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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Ukraine News

Russia Returns Ukraine Naval Ships before Summit

Russia on Monday handed back three naval ships it captured last year to Ukraine, something Kiev wanted to happen before a four-way peace summit on eastern Ukraine next month in Paris.The handover, confirmed by the two countries' foreign ministries, occurred in the Black Sea off the coast of Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.Russia seized the ships in the same area in November last year after opening fire on them and wounding several sailors. Moscow said the ships - two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat - had illegally entered its territorial waters.

Photo: Port of Gdansk

Gdansk Ports Aims to be Gateway to Baltic

Europe’s fastest growing port, the Port of Gdansk, has outlined huge expansion plans designed to double its cargo volumes to 100m tonnes a year, during a high-level maritime and business delegation from Poland to Singapore.The delegation marks 50-years of diplomatic ties between the countries and is being organized with PSA International, the Singapore based global ports group. In May this year PSA International formally acquired DCT Gdansk, the largest container terminal in Poland…

(Photo: Sovcomflot)

Sovcomflot CEO to Switch to Chairman

Sergei Frank will step down as president and chief executive of Russian state-controlled shipping giant Sovcomflot after 15 years at the helm, four sources familiar with the decision told Reuters on Tuesday.Frank will give up operational control of Sovcomflot and take over as chairman of the company's board, two of the sources said.It was not immediately clear why Frank, 59, was moving position.

Logo: Danica

Danica Welcomes Two Bulk Vessels

Crew management specialist Danica Crewing Services has announced it has taken on the crew management of a further two bulk carrier vessels: the Four Emerald and the Four Diamond.The 33,392 dwt Four Emerald, built 2012, and the 34,059 dwt Four Diamond, built 2011, both sail under the Maltese flag.Crew management of the vessels will be conducted in partnership with Sea World Management, a boutique style ship manager based in Monaco, which will deliver the technical management while…

File Image: AdobeStock / © Igor Strukov

USDA Sees bigger-than-expected U.S. Corn Crop

The U.S. corn harvest will be bigger than previously forecast, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Monday, as the government issued a surprise boost to its outlook despite concerns about a wet spring and dry summer.For the 2019/20 crop year, the corn harvest will total 13.901 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 169.5 bushels per acre, the USDA predicted in its monthly supply and demand report. Farmers seeded 90.0 million acres with corn and were expected to harvest…

Image: Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA)

RoPax Ferry Finbo Cargo Enters Muuga Port

The Estonian terminal operator HHLA TK Estonia is strengthening its position as a RoRo hub in the Baltic region.The wholly owned subsidiary of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) said in a press release that the Finnish ferry company Eckerö Line recently began connecting the port of Muuga, where HHLA TK Estonia operates a multi-function terminal, with Vuosaari in Finland. Twice daily, the RoPax ferry Finbo Cargo enters the port of Muuga, which is about 20 kilometres east of the Estonian capital, Tallinn.

Captain in Fatal Budapest Boat Crash Was Sober at the Time

Hungarian police said on Tuesday they had found no evidence of alcohol or drug abuse by the captain of a cruise ship that struck and sank a small tourist vessel last month, killing 28 mostly Korean people on board.The Mermaid boat sank in seconds on May 29 after the Viking Sigyn cruise liner hit it from behind under a bridge in the Hungarian capital during heavy rain, the worst disaster on the river in more than half a century."We launched the investigation as soon as we got on board (the Sigyn)," Budapest police spokesman Soma Csecsi told a news conference.

 Image: DP World, Romania – Constanta

Black Sea Container Exports on the Rise

Ukraine-based Informall Business Group in its latest Black Sea Container Market review reports a rise of 8.70% in loaded containers handling in the Black Sea container ports of Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia in 2018 as compared to 2017.Black Sea container terminals of the five countries handled 2927016 TEU in 2018, including empty containers, excluding transshipment. This review observes only full containers of the region – 2188153 TEU.In 2018, there was a laden container turnover increase in all countries of the Black Sea region.

© Mikhail Yakovenko / Adobe Stock

Russia Plans New Grain Terminal in Crimea

Russia plans to build a grain terminal in Crimea at a cost of more than 1.7 billion roubles ($25.4 million), the RIA news agency quoted the head of the region as saying on Thursday.Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, drawing sanctions from the West that created legal risks for the region's grain exports.

Pic: Hafen Hamburg Marketing

HHLA Revenue, Profit Rise

German port operator Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) increased its Group revenue by 3 percent to EUR 1.29 billion in the 2018 financial year (previous year: EUR 1.25 billion). The Group’s operating result (EBIT) of EUR 204 million (previous year: EUR 173 million) represents an increase of 18 percent.In total, 7.3 million standard containers (TEU) were handled at HHLA’s container terminals in the 2018 financial year. Compared to 7.2 million TEU in the previous year, this…

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Ukraine Accedes to International Convention on Load Lines

Eastern European country Ukraine has acceded to an important International Maritime Organization (IMO) ship safety treaty – the 1988 Protocol relating to the International Convention on Load Lines.Limitations on the draught to which a ship may be loaded make a significant contribution to the ship's safety, said a press release from IMO.These limits are given in the form of freeboards, which constitute, besides external weathertight and watertight integrity, the main objective of the Convention.

Cargo Ships Caught in Russia-Ukraine Storm

Russia-Ukraine naval clash followed shipping holdups Ships bound for Ukrainian ports say they are held up while those bound for Russian ports go through.When the Island Bay cargo ship arrived from Beirut at the Kerch Strait, gateway to the Azov Sea, it sailed into a perfect storm of geopolitics and bad weather.The following day, Russia opened fire on three Ukrainian naval ships, impounded them and detained their sailors, some of them wounded. It then blocked the strait by putting…

Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing, and Egidijus Lazauskas, Deputy Director-General and Director Freight Traffic for Lithuanian Railways, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Vilnius to strengthen cooperation on the routes to and from the Port of Hamburg. Photo: Hafen Hamburg Marketing

Port of Hamburg, Metrans Group Join for Intermodal

The Port of Hamburg and Metrans Group are intensifying their links with Lithuanian Railways. Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing, and Egidijus Lazauskas, Deputy Director-General and Director Freight Traffic for Lithuanian Railways, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Vilnius to strengthen cooperation on the routes to and from the Port of Hamburg.In addition, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG - HHLA’s intermodal subsidiary Metrans, and Lithuanian Railways signed a Letter of Intent to promote and improve cross-border freight flows.For years…

Image: International Maritime Organization

IMO Training for Reducing Emissions in Ports

International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s work to promote better understanding of - and steps to reduce - emissions in ports has reached Georgia, at a workshop for regional participants from Georgia, Ukraine and Turkey.The event, in Batumi (10-12 September) focused on how to undertake emissions inventories and calculate emissions, including  GHGs and air pollutants. Participants were also introduced to strategies to address emissions from different sources – such as from seagoing vessels…

© Yuri Tuchkov / Adobe Stock

US Warns Russia Against 'Harassment' of Ships Headed to Ukraine

The U.S.

© Roman Naumov / Adobe Stock

Ukraine Barley Exports to Saudi Arabia Jump in July

Ukraine's barley exports to Saudi Arabia jumped by 55 percent in July from a year earlier to 464,000 tonnes thanks to a decrease in barley production by the main producing countries, analyst APK-Inform said on Friday."This growth is associated with a decrease in barley production this year in key exporting countries - Australia, Canada and Russia," it said in a statement.The consultancy said that Ukraine's exportable surplus of barley remained practically at the previous season's…

© Wojciech Wrzesien / Adobe Stock

Trump Bets on New European LNG Terminals

U.S. President Donald Trump expects the European Union to fund 9 to 11 liquefied natural gas (LNG) ports to absorb "vastly" more shipments from the United States but current EU investment in new projects will only help open small markets.In a White House press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte late on Monday, Trump said part of the U.S.-EU trade talks sought to expand America's reach into the continent's gas markets which were awash in Russian supply."And we are already talking to the European Union about building anywhere from 9 to 11 ports…

© Amarinj / Adobe Stock

EU to Curb Steel Imports after Trump Tariffs

The European Union will launch measures on Thursday designed to prevent a surge of steel imports into the bloc following the U.S. imposition of tariffs on incoming steel and aluminium, the EU's official journal said.The European Commission has proposed a combination of a quota and a tariff to counter EU concerns that steel products no longer imported into the United States would instead flood European markets.The measures are the third part of the EU's response to U.S. tariffs. It has also imposed tariffs on 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion) of U.S.

© Paolo Pizzimenti / Adobe Stock

Cargo Ships De-listed After Crimea Grain Trades

At least two countries have struck cargo vessels off their registries in recent weeks after the ships were involved in transporting grains from Crimea to Syria, maritime officials told Reuters.Crimea has been under Western sanctions since it was annexed from Ukraine by Russia in 2014 and has been frozen out of many export markets. That leaves Syria, which has also been targeted by sanctions, as an ideal trading partner for Crimea, given that the latter is open to receiving goods…

Photo:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Monitoring and Enforcement of Ballast Water Convention

Identifying organisms and microbes in ballast water, as well as monitoring port marine life where ballast water may be released, are key for countries preparing to enforce International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Ballast Water Management Convention. The treaty entered into force globally on 8 September 2017 and aims to counter the threat to marine ecosystems by potentially invasive species transported in ships' ballast water. A regional workshop in Batumi, Georgia (3-5 July)…

KaunasSeaways. Photo: DFDS

DFDS Sells Two Ships to Ukrferry

Danish shipping and logistics company DFDS is to sell two of its older vessels to Ukraine-based ferry operator Ukrferry. "DFDS has entered into an agreement with Ukrferry to sell two combined freight and passenger ferries, Kaunas Seaways and Vilnius Seaways built in 1989 and 1987 respectively. Delivery of the ferries is expected in July," said a press statement from the company. The ferries have been on time charter to Ukrferry for several years for deployment on routes in the Black Sea. The ferries were previously deployed in DFDS' Baltic route network.

© Matyas Rehak / Adobe Stock

Vietnam to Resume Importing Wheat from Ukraine

Vietnam's government has approved a decision to resume imports of Ukrainian wheat after about a two-year pause, Ukrainian grain traders union UZA said on Tuesday.Vietnam suspended purchases of Ukrainian wheat in 2015 after it found weevils in grain parcels delivered with fake phytosanitary certificates."The decision has been made to resume imports of Ukrainian wheat and to carry out strict phytosanitary control during the importation of grain from Ukraine," UZA said in a statement.Ukraine is among the world's leading wheat producers and exporters and has exported about 16 million tonnes so far

© Anatoly Menzhiliy / Adobe Stock

Dry Bulk Shipping: No Room for Newbuilds

DemandThe improved fundamentals during 2017 are clearly seen in the freight rate levels during the first four months of 2018. Freight rates for Handysize, Supramax and Panamax went up by 25-27 percent as compared to the same period of last year. All three sectors moved from loss-making average earnings in the full year of 2017 to a profitable level in first four months of 2018.Meanwhile, capesize freight rates improved by only 5 percent as compared to the same period last year…

(File photo: Oldendorff)

Oldendorff Halts Guyana Operation Due to Rusal Crisis

German shipping group Oldendorff Carriers is stopping its business in Guyana, the company said on Friday, after the United States blacklisted Russian aluminum producer Rusal, which has a plant in the South American country.The United States on April 6 imposed sanctions against Russian entities and individuals to punish Moscow for its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and what the U.S. Treasury Department dubbed other "malign activity".Since then, the world's two biggest…

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © zhu defing)

Kemp: Trade Restrictions puts World Economy at Risk

Trade and investment restrictions are proliferating around the world, driven by a combination of security concerns and protectionist pressures. In each instance, policymakers can usually cite a justification of why trade and investment restrictions are necessary. But taken together, a thickening web of restrictions on cross-border transactions is imposing a growing burden on business as well as complicating supply chains. The United States and China have threatened to hit each…

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis speak following a bilateral meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels, February 14, 2018. (Photo: NATO)

Proposed NATO Logistics Command Will Be Based in Ulm

A proposed new NATO logistics command aimed at deterring Russia would be based in the southern German city of Ulm, the German Defence Ministry told lawmakers on Tuesday. It said a broad plan for the new Joint Support and Enabling Command (JSEC) would be completed by mid-April, with a formal decision by NATO expected at a meeting of alliance defense ministers from June 7-8. “As a framework nation for the JSEC, we can make a significant contribution to burden-sharing in the alliance,” state secretary in the Defence Ministry Peter Tauber told lawmakers in a letter.