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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Steel Prices News

Olmsted Locks in action (CREDIT USACE)

Olmsted Online

In 1921, Thomas Edison told Forbes magazine, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” He could have been talking about Olmsted. That’s because, after more than 30 years of frustratingly slow progress, cost overruns and more than a few mistakes, Olmsted is finally poised for success. That’s something to celebrate.It is official: The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) wants Olmsted operational by October. And, not a moment too soon. After more than 30 years, the ribbon cutting to officially open the Olmsted Locks and Dam will take place on August 29.

© krunja / Adobe Stock

Chinese Exports Accelerate Even as Trade War Escalates

China's exports surged more than expected in July despite U.S. duties and its closely watched surplus with the United States remained near record highs, as the world's two major economic powers ramp up a bitter dispute that some fear could derail global growth.In the latest move by President Donald Trump to put pressure on Beijing to negotiate trade concessions, Washington is set to begin collecting 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods on Aug. 23.In a statement on its official website late on Wednesday, China's commerce ministry criticised the U.S.

© Mariusz Niedzwiedzki / Adobe Stock

Newbuild Spending Dropped Sharply in Q2

Enthusiasm for newbuild orders across most shipping markets has started to wane after more than $10 billion dollars were committed in the first quarter of 2018, according to VesselsValue. The total committed to new deliveries is now the lowest since the start of 2016.Ordering trends in the start of the year were highest in the markets that were seeing the highest returns. This includes the dry bulk and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier markets, while interest in the low earnings environment tanker markets was softer.

© Evren Kalinbacak / Adobe Stock

Oil Tanker Scrapping to Hit Multi-year High

The shipping industry will this year scrap the largest number of oil tankers in over half-a-decade, driven by weak earnings, firm prices for scrap steel and the need to prepare fleets for strict new environmental regulations.The surge in scrapping underscores how the sector is grappling with one of its worst-ever crises, hit hard after rates for transporting oil plunged to multi-year lows in the wake of excess tanker supply and tepid demand as OPEC production cuts bite."The tanker markets are definitely in a trough at the moment…

Graph: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

Container Equipment Market Surges Ahead: Drewry

The move towards container leasing and away from carrier ownership continues unabated and the leased fleet now has a clear majority over that owned by transport operators, according to the latest edition of the Container Census & Leasing and Equipment Insight published by global shipping consultancy Drewry. Leasing companies accounted for 55% of container purchases in 2017, which continues the trend seen for most of this decade. With the fleet of containers owned by transport operators growing by a mere 2.4%, the leased fleet added 6.7% and the share owned by lessors is now nearing 52%.

© NS Photography / Adobe Stock

Baltic Index Posts First Gain in Seven Sessions

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose for the first time in seven sessions on Tuesday, following a rebound in capesize rates. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, edged up 13 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,095 points. The capesize index snapped its five-session losing streak and climbed 86 points, or 6 percent, to 1,519 points. It touched its lowest in more than six months on Monday.

File photo: © HHM / Dietmar Hasenpusch

Capesize Rates Post Biggest Weekly Drop in 2 Years

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index fell on Friday and continued to linger around five month lows as the capesize segment recorded its biggest weekly percentage decline in two years. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities, shed 14 points, or 1.23 percent, to 1,125 points, the lowest since Aug. 10, 2017. For the week, the index ended 12 percent lower. The capesize index fell 118 points, or 7.32 percent, to 1,493 points, its lowest since Aug.

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Lucasz Z)

China, Australia Ports Clogged as Coal, Ore Demand Soars

Around 300 ships caught in jam that would stretch 40 miles; freight rates for biggest coal, ore carrier hit 3-yr high. More than 300 large dry cargo ships are having to wait outside Chinese and Australian ports in a maritime traffic jam that spotlights bottlenecks in China's huge and global commodity supply chain as demand peaks this winter. With some vessels waiting to load coal and iron ore outside Australian ports for over a month, key charter rates have jumped to their highest in more than three years.

Photo Courtesy: NGO Shipbreaking Platform – Hanjin Rome beached in Chittagong, Bangladesh

Death Toll On The Rise at Chittagong Shipbreaking Yards

Two workers lost their lives at the Chittagong shipbreaking yards in the last two weeks, bringing the total death toll this year to six workers, reports NGO Shipbreaking Platform. On 6 May, 26-year-old Shahinoor died at Jamuna Shipbreaking yard. He fell from a great height when he was breaking the Hanjin Rome, which was the first vessel arrested after the collapse of one of the largest container ship companies last year – the Korean company Hanjin Shipping. The Hanjin Rome was put up for auction by the High Court in Singapore to be sold to the highest bidder early this year.

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

China's Steel, Coal Curbs a Double-edged Sword for Imports

China's determination to tackle its choking pollution by cutting steel and coal capacity should be a long-term negative for exporters of iron ore and coal to the world's biggest commodity importer, but the reality is likely to be far more nuanced. "We will make our skies blue again," Premier Li Keqiang told the opening of parliament on Sunday. That's an unequivocal statement that gives political impetus to Beijing's plans to shutter more excess steel and coal capacity. The policy…

(File photo: Thomas Poster)

Ship Operating Costs Set to Rise -Survey

Vessel operating costs are expected to rise in both 2016 and 2017, according to the latest survey by international accountant and shipping consultant Moore Stephens. Repairs and maintenance and spares are the cost categories which are likely to increase most significantly in each of the two years. The survey is based on responses from key players in the international shipping industry, predominantly shipowners and managers in Europe and Asia. Those responses revealed that vessel operating costs are expected to rise by 1.9 percent in 2016 and by 2.5 percent in 2017.

Graph: BIMCO

Dry Bulk Shipping: Improved Frieght Rates Despite Continues Fleet Growth

On 10 February 2016, the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) hit 290. At that point, a bulk carrier regardless of its size, age and fuel-efficient qualities earned a time charter average of USD 2,417-2,776 per day. Whereas the three smaller segments have seen higher earnings since then, capesize earnings lost ground up until the end of March. By mid-April, the gap closed and capesizes are back on par with the pack. Despite the fact that earnings have doubled in those two months, they remain below OPEX levels for the largest part of the fleet.

Capesize ‘Uptick’ Not Strong Enough for an Upsurge

April 19, 2016. The latest Dry Bulk Freight Forecaster from Maritime Strategies International* analyses the recent uptick in the Capesize market and considers the positive trends and mitigating factors. MSI finds the indicators are relatively positive in the short-term for iron ore trade. On the supply-side, iron ore prices of $50-60/tonne are in profitable territory for the big iron ore miners and will no doubt support the ramp up of new export capacity in Australia and Brazil.

Graph Source: BIMCO

Dry Bulk Outlook Remains Bleak: BIMCO

With 12 weeks of 2016 behind us, the dry bulk market is still looking bleak. As the current low demand for transportation of commodities continues, the market is doing what it can by scrapping old ships and restraining from ordering new ones. With only four newbuilding orders registered in the first 12 weeks of 2016, dry bulk contracting is merely a fraction of previous year’s activity. New contracts for dry bulk ships have been on a path of decline in the last year and a half. Currently culminating at a level that resembles a standstill.

Graph: China National Ship-recycling Association and China Daily

Plunging Scrap Steel Prices Hit Ship Recycling Revenues

The Chinese ship recyclers are feeling the heat as falling scrap steel prices have eaten into their revenues during the past one year, says a report in China Daily. The increasing costs of adopting "greener" vessel-breaking method also adds to the woes, says China National Ship-recycling Association. The latest figures show ship-recycling revenue dropped 15 percent to 3.4 billion yuan ($519 million) in China last year. According to senior industry officials, the Chinese ship recycling sector was badly impacted by the continued weakness in steel scrap prices.

Graph: Clarkson Research

Chinese, Greek Ship Owners Accounted for 40% of Global Recycling

According to Clarkson Research Services, the record pace of fleet growth over the last decade and weakening global demand outlook has left many of the major shipping segments facing severe oversupply. Demolition of older ships is one way of easing overcapacity and recycling volumes have been strong in recent years. The top ten owner countries typically account for the majority of recycling with Chinese and Greek owners leading the way. Last year a total of 860 ships of a combined 23m GT were reported sold for demolition. This is equivalent to 2% of the start year fleet.

Graphics: BIMCO

Miserable Start for Dry Bulk Shipping

The global production of steel dropped in 2015 compared to 2014, to a larger extent outside China, as China exported its surplus of steel to destinations across the globe; it is too complex to single out whether this is positive or negative for the seaborne dry bulk transport demand, says BIMCO. Going forward, the Chinese steel industry is set to grow its global market share, currently at 50%. Depending on domestic steel consumption in China, use of domestically mined iron ore and profitability in the steel industry, the dry bulk market will be impacted.

File photo

Ship Operating Costs on the Rise

The survey responses, gathered primarily from key players in the international shipping industry, predominantly shipowners and managers in Europe and Asia, revealed that vessel operating costs are expected to rise by 2.8 percent in 2015 and by 3.1 percent in 2016. Crew wages are expected to increase by 2.4 percent in 2015 and by 2.3 percent in 2016, with other crew costs thought likely to go up by 2 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively, for the years under review. The cost of repairs and maintenance is expected to escalate by 2.3 percent in 2015 and by 2.4 percent in 2016…

Ship Recycling Prices Plunge 25%

Demolition Prices for elderly ships have fallen by a quarter in 2012 to date, and owners are encouraged to dispose of recycling candidates sooner rather than later, says Mark Williams of Braemar Seascope. Addressing the 7th Annual Ship Recycling Conference in London on 19th June, the Braemar Seascope Research Director told delegates that deflating international steel prices were likely to translate into lower offers for recycling tonnage in the coming quarters. Meanwhile, rapid reductions in the value of the Indian…

Latest Ship Operating Cost Data

According to Drewery’s latest ship operating cost data, it’s a tough trading environment for vessel operators and the signs are that it will be difficult to keep a lid on escalating operating costs. Drewry has just published its latest annual analysis of ship operating costs, covering eight vessel sectors and over 35 different sizes of vessel plus detailed operating budgets for a range of oil tankers, chemical tankers, gas carriers, dry bulk vessels, container vessels, ro-ro, general cargo and reefer vessels; making it the most comprehensive survey of this crucial area of vessel management.

ACL Reports Q3 Results

American Commercial Lines Inc. (NASDAQ: ACLI) (ACL) announced results for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2009. Revenues for the quarter ended September 30, 2009 were $216.0 million, a 31.1% decrease compared with $313.7 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2008. The decrease in revenue was primarily due to changes in the mix of commodities shipped by our customers in the respective quarters into lower revenue commodities and to lower volume in the current year.

ACL Plans to Build New Covered Hopper Barges

American Commercial Lines Inc. (NASDAQ: ACLI) announced that the Company will build fifty covered hopper barges for use by its Transportation Services Division at the Company's Jeffboat manufacturing subsidiary in the first quarter of 2010. Commenting on the build plan, ACL President and CEO Mike Ryan stated, "We are executing the next phase of our long-term strategic plan. We recently completed the realignment of our field-based Transportation Services management team, establishing new northern and southern region headquarters locations.