Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/07/2018

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/07/2018

1. US Imposes More Tariffs
The United States has decided to impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China after efforts to negotiate a solution to the trade dispute failed to reach an agreement, senior administration officials said on
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the United States would impose tariffs of 10 percent on the additional Chinese imports. The move would be the latest in the
escalating trade skirmish between the world’s two biggest economies.

2. Plan to Ease Debt
French offshore vessel owner Bourbon has signed a general waiver with lenders allowing the company to suspend payments servicing the majority of its debt. Bourbon started negotiations with lenders in March as it looked to
balance its servicing of debt against the slow recovery in the offshore sector.
The company says the waiver “allows it to stay focused on its operational priorities and on the implementation of its #BOURBONINMOTION strategic plan.”
3. Terrible Time for Tankers
In a research note, BIMCO laid out a dire depiction of the market for dirty tankers: "absolutely horrible," with earnings at the lowest level on record and little chance of improvement until next year. According
to BIMCO and Clarksons, VLCCs are earning just $6,000 per day, Suezmaxes about $11,000 per day and Aframaxes about $9,500 per day – all well below breakeven levels. Relief may not be coming anytime soon, as BIMCO expects that crude tanker market will not return
to a balanced, profitable state until the second half of 2019.

4. Blockchain for Minerals
Blockchain venture studio ConsenSys and cloud-based metal concentrates exchange Open Mineral have announced a joint venture establishing Minerac, a blockchain consortium for mineral commodities trading and connected supply chains operations. A number of
mining companies and financial institutions will join as stakeholders and collaborators. The companies state that the mining and metals industry is a critical component of the global economy, however, many operational and commercial
practices remain inefficient and antiquated, leading to critical data omissions, security vulnerabilities and even corruption.
5. Box Rentals Weak
Container equipment rental rates and cash investment returns remain weak, despite last year’s recovery. But an earlier rise in container prices which lifted values to their highest level in five years will continue to put a dampener on returns, according
to Drewry’s latest Container Census & Leasing annual review and forecast report, published this month. Long-term lease rates for standard dry equipment leapt by over 50% in 2017, having begun their recovery the year before as
the Hanjin bankruptcy left large quantities of equipment impounded and therefore out of the market.
6. Fitzgerald Not Guilty Plea
Cmdr. Bryce Benson, the former commanding officer of the destroyer USS Fitzgerald, has pled not guilty to two counts of negligence and one count of hazarding a vessel in connection with the Fitzgerald’s deadly collision with a merchant vessel last year.
Cmdr. Benson originally faced additional charges of negligent homicide, but Navy prosecutors decided to pursue only three lesser charges.  The USS Fitzgerald collided with the container ship ACX Crystal in the early hours of
June 17, 2017, at a position about 50 nm south of Yokosuka. Cmdr. Benson was in his stateroom at the time of the collision.
7. Good News for Yards
South Korean shipbuilders beat Chinese rivals in ship orders in the first half of 2018 for the first time in three years, according to Clarkson Research Services. In the January-June period, South Korean shipbuilders clinched
orders equal to 4.96 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) to build 115 vessels. This accounted for 40% of ship orders placed globally. 
South Korea’s three biggest shipyards — Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Samsung Heavy
Industries Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. — all won orders to build vessels, including very large crude oil carriers and liquefied natural gas carriers.
8. You Don’t Have to be Mad
Seafarers of a certain age will remember the sardonic note that somebody would have inevitably stuck under the glass on the chart table or on the desk of the engine control room. “You don’t have to be mad to work here – but it helps” it said, which was
a point worth thinking about with the body at its lowest ebb, on watch, about half an hour past midnight. There seems an inordinate amount of attention being paid these days to the mental well-being (we mustn’t call it “sanity”)
of seafarers. How can this translate into positive recruitment and retention results?
9. More Port Woes
The Port of Felixstowe is continuing to experience operational delays due to a new terminal operating system installed nearly a month ago, however, says productivity is now 80% of the levels prior to the new system going live. In
an update on Tuesday the port said no new issues had surfaced with the terminal operating system that went live on 13 June. The port, run by Hutchison Ports, handled 66,000 teu across the quay last week and it said productivity was at 80% of the level before
the new system went live.
10. London is Slipping
Hong Kong has overtaken London to take the second spot in the International Shipping Centre Development Index (ISCD), while Dubai has moved into the top five for the first time. Into its fifth year the index compiled by the
Baltic Exchange and Xinhua saw Singapore remaining the leading maritime centre globally as it has since the start in 2015. But it was positions two – five where more changes were seen with European shipping centres losing out to Asia and the Middle East.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions
S. Jones
Seacurus Ltd
Seacurus Ltd.,
Barbican Group,  
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