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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Steel Production News

AdobeStock / © Igor Strukov

Baltic Index Snaps 7-day Win Streak as Capesize Drags

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index fell on Monday, breaking a seven-day winning streak as rates for capesize vessels eased.The Baltic index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, fell 21 points, or 1%, to 2,067 points.The capesize index fell 98 points, or 2.6%, to 3,728 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000 tonne-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $743 to $28,881.Dalian iron ore futures gave up early gains and ended lower on Monday…

File Image (Credit: Great Lakes Fleet)

U.S.-Flag June Laker Cargo Up 2.3 PCT

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.9 million tons of cargo in June, an increase of 2.3 percent from a year ago. The June float was, however, a near mirror image of the month’s 5-year average.Iron ore cargos for steel production totaled 5.1 million tons, an increase of 10.5 percent from 2018, but a 7.6 percent decrease from June’s 5-year average. Coal loads totaled 1.3 million tons, a decrease of 5.2 percent from 2018 and 24.2 percent from the month’s 5-year average.Year-to-date U.S.-flag cargo movement stands at 32.3 million tons…

Photo courtesy of Chamber of Marine Commerce

Water Outflow on Seaway Now Above 10,400 CMS

The Chamber of Marine Commerce supports the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board’s decision Friday to continue flow rates from the Moses-Saunders dam at 10,400 cubic meters per second (CMS).Maintaining the 10,400 CMS outflow still results in a significant cost to the economy, with an estimated $2.3 million to $3 million in business revenues lost for every day it’s in place due to delays for all ship transits through the Seaway.The Chamber’s ship operators are following…

Photo credit: Mike Gibby Besko

U.S.-Flag Laker Cargo Up 23% in April

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 7.5 million tons of cargo in April, an increase of 23 percent compared to a year ago. The April float was 20.7 percent above the month’s 5-year average.April iron ore cargos for steel production totaled 4.3 million tons, an increase of 9.2 percent from last year and an increase of 18 percent from the month’s 5-year average. Coal shipments rose 61.3 percent to 1.2 million tons. Limestone cargos increased 37 percent to 1.5 million tons.Year-to-date U.S.-flag carriage stands at 11.8 million tons…

Pic: Port of Rotterdam

Volume Rises at Port of Rotterdam

Port of Rotterdam posted a record overall freight tonnage in the first quarter of 2019, up 5.1% on the same period last year, thanks to strong growth in container traffic.In total, 123.9 million tonnes were handled compared with 117.8 million tonnes in the same period in 2018."The increase mainly concerned the throughput of containers (+7.3% in TEU, +5.9% in tonnes) and fuels. Mineral oil products, iron ore and scrap throughput fell," said a press release from the largest port in Europe…

Peter Sand, BIMCO

“It’s the steel production, stupid!”

BIMCO's Peter Sand, in a new report, weighs in on the implications for the Dry Bulk sectors.Chinese imports of iron ore keep falling, while its crude steel production keeps growing. China’s increased use of scrap metal for its production of crude steel is fundamentally critical to the dry bulk shipping industry. Mostly Capesize ships are impacted by this, way beyond the temporary iron ore export disruptions in Brazil and Australia.Chinese steel production grew by a massive 12.6 million tonnes (+9.2%) in the first two months on 2019 as estimated by China Iron and Steel Association (CISA).

(Photo credit: Paul Magyar)

​​​​US-flag Cargo Movement on Great Lakes Dips 8%

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.26 million tons of cargo in September, a decrease of 8.3 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) reported. The September float was also 6.6 percent below the month’s five-year average.Iron ore cargos for steel production totaled 4.7 million tons, a decrease of 3.5 percent compared to a year ago, LCA said.Coal loads totaled 1.25 million tons, a decrease of 33 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments of aggregate…

Evergreen Group’s 50th anniversary celebration on September 01 commenced with a performance by the choir of the Yihsing branch of Jiahsing Elementary School, presenting best wishes with their sublime singing.  The choir is a gold medal winner at the 31st Franz Schubert Choir Competition in Vienna. Photo: Evergreen

Evergreen Group Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Evergreen Group celebrated its 50th Anniversary at the Chang Yung-Fa Foundation, home of the charity set-up by Evergreen Group Founder and Chairman Dr. Y.F. Chang, said a press release from the company.In addition to senior executives and employees of the Group’s businesses, the event was also attended by public officials, customers and business agents from both the shipping and airline industries as well as representatives of supply chain partners from more than fifty countries.The…

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US-flag Great Lakes Cargo Movement Steady in July

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.8 million tons of cargo in July, a virtual tie with a year ago, the Lake Carriers’ Association reported. The July float was, however, 6.4 percent below the month’s five-year average.Iron ore cargos for steel production totaled 5.2 million tons, an increase of 5 percent. The July ore float was also the highest monthly total for U.S.-flag lakers since December 2014.Coal loads totaled 1.3 million tons, a decrease of nearly 11 percent.

© Gerald Bernard / Adobe Stock

US-flag Great Lakes Cargo Shipping Steadies

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.7 million tons of cargo in June, a near mirror image of a year ago but 3.5 percent below the month’s five-year average, the Lake Carriers’ Association reported.Iron ore cargos for steel production totaled 4.6 million tons, a decrease of 6.9 percent, while coal loads totaled 1.4 million tons, a decrease of 13.7 percent.Offsetting those decreases was a 21 percent surge in limestone cargos. Shipments of aggregate, fluxstone, chemical…

© lnzyx / Adobe Stock

As Trade War Escalates, China's Steel Exports are Rising

The European Commission will this week unveil its proposed provisional "safeguard" measures to limit steel imports in response to the imposition of 25 percent tariffs on steel imports by the United States.The European Union fears that the U.S. tariff barrier will simply divert more steel into its marketplace. Others are equally concerned, with India also planning its own "safeguards".Such is the ripple effect of tariffs. Walls beget more walls.As the steel trade war heats up,…

© zjk/Adobe Stock

China to Cut Steel Capacity by 2025

China will shut down more outdated steel plants and bring total capacity to less than 1 billion tonnes by 2025, the president of the country's steel industry association said, adding that national demand for the metal is set to decline gradually. With more than three quarters of firms suffering losses as a result of a price-sapping capacity surplus, China vowed in early 2016 to shut 150-150 million tonnes of annual production in five years in a bid to raise profitability and utilisation rates in the sector. Its capacity then was estimated at 1.2 billion tonnes.

© Jim Pintar / Adobe Stock

US-flag Great Lakes Shipping Down in March

Cargo moved by U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters in March decreased 13 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake Carriers’ Association reported. However, the March float of 1.8 million tons topped the month’s five-year average by more than 15 percent.Iron ore cargos for steel production dominated the month. Cargos totaled 1.4 million tons, a decrease of 17 percent. That no iron ore moved from Escanaba, Mich., is a factor in the decrease. That port used to resume iron ore shipments in early to mid-March. However, the mine that shipped through Escanaba has been indefinitely idled.

Bill Reeves, CEO of Portland Port and Slawomir Kalicki, the Group President of Inter Marine (Photo: Inter Marine Group)

Intermarine UK Opens New Facility

Maritime engineering company Intermarine UK has unveiled growth plans after investing a six-figure sum in a new 2,400sqm fabrication and welding facility at Portland Port in Dorset, U.K. creating up to 60 new jobs for local people in the next two years. The move sees Intermarine UK sign a 20-year lease and move its U.K. head office from Bridgend to Portland Port, a former naval base and the world’s second largest manmade harbor. Inter Marine Group President Slawomir Kalicki said the Polish owned company will start operations from March offering ship repair services at Portland.

Graph:  Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

Cautious Optimism on Multipurpose Shipping: Drewry

Recovering demand for multipurpose shipping combined with improved market conditions for competing sectors will result in rising market share for the multipurpose shipping fleet and a recovery in freight rates in 2018, according to the latest Multipurpose Shipping Market Review and Forecaster report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry. Although China’s plans to curb steel production in an attempt to clean-up the air pollution blighting its cities may well slow steel exports over the short term, the longer term outlook is still positive for the multipurpose and heavy lift sector.

© Kyrylo / Adobe Stock

Good, Bad or Ugly? China's Commodity Imports Conundrum

Were China's commodity imports in July a continuation of the trend of robust growth, a pause from the recent strength, or early signs of a slowdown? When numbers aren't unequivocally pointing in the same direction it often becomes possible to interpret them in different ways. Take the following three quotes from respected analysts in the wake of Tuesday's July trade figures. 3. "China's commodity import volumes were generally weak in July. High stocks of many commodities and growing domestic production dampened demand for imports.

Graph: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

Multipurpose Shipping Looks Bullish

Many key drivers for dry cargo demand have reported a significant uptick in 2017, resulting in improving conditions for all vessels in the multipurpose shipping sector, according to the latest Multipurpose Shipping Market Review and Forecast report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry. This year started out well with most demand drivers for the breakbulk sector strengthening from the lowest levels seen in 2016 with the trend forecast to continue in the medium term at least.

© norinut / Adobe Stock

Baltic Index Up On Higher Capesize Rates

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, crawled up for the second straight session on higher rates for capesize vessels. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up six points, or 0.6 percent, at 1,007 points. The capesize index rose 64 points, or 4.07 percent, to 1,635 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $364 to $12,446.

Logistec Signs on for 10 Years at Cleveland Bulk Terminal

Logistec Corporation subsidiary Logistec USA Inc. has signed a 10-year agreement with the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority to operate the Cleveland Bulk Terminal as of April 2017. Cleveland Bulk Terminal handles dry bulk commodities, principally iron ore pellets destined for steel production on the Cuyahoga River Ship Channel and limestone destined for Ohio power plants. The 45-acre facility began operating in 1997 and is located on the outer harbor of the Port of Cleveland, west of the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. The terminal is directly serviced by Norfolk Southern railroad.

US-flag Cargo Movement on Lakes Little Changed in January

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 2.1 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in January, a decrease of 125,000 tons compared to a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association  (LCA).   This January’s float was down nearly a quarter from the month’s five-year average, LCA noted.   Iron ore cargos for steel production increased by 120,000 tons, but coal cargos, mostly for power generation, dipped by 17,000 tons. No limestone was loaded in January.

© Volodymyr Kyrylyuk/ Adobe Stock

Dry Bulk: Less Pain, Not Much Gain

The dry bulk market’s strong end to 2016 is unlikely to last long into 2017, according to the latest research from Maritime Strategies International. In its latest quarterly dry bulk market report*, MSI predicts a depressed year for rates in 2017, a year marked by multiple risks to recovery. Stronger freight markets in Q4 2016 had been broadly expected by MSI, albeit for slightly different reasons. While iron ore trade undershot its expectations, coal trade overshot them with geographical imbalances playing a key role.

Soo Lock Modernization Presents $1.7 Bln Benefit -Study

A new study commissioned by the U.S. Treasury Department lists modernization of the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., as one of the 40 American transportation and water “megaprojects” that could bring as much as $1.3 trillion in national economic benefits. The system resiliency that a second Poe-sized lock will provide has an estimated net economic benefit of as much as $1.7 billion, according to the study. The Soo Locks connect Lake Superior to the lower four Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.

File photo: Paul Csizmadia

US-flag Lakes Cargo Volume Dips in September

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.1 million tons of cargo in September, a decrease of 7 percent compared to a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). The September float was also 8.7 percent below the month’s five-year average. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.3 million tons, a virtual repeat of a year ago. Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.8 million tons, a decrease of 14.3 percent. Limestone for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.5 million tons, a decrease of 15.2 percent compared to a year ago.

US-flag Lakes Cargos Down Almost 10% in July

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.85 million tons of cargo in July, a decrease of 9.5 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake Carriers’ Association  (LCA) reports. The July float was also 9 percent below the month’s five-year average. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.6 million tons, a decrease of 3.4 percent compared to a year ago. Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.7 million tons, a decrease of 25 percent. Limestone loads for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.9 million tons…

Graph: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

Light at the End of the Tunnel Distant for Multipurpose Shipping

The demand outlook for the multipurpose fleet has not improved since the first quarter of 2016. The breakbulk and project cargo sector remain weak, with little suggestion that volumes will improve significantly until the end of 2017, according to the latest Multipurpose Shipping Market Review and Forecaster report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry. On the other side of the equation, the supply of multipurpose vessels is under control, with an order book equivalent to just 5% of the operating fleet and growth estimated at less than 0.5% per year between now and 2020.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw breaks ice in Whitefish Bay, Mich., in March 2009 (U.S. Coast Guard file photo by George Degener)

New Great Lakes Icebreaker Nearing Reality

Plans for a second heavy icebreaker for service on the Great Lakes have taken another step toward reality with Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) including $2 million for initial survey and design work for a vessel that is at least as capable as the current icebreaker Mackinaw in the committee report on the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 had previously authorized a new heavy icebreaker for Lakes service. Senator Baldwin’s…