supertanker at its Ingleside, Texas, facility, the company said.The Houston-based operator, which purchased the facility from Occidental Petroleum Corp. in August, recently installed equipment capable of loading up to 80,000 barrels of crude oil per hour onto Very Large Crude Carriers, or VLCCs, which carry up to 2 million barrels.At a depth of 47 feet, the waterway near the terminal is deep enough to allow the company to load only 1.2 million barrels onto supertankers.

Photo courtesy of Hoegh LNG

FSRU Suppliers Shift from Emerging Markets, Cut Back New Orders

Political instability and low credit ratings in emerging economies are putting some shipowners off ordering new floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs), as they shift focus to more mature gas markets.Liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand from emerging markets in Asia, Africa and South America was expected to be boosted by FSRU technologies that are less expensive and time-consuming than onshore import terminals.But a boom in speculative FSRU orders from shipowners led to an oversupply of units this year as import projects across the world were delayed or cancelled…

File Image: a typical DP World facility (CREDIT: DP World)

Indian Court Refuses to Quash Antitrust Probe at Mumbai

An Indian court has declined to quash or stall an antitrust investigation into Dubai-based port operator DP World's alleged anti-competitive behaviour at the country's largest container port in Mumbai, three sources told Reuters on Wednesday.The Competition Commission of India (CCI) last month said it suspected antitrust violations by DP World and Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk at the terminals they operate at state-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).The CCI's probe followed a complaint by Singapore's PSA International Pte Ltd…

(Photo: Hoegh LNG)

Lithuania Plans to Buy an FSRU

Lithuania has given the go ahead to state-owned Klaipedos Nafta to purchase a liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage vessel by late 2024, as it shores up energy supplies and reduces its reliance on Russian natural gas.Klaipedos Nafta is currently leasing a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), called Independence, from Norway's Hoegh LNG.The use of the vessel has allowed Lithuania to import LNG since 2014, breaking the monopoly Russia's Gazprom had on natural gas supply to the country as well as neighboring Latvia and Estonia."This will keep us able…

Russia's First FSRU to Arrive at Kaliningrad to Start Up LNG Imports

Russia's first liquefied natural gas (LNG) floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) is expected to dock at the port of Kaliningrad on Dec. 18, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.The FSRU, called Marshal Vasilevskiy, is being installed at Kaliningrad - a city separated from Russia and bordering with Lithuania and Poland - by Russian energy major Gazprom in a move to bypass pipeline gas deliveries via Lithuania in case there are any disruptions in gas transit.The FSRU will be the first LNG import facility in Russia…

Saad al-Kaabi, President & CEO. Photo: Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi

Qatar to Invest USD 20 bln in US Energy Sector

Peninsular Arab country Qatar has said that it plans to invest more than $20 billion in the US energy sector over the next five years.According to a report in Reuters, minister of state for energy affairs of the energy-rich Qatar Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, who is also the  President & CEO of Qatar Petroleum, said he is looking to invest in US oil and gas sectors as well as unconventional resources.The report quoted Saad as saying: “North of USD20 billion will be invested over the…