Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/01/2019
1. US Import Slow Down
Imports at the major retail container ports in the US have slowed down after a months-long rush to beat increased tariffs on goods from China, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said. âWith the holiday season behind us, the immediate pressure to stock up on merchandise has passed but retailers remain concerned about tariffs and their impact on the nationâs economy,â Jonathan Gold, NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy explained.
2. Mission Impossible
British policy makers are calling on the shipping industry to bail the country out from the mess that Brexit has become. It isnât going to happen, however, for at least a year. âThere will be problems,â said Harry Theochari, chairman of Maritime UK, a group representing the countryâs shipping, ports and marine service providers. âYou canât go from a free-trade situation to a border with customs checks. We need more time to figure out the best way to move cargo. It canât happen overnight.â
3. Hong Kong Fighting Back
The operators of what was once the world’s largest container port are coming together amid flagging volumes to try and generate efficiencies. Hutchinson Port Holdings said its flagship Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT) has entered into a Hong Kong Seaport joint operating alliance to manage and operate 23 berths across nine terminals at Kwai Tsing container terminals in Hong Kong.
4. BP Makes Major Find
BP said it has discovered two new oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico and has identified an additional billion barrels of oil at an existing field thanks to new seismic technology. The British company, which has only recently turned a corner following the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, also on Tuesday announced plans to expand production at its Atlantis oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico, consolidating its status as the largest oil producer in that region.
5. Turkey Turns to Iran
Turkey has resumed imports of Iranian crude oil after a one-month hiatus in November when U.S. sanctions on Iran were reimposed, trading and shipping sources said. The United States granted Turkey and other countries import waivers in early November. Turkey said it was permitted to take 3 million tonnes a year, equivalent to about 60,000 barrels per day (bpd), under the waiver.
6. ABS Opens New Office
ABS has held its official ribbon-cutting ceremony, formally opening its new global headquarters. Anchoring the CityPlace 2 development, the building is located at 1701 City Place Drive, Spring, Texas. âThis is a significant milestone in our 157-year history and reaffirms our commitment to provide industry-leading safety and practical technology solutions for marine and offshore industry challenges,â said ABS Chairman, President and CEO, Christopher J. Wiernicki.
7. BW Ace Buy Out
Bermuda-based BW Group has sold a fleet of 13 chemical tankers to Ace Tankers Management BV. The deal was closed in December last year, between BW Chemicals Pte. Ltd. and Ace Tankers Management BV. The sale was rumoured in November 2018, and the price tag for the acquisition was said to be around USD 350 million. Once acquired, the ships were reportedly intended to join the Ace-Quantum Chemical Tankers (AQCT) Pool, a joint venture between Ace Tankers and Eastern Pacific Shipping.
8. Box Ships Mean Opportunity
Container ships have dominated the buying opportunities over the past several quarters, and many have taken advantage of this trend to make carefully informed purchases in this space, said VesselsValue. 10 year old Panamax container vessels represent the strongest buying opportunity in the current outlook.
9. Time for Winged Vessels?
A major sector of the international transportation industry carries small parcels between cities both domestically and internationally, depending on fast delivery involving airlines, trucks and railways. There may be a market niche for winged boats to carry loads of parcels between coastal cities.
10. A Year of Positive Change
The shipping market may see a more positive year in 2019 amid changes in fleet size and shifts in demand for methanol, although ongoing political tensions, growing participation from Russia and looming regulatory change for 2020 could prompt an uncertain couple of years. â2019 will be the year it improves â maybe second half 2019, though, as I donât expect any dramatic changes over the next few months,â a source said.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd â providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com