Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/10/2018
1. Eleven Crew Held Hostage
Over the weekend pirates boarded a Liberian flagged containership off the coast of Nigeria, seizing 11 crew including eight from Poland. The attackers struck the German-owned Pomerenia Sky, bound for the Nigerian port of Onne, early on Saturday and abducted 11 of the crew. Nine others remained onboard and were unharmed. Kidnappings and piracy in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea has been on the rise this year.
2. LNG Rates Soaring
Rates for LNG carriers are soaring at the moment, pushing north of $150,000 a day and experts reckon the current bullrun has legs. In an ongoing survey called MarPoll carried on this site Splash voters believe LNG will be the best performing sector in 2019. Dry bulk is viewed as the second best performer next year. With more than 300 votes cast 37% have plumped for LNG so far, with 29% of votes cast going for dry bulk.
3. Pirate Skiff Destroyed
On Sunday, EU NAVFOR’s naval forces destroyed a pirate skiff similar to that used in the attempted attack on the bulker KSL Sydney. After the attack on the Sydney, EU NAVFOR commander Rear Adm. Alfonso Perez de Nanclares ordered additional units to the area for an investigation. Spanish maritime reconnaissance aircraft flew over the area to gain as much information on suspected pirate activity as they could. Their patrols found that pirate launches were still active in the area and could be used to launch further attacks on shipping.
4. EU Seafarer Concerns
The shipowner organization Danish Shipping has warned that E.U. plans could mean additional financial and administrative burdens for the industry if seafarers are brought under the rules set out in the E.U. directive on transparent and predictable working conditions. Ever since the European Commission presented its proposal for a directive on “Transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union,” the Working Conditions Directive, there have been heated discussions in Brussels, says Danish Shipping.
5. Trade Tariff Fears
Trade tariffs between the U.S., China and Europe add to the problems confronting the global shipping industry, which was already struggling this year with weak demand and high fuel prices. Container ships, which move $4 trillion worth of products each year, are suffering from weak freight rates, owing to a glut of boats in the water. Despite consolidation that has left the market dominated by a handful of players, companies have recently issued profit warnings, suspended some sailings and scrapped a planned IPO.
6. IMO Developments Welcomed
Two key developments were the adoption of the ban from 1 March 2020 on carriage of non-compliant fuel and the compromise reached on collecting data from the world fleet on fuel oil non-availability and quality without any delay in the implementation of the 2020 sulphur rules. “We are overall very satisfied with the outcome of MEPC 73. The industry retains a fixed implementation date, which is important, while we at the same time address the safety concerns,” says Lars Robert Pedersen, BIMCO Deputy Secretary General.
7. Megayacht Death Collision
The 332-foot megayacht Attessa IV was involved in a collision with a 65-foot sport fishing vessel off the coast of Southern California near the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday night, resulting in multiple injuries and one fatality. The U.S. Coast Guard said it medevaced one injured person via helicopter and rescued additional seventeen passengers from the sportfisher Prowler following the collision near the maritime boundary line. The crew of the Attessa IV contacted Coast Guard Sector San Diego’s Joint Harbor Operations Center reporting a collision with the Prowler approximately nine miles offshore of Imperial Beach.
8. Iranian Oil is Hard to Find
According to Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, no one has any idea how much oil Iran will be able to export after new U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic kick in on Nov. 4. But more precisely, Iran’s shipment figures – crucial to oil markets – are already a mystery. Iran’s oil exports are becoming harder to measure as ships switch off tracking systems, oil industry sources say, adding uncertainty over how far U.S. sanctions are scaring off buyers. The prospect of more oil heading into storage could make number-crunching even tougher.
9. Ince & Co Sold
One best known names in maritime law, Ince & Co International, is being acquired by UK law firm Gordon Dadds Group. UK-listed Gordon Dadds said it had agreed in principle to acquire all of Ince’s equity partner interests and business assets. The deal is estimated at GBP34m based on a percentage of turnover generated by Ince equity partners over a three-year period from completion. Gordon Dadds will also issue up to 3m share options at GBP1.40 per share to members of Ince. The new firm will be named Ince Gordon Dadds with a target for completion by 31 December 2018.
10. IMB Piracy Report Out
A total of 156 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported to the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) in the first nine months of 2018 compared to 121 for the same period in 2017. Out of these, 107 vessels were boarded, there were 32 attempted attacks, 13 vessels were fired upon and four vessels were hijacked-although no vessels were reported as hijacked in the third quarter of 2018. According to IMB’s PRC, this was first time since 1994 that no vessel hijackings have been reported in two consecutive quarters.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com