Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/09/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/09/2016

1. Yards Begging for Business
Shipyards are “begging” for work, but as things stand, few ship owners are ready to take the leap of faith required to place an order in today’s rapidly evolving market conditions. Nothing much has changed on the newbuilding front, with yet again this week only a small trickle of new orders surfacing and those focused on the product/chemical tanker segments. This points to how cornered shipbuilders must be right now, with their orderbooks decreasing at an alarming rate at leaving some of them at risk of having hardly any vessels under construction during 2017-2018 and essentially at risk of having to cease operations.
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2. Maersk Jolie HMM Joke
Yesterday’s news suggesting Maersk Line may look to buy both of South Korea’s top two troubled carriers, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and Hanjin Shipping, has been greeted with much derision by commentators. Even a spokesperson for the Danish liner tweeted: “Believe only one @MaerskLine has not been linked to is Angelina Jolie…”. There are two issues with the idea – one is that regulators might oppose the move, while it is believed that Maersk simply does not have the money at this point in time.
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3. Strait Talking on Safety
Increasing traffic in the Strait of Malacca in the contested South China Sea region is causing much concern over the safety of the vessels. A new forum is looking to initiate control measures which they hope will prevent more accidents from occurring, as more than 62,000 vessels had passed through the strait back in 2007 and the number is expected to have more than doubled in the next four years. Sugihardjo, Transportation Ministry Secretary General for Indonesia said: “[the Strait of Malacca] is one of the most strategic straits in the world for shipping line[s], “We have to work hard in addressing this situation.”
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4. Baltic’s Fate Sealed
The crisis in global shipping and a tax exodus by big Greek vessel owners have helped finally seal the fate of London’s Baltic Exchange after at least three approaches to buy it over the last six years of its near-three centuries history. Some 95 percent of shareholders voted on Monday in favour of a takeover deal from Singapore Exchange (SGXL.SI), valued at 87 million pounds, trumping more than one effort from the London Metal Exchange (0388.HK) to snap it up. For Baltic shareholders it does release value, and with many of them being shipbrokers in a very brutal market, that is going to be a welcome windfall.
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5. First UK Shale Gas Arrival
Britain’s first shale gas delivery from the United States sailed into a heated European political debate on fracking on Tuesday and immediately ran into its first practical problem – the Scottish weather. The huge "Ineos Insight" tanker had entered the Firth of Forth at sunrise, a lone Scots piper playing on its bow, as it headed for the Grangemouth refinery, west of Edinburgh. But gusty squalls prevented it from unloading its controversial cargo before an assembled crowd of dignitaries. Ineos is importing ethane, obtained from rocks fractured at high pressure, or "fracking", in a foretaste of larger deliveries of LNG from shale.
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6. Nigeria Ramping Exports
Oil tankers able to collect 6 million barrels of crude are heading to the biggest export terminal in Nigeria, where shipments are about to resume at a time when militants continue to pose a threat to the nation’s energy infrastructure. The Suezmax "Ottoman Nobility" is set to arrive at the Qua Iboe terminal, the first of five vessels due to load Nigeria’s largest export crude grade since terminal operator Exxon Mobil Corp. halted shipments in July. Four others are scheduled to arrive by Oct. 15 and if they collect standard cargoes, the ships would revive loading rates of the grade close to their average for last year.
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7. Latest Industry Developments
Ship owners and managers will gather in Singapore next week to examine the latest industry developments and international concerns surrounding the notion that today’s shipping industry is not immune to the global terrorist threat – be it physical or across the internet. Key aspects such as how well do you, as owners and managers, know your crew and is enough being done to protect them, the ship, as well as the cargo will be debated at the Summit. Crew and vessel safety are firmly under the spotlight, but what options do they have when it comes to choosing the right people to man their ships?
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8. Tanker Manages to Hit Bridge
A bunkering tanker, "Dae Yang No 3", early Tuesday collided with a bridge construction at South Korea’s Sinan islands, local media reports. The vessel is reported to have been heading to Gunsang from Yeosu with a cargo of bunker fuel when a sudden blackout occurred shortly before the collision. The collision is said to have occurred at low speed, with the vessel sustaining only minor damages, and no spills or injuries reported. Local authorities are reported to be investigating the cause of the collision, although it is suspected that the blackout caused the tanker to lose propulsion, rendering it unable to avoid the collision.
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9. Unions Want Minimum Maritime Wage
A union chief has challenged shadow chancellor John McDonnell to back a £10-an-hour living wage at sea. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash welcomed the policy to introduce a higher rate if Labour wins power. But he insisted the same should apply on ships to tackle the undercutting of UK seafarers’ wages with foreign workers amid a “race to the bottom”. He also called for intervention in the form of regulation from the Conservative Government to protect against exploitative pay as low as £1.64-an-hour. The number of UK ratings has fallen sharply in recent years to less than 9,000, compared to more than 30,000 in 1982.
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10. Getting All Woolly Again
The Mission to Seafarers is once again running its innovative Woolly Hat Day fundraising campaign by urging people to wear a woolly hat on Friday 14 October. The Mission to Seafarers is the world’s largest maritime welfare charity and is held in high regard by the international shipping communities for the support it provides to seafarers across the world. They have raised thousands of pounds through previous Woolly Hat Days and hope to raise 15,000 through next month’s event. Supporters are encouraged to hold Woolly Hat Day events and to promote the agency as a way of raising both funds and awareness.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

Best regards,

S Jones
Seacurus Ltd

 

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