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Sunday, July 5, 2020

Reuters News

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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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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…

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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…

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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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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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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Sugar Shipping Rush Causes Huge Vessel Logjam in Brazil

More than 70 ships are lined up at Brazil's port of Santos to load sugar for export in a queue that may take a month to clear after buyers worldwide scrambled to get ahead of possible disruption caused by the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic.A large share of the global sugar trade turned to Brazil, which posted record output, and after poor harvests in India and Thailand. The South American nation now has, however, the second-most COVID-19 cases worldwide at more than 610,000.Three bulk carriers had loading operations suspended in recent weeks and faced a 14-day quarantine in Santos…

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CMA CGM Sees Shipping Bottoming Out in Q2

CMA CGM expects activity in the shipping sector to bottom out during the second quarter as countries emerge from coronavirus-related lockdowns and ship operators adjust capacity, the France-based group's finance chief said.The world's fourth-largest container shipping line had anticipated a 15% year-on-year drop in its volumes in the second quarter, after a 4.6% decline in the first quarter, Chief Financial Officer Michel Sirat said."I think that the second quarter will be the low point," he told Reuters by telephone.

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Demand for Brazil Grains Rise as Argentine River Shipments Hit Snag

Global demand for Brazilian grains is growing as Argentina and Paraguay struggle with low water levels in a key river for agricultural shipments that is preventing ships from being fully loaded, a Brazilian trading company told Reuters on Thursday.Chief Executive Frederico Humberg of trading firm AgriBrasil said the company has sold three shipments of Brazilian corn where the buyer had initially sought to buy from Argentina."The buyer had purchased in Argentina, but ended up reverting to Brazil," Humberg said.Humberg said he knew of 10 shipments in total between AgriBrasil and other suppliers

(Photo: DP World)

Shipping Industry Goes Digital in Lockdown

The coronavirus lockdown has accelerated a digitalization drive in a global shipping and logistics sector that still routinely delivers many documents by bike messenger in some countries, according to industry leaders.Ports operator DP World said on Thursday it would join shipping company Maersk and other peers in a blockchain platform aimed at limiting the sector's costly paper trail."The situation around the coronavirus is a very good catalyst for making sure everyone in the supply chain can communicate with each other digitally," Mike Bhaskaran, DP World's chief operating officer for logist

File photo: Livestock carrier Al Kuwait (© Bob Prins / MarineTraffic.com)

Livestock Ship Held off Australia Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

A Kuwaiti livestock ship, without animals aboard, was being held off Australia’s west coast after six crew members tested positive for the new coronavirus, authorities said on Tuesday, heightening concerns over how arrivals by sea are handled.The Al Kuwait left the Middle East on May 7 and docked near the city of Perth on May 22 after telling the Australian immigration and agriculture authorities that some crew members had raised temperatures, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan…

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Israel Linked to Cyberattack on Iranian Port

Israel appears to be behind a cyberattack earlier this month on computers at Iran’s Shahid Rajaee port that caused massive backups on waterways and roads leading to the facility, the Washington Post reported on Monday.Citing unnamed U.S. and foreign government officials, the Post said the May 9 disruption of Iranian computers was presumably in retaliation for an earlier attempted cyberattack on rural water distribution systems in Israel.The Israeli Embassy in Washington did not…

Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels in April approached U.S. Military ships in international waters of the North Arabian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo)

US Tells Gulf Mariners to Stay Clear of Its Warships

In an alert that appeared aimed squarely at Iran, the U.S. Navy issued a warning on Tuesday to mariners in the Gulf to stay 100 meters away from U.S. warships or risk being “interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures.”The notice to mariners, which was first reported by Reuters, follows U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat last month to fire on any Iranian ships that harass Navy vessels."Armed vessels approaching within 100 meters of a U.S. naval vessel may be interpreted as a threat," according to the text of the notice.A U.S.

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PDVSA Creates New Ports Unit Amid Company Shakeup

Venezuela's state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela has created a new unit to run its oil terminals, according to a copy of the government's official gazette seen by Reuters and a person with knowledge of the matter.The launch of the new unit, PDV Puertos S.A., comes after socialist President Nicolas Maduro last month named a new PDVSA president and oil minister to try to revive the once-prosperous OPEC nation's crude output, which has fallen to decades-lows due to years of underinvestment and mismanagement as well as U.S.

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Hapag-Lloyd Keeps 2020 Guidance

German container liner Hapag-Lloyd on Friday stuck with its full-year earnings guidance but warned that supply disruptions and weaker demand due to the coronavirus crisis may lead to a revision of its forecast in the second half of 2020.The number five in worldwide container shipping, Hapag-Lloyd reported lower core profits in the first quarter on higher fuel costs and a devaluation of bunker stocks at the end of the period, when oil prices began to fall in a demand slump.The developments masked a positive impact from higher transport volumes - which increased by 4.3% to over 3 million 20-foot

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Collapsed Riverbank Disrupts Argentina's Exports

Ships transporting cargo from Argentina's Rosario grain hub through the Parana River are having to reduce their cargoes after a bank collapse obstructed the navigation channel, exporters told Reuters.Dredgers are working in the Parana to the south of the Rosario complex to try to restore the necessary depth of water for export traffic, but at present have no estimate of when normal operations on the grains superhighway can resume."Ships cannot leave because they do not have the adequate safety margin…

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China's Iron Ore Imports Jump in April

China's iron ore imports in April rose 11.4% from a month earlier on robust demand from steelmakers, as downstream sectors started to emerge from lockdowns to contain the coronavirus epidemic.Arrivals of the steelmaking ingredient were 95.71 million tonnes last month, data released on Thursday by the General Administration of Customs showed.That compares with imports of 85.91 million tonnes in March and 80.77 million tonnes a year earlier, when shipments from Brazil's top miner Vale SA were disrupted after a tailings dam disaster.In the first four months of 2020…

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China Exports, Imports Set to Plummet

China’s exports and imports are expected to record double-digit declines in April after a tentative recovery in March as the coronavirus pandemic batters global demand and disrupts manufacturing supply chains, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.The pessimistic projections reinforce concerns that the collapse in global demand will restrain the recovery in the world’s second-biggest economy as it gets back on its feet after weeks of paralysis due to the virus outbreak.Shipments out of China are likely to have fallen 15.7% in April from a year earlier…

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China to Issue VLSFO Quotas in Move to Grow Bunker Market Share

China is set to release its first-ever quotas to export very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) with total volumes of 10 million tonnes for this year, six industry officials with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.The quotas, which came in the wake of Beijing’s policy in January to offer tax sweeteners to boost local production of the fuel, paves the way for Chinese refiners to almost fully cover the demand from its coastal bonded marine fuel market of 12-14 million tonnes annually.The quotas will be issued to four state-run firms - Sinopec Group, CNPC, China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOO

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Pemex Trading Arm Mulls Canceling May-June Cargos

The trading arm of Mexican state oil company Pemex is mulling options to slash the number of fuel cargoes the country imports in May and June as demand plummets because of the coronavirus, three sources close to the talks told Reuters.Pemex last week declared force majeure over fuel supplies from its trading arm PMI Comercio Internacional after a bottleneck of more than 60 vessels built up outside Mexican ports, waiting to discharge.But PMI still has not declared force majeure…

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Russian Grain Exports to Continue Despite Quota

Russia’s online grain export quota was running out fast on Saturday as big traders rushed to get customs documents for future shipments, analysts said, adding that supplies from the world’s biggest wheat exporter would continue nevertheless.Russia set a quota for grain exports of 7 million tonnes for April through June following the outbreak of the virus. Russia's online calculator showed here that as of Saturday only 873,179 tonnes remained available for export based on the quota.Analysts…

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US Should Avoid Phased Approach in Kenya Trade Talks -Chamber of Commerce

The United States should work to achieve a single, comprehensive agreement with Kenya that removes barriers to trade and investment, instead of pursuing a phased approach, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a document viewed by Reuters.In comments submitted to the U.S. Trade Representative, the Chamber's U.S.-Africa Business Center said a high-standard agreement that eliminated all tariffs would boost the long-term economic outlook for both countries, and further position Kenya…

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Operators Warn of Congestion at Indian Ports

Singapore's PSA International and Indian container freight operators have warned the Indian government that its order to waive container storage charges during the coronavirus lockdown could lead to port congestion, letters seen by Reuters showed.India's Ministry of Shipping asked ports to allow free storage of containers as part of relief measures to ease pressure on companies hit by logistics restrictions because of India's nationwide lockdown.PSA's local unit in a letter to the government on April 24 said importers might not remove their containers from ports due to free storage…

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Brazil Agrees to Raise Level of the Parana River

Brazil has agreed to release water at the giant Itaipu hydroelectric dam to raise low water levels in the Parana River, a key thoroughfare for grains shipments, Argentina's Foreign Ministry said on Friday.Decade-low water levels on the Parana are forcing Argentine exporters to load less soy and other grains on ships bound largely for China, adding a new problem to a sector already beset by bottlenecks due to the coronavirus pandemic.The agreement with Brazil will allow for an additional 1,400 cubic meters of water flow to be added to the river, the ministry said in a statement.

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Ukraine Wheat Exports Jump Despite Government Warning

Ukrainian wheat exports jumped nearly 50 percent in the week of April 11-17 despite a government warning that it could ban shipments if export rates are too high.Preliminary data from the APK-Inform consultancy on Sunday showed that Ukraine exported 319,000 tonnes of wheat last week, up from 217,000 tonnes a week earlier.Taras Vysotskiy, deputy economy minister in charge of agriculture, told Reuters last week that Ukraine, one of world's top grain exporters, was ready to ban wheat exports if sales exceed limits agreed with traders.APK-Inform said that the 2019/20 season's wheat exports had rea

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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…