Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 15/02/2019
1. Cruise Ship Allision
The Norwegian Epic took out a few mooring dolphins during a failed docking in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Tuesday. The video was filmed by a passenger of another cruise ship after realizing that the Norwegian Epic was going to hit the dock. According to reports, the 4,100 passenger cruise ship was on a seven-night cruise out of Port Canaveral when it had to make an unscheduled stop in Puerto Rico due to a mechanical issue.
2. Bad Bunkers Problem
Panama marine fuel sales in 2018 were hit by the “bad bunkers” problem that started in the US Gulf region with a 1.8% drop in sales. Bunker sales in Panama fell by 1.8% to 4.55m metric tonnes (mt) compared to the record 4.63m mt the year before which registered growth of 15.61%. Sales on the Pacific side decreased by 5.59% to 3.38m mt while they increased by 11.22% to 1.16m mt on the Atlantic side, where bunkering had been on the rise for the past two years.
3. Owners Opting Secondhand
Ship owners have opted against committing more financial resources towards newbuilding orders, amid the uncertainty surrounding world trade growth prospects and the pressures exerted on the Chinese economy. This has been the overall trend since the start of 2019, except a couple of niche segments, like LNG, where prospects remain. Allied Shipbroking said that “few new orders were to be seen this past week, with owners seemingly more restrained as part of the current freight market performance. Expectations for improved earnings within 2019 have not yet materialized in both dry and wet segments”.
4. COSCO Buying Spree
Chinese state-run shipping giant Cosco is ordering up to 30 newcastlemax bulk carriers at domestic yards to support its long-term shipping project with Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco), marking the largest ever bulker order placed by the company. Cosco secured a long-term shipping contract with Chalco last October for the transportation of bauxite from Guinea to China. According to sources close to the matter, Cosco Shipping Bulk has chosen several domestic yards including subsidiary yards of Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry and CSIC-affiliate yards for the first batch of sixteen 210,000 dwt vessels.
5. Supply Vessel Sinks
Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said on Thursday that a small supply and personnel vessel with three Indonesian crew members had capsized and sunk in its territorial waters, near where a similar incident occurred a month ago. All three crew members aboard the Ocean Cooper 2 are safe and no injuries or oil pollution were reported, the MPA said in a statement, adding that the incident is being investigated.
6. Clearing Up Demarcations
After a collision last weekend in waters claimed by both sides, Malaysia and Singapore are in advanced talks to resolve a dispute over maritime demarcations in Johor Strait. “The discussions are very positive and we are about to resolve the issues on the port lines,” said foreign minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, speaking at a press conference Thursday. “Our officers are discussing the matter almost on a day to day basis. That’s the most important thing.” The dispute centers on the border line between the port of Tuas, Singapore and the port of Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
7. Greeks Still Anti Scrubber
The Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) is maintaining its opposition to scrubbers as way to comply with the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap despite significant investments in exhaust gas cleaning systems by some of its members. Speaking at its recent agm UGS president, Theodore Veniamis warned the polarisation of attitudes towards scrubbers is having a divisive effect on the shipping community, although he praised IMO for ‘political courage’ in looking at safety concerns raised by the industry over the introduction of new 2020-compliant fuels.
8. More Draught Reductions
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is reducing he maximum draught for the new locks for the third time based on the present and projected levels of Gatun Lake for the following weeks. The new authorised draught, effective 13 March 2019, for vessels transiting the neo-panamax locks will be 14.33 metres (47.0 feet) Tropical Fresh Water (TFW) down from 14.63 metres (48.0 feet) effective since 11 February. Vessels arriving after 13 March 2019, with draughts over 14.33 metres (47.0 feet) TFW may be allowed to transit, depending on the actual level of Gatun Lake at the time of transit.
9. Finnish Seafarer Strike
The Finnish Seafarers’ Union threatened on Thursday it would call its members out on strike from March 1, stopping all Finnish passenger and cargo vessels, including ice-breakers, if its pay demands are not met. Shipping is crucial for Finland’s economy, with more than four fifths of foreign trade passing through its ports, according to official customs statistics for 2017. The union began pay negotiations over a deal for the next two years with the Finnish Shipowners’ Association at the start of the month.
10. MOL Financial Results
Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has reported the financial results for Q3, 2018. The company said that in FY2018 Q3 all three business segments exceeded their outlooks to some degree – in general, markets for the Dry Bulk Business and Energy Transport Business remained firm, and the containership business joint company, ONE in the Product Transport Business also posted improved profits. On the other hand, ONE took a conservative approach in assessing uncertainties in the external environment, such as China-U.S. trade friction.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com