Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/02/2018

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/02/2018

1. BIMCO Bulk Verdict
The three best performing dry bulk terminals in the world are Santander and Bilbao in Spain and Quebec in Canada, according to BIMCOÂ’s 2017 Dry Bulk Terminals Vetting Report. Santander was rated first in all four major categories:
terminal handling of loading/unloading; terminal mooring and berthing arrangements; information exchange between the ship and the terminal and terminal equipment. 
The report evaluates terminal and port performance from around
the world to improve safety standards and the turnaround time of ships calling ports.
2. Shipping Industry Shamed
Maersk has publically hit out at the “severity of corruption in the maritime sector” and has called on greater cross-industry collaboration as well as help from governments to stamp out the plague of facilitation payments and extortion hitting shipping
lines across the world. In its just published sustainability report, Maersk noted: “[W]e operate in an environment where facilitation payments and extortion are common occurrences.” The Danish
shipping conglomerate has been working for a number of years to get towards a zero facilitation payments target. 
Last year Maersk Line managed to reduce facilitation payments by 96%.
3. Shipping Stocks and Scares
Shipping stocks may still be in the doldrums in the view of many investors, but hedge funds have bet at least $675 million on signs of renewed buoyancy in the industry. Hedge funds made initial forays into shipping stocks in
the third quarter of 2017, but significantly stepped up their bets in the final three months of the year, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings compiled by Symmetric show. 
“Shipping has been in a terrible trough
for a number of years,” Chris Walvoord, global head of hedge fund research at investment consultant Aon Hewitt, said.
4. Recognising Welfare Excellence
From the best port, seafarer centre and shipping company to the organisation and individual who have done so much for seafarers – the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) has announced the shortlist for the 2018 International
SeafarersÂ’ Welfare Awards. The recognition is for those who have offered exceptional levels of welfare services and facilities to seafarers, and are now in with a chance of landing this prestigious and influential award at a ceremony
held at the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Switzerland. Over 
2,300 individual nominations were received from seafarers.
5. Demolition Market Hots Up
Things could start to heat up in the shipsÂ’ demolition market, as more and more tanker owners are contemplating selling their older units. On the back of this trend, should Pakistan elect to uplift its ban on tanker imports, as is widely rumored among
the industry, the market could firm up pretty quickly. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Clarkson Platou Hellas said that “as more larger tanker units are talked in the market this week, there are ‘strongerÂ’ rumours emanating
from Pakistan that the ban on importing tankers will be lifted.
6. Panama in for Massive Growth
The number of LNG vessels transiting the Panama Canal could grow by 50% in the coming months due to the increase in exports of US fuel, according to the Panama Canal Authority. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) expects that
the growing global demand for LNG will boost transit through the waterway, said ACP administrator Jorge Quijano. 
The demand for LNG has taken off in recent years due to the abundant supplies of natural gas, especially from
shale deposits in the United States, and natural gas is also considered a cleaner fuel than coal or oil for the electricity generation.
7. Reminder About Ballast
Recent action taken by German port State against a shipowner serves as a reminder that the requirements of the Ballast Water Convention are in effect even when operating between North Sea ports. The IMO Ballast Water Convention
came into force September 2017. The deferred requirements for existing vessels – which last until September 2018 – concern only the installation of a ballast water treatment system. All other aspects of the convention must be complied with and this includes
the requirement to carry out a ballast water exchange as necessary.
8. P&I in Rude Health
Balance sheets of clubs operating in the marine protection and indemnity (P&I) sector are generally strong, bolstered by several years of positive earnings but underwriting discipline will be tested over the February 2018 renewal period, according to a
new report by A.M. Best. The BestÂ’s Special Report, “Balance Sheets of P&I Clubs Strong But Pricing Under Pressure Amid Strong Competition” states that ahead of the Feb. 20, 2018 renewal deadline, pressure from members and brokers
to reduce rates is growing. Competition is intense, exacerbated by a growing fixed-premium market.

9. Rotterdam Performing Strongly
A strong growth of 12.3% in container throughput pushed the overall growth in the port of Rotterdam throughout 2017. Total cargo throughput rose by 1.3%, with the port returning to the growth trend seen before 2016, while total
tonnage increased from 461 million to 467 million. The rise in containers was offset by a fall in dry bulk of 2.6% and in wet bulk of 4.1%, as break bulk went up by 7%. 
“The port of Rotterdam has had a good year. Led by
the container sector, goods throughput rose to a record level,” Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, commented.

10. Low Sulphur a Problem
There is going to be problems getting sufficient low sulphur fuel to vessels, and experts see trouble ahead. ‘The interest is going to be for the suppliers to get regular off-takers of this product and, unfortunately, directly with end-users, I don’t see
low-sulphur fuel oil as a market particularly for traders,Â’ says Paul Hardy, Business Development, Nautical Supply International. Hardy predicted high demand for, and limited supply of, low sulphur fuel once the regulation enters
into force. 
He also pointed to the ‘significant price differential’ between low sulphur fuel oil and marine gasoil.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions
S. Jones
Seacurus Ltd
Seacurus Ltd.,
Barbican Group,  
33 Gracechurch Street,
London EC3V 0BT,
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