Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/02/2019
1. WTO Fears Slow Down
The World Trade Organization (WTO) expects slower trade growth this year. The weakness is likely to extend into the first quarter of 2019, according to the WTO’s Outlook Indicator released on February 19. The most recent WTOI reading of 96.3 is the weakest since March 2010 and below the baseline value of 100 for the index, signalling below-trend trade expansion into the first quarter. Weakness in the overall index was driven by steep declines in export orders (95.3), international air freight (96.8), automobile production and sales (92.5), electronic components (88.7) and agricultural raw materials (94.3).
2. Making Careers For All
Closing the Maritime 2050 strategy event, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Nusrat Ghani explains how to ensure maritime sector careers are open to all. Ms. Ghani said that seafarers’ dedication, skills and talent is what improving the UK maritime sector. This is enabled by quality maritime education institutions, which provide high quality apprenticeships. However, there is the need to ensure that these career opportunities are open to everyone, irrespective of their gender or background. She added that only 4% of the 10,600 UK certified officers active at sea are female.
3. Feb 20th Renewals
Twelve of 13 mutual insurer marine protection and indemnity clubs that are part of the International Group of P&I Clubs will not increase rates at the upcoming renewal for shipowners for the 2019-20 policy year, ratings agency A.M. Best Co. Inc. said Monday in a report. However, the lack of general increases from most of the clubs does not necessarily mean that rates will not rise for poorly performing business at the 2019 renewal, Best said. “Renewals in the sector are driven increasingly by analysis of individual loss records and risk exposure, with more clubs using deductibles to control exposure,” Best said.
4. Bulker Leaking on Reef
The bulker Solomon Trader, a bauxite carrier that recently went aground in the Solomon Islands, has suffered a hull breach and may have begun to leak oil, according to local officials. Reports claim a smell of fuel oil has been detected up to 0.8 km away from the vessel, and discoloured water has been observed up to 0.6 km to the southeast. However, National Disaster Management Office director Loti Yates told Radio NZ that no spill has yet been observed. Yates confirmed that the hull of the Trader has been breached and that her engine room is flooded.
5. EU Competition Changes
A host of transport-related associations have joined forces to urge the European Commission to repeal the EU consortia block exemption regulation (BER), which is currently under review in Brussels. Nine associations – comprising shippers, forwarders, ports, barge and tug operators – yesterday determined that the BER, which comes up for renewal shortly, is now obsolete. In a release the associations described the BER as a “generous exemption from normal competition rules”.
6. Maersk Blanks Calls
Citing “seasonal market demand reductions” Maersk announced yesterday it was blanking another Asia-Europe service, pulling the Estelle Maersk from a planned departure from China on March 2 on the AE2 service it operates with MSC. The cancellation is on top of the carrier’s already communicated Chinese New Year blank sailings and adds to a growing weak sentiment about prospects on the Asia-Europe tradelane.
7. Windfarm Boat Collision
Several people have sustained injuries after an offshore wind crewboat collided with an 81-meter cargo ship in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Germany. A total of fifteen people on board the Danish crew transfer vessel World Bora were injured when it collided with the Cyprus-flagged Raba approximately 3 nautical miles from the German Island of Rügen. Police said the World Bora had four crew members and eleven workers aboard and it was on its way to the Viking wind farm in Germany’s Exclusive Economic Zone at the time of the accident. Ten of the victims were reported as having serious injuries.
8. Qatar Investing Big
The head of Qatar Petroleum (QP) yesterday confirmed speculation that the Middle Eastern nation will push ahead with plans to order up to 60 LNG carriers. Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi, who is also Qatar’s minister of state for energy affairs, said at a press conference that Qatar was in advanced negotiations to order between 50 and 60 gas carriers, a giant order similar in scale to the series of Q-Flexes and Q-Maxes the country ordered in South Korea in the previous decade via QP shipping subsidiary Nakilat.
9. India Looking Local
The Indian government will prioritise locally made ships when handing out chartering contracts in a big change to the local maritime scene in the world’s second largest country by population. The change is in line with New Delhi’s Make in India initiative and is the latest bid to ramp up domestic shipbuilding capabilities. “In a big step to promote Make in India initiative and incentivize ship-building activity in the country, Ministry of Shipping has revised its guidelines for chartering of ships by providing Right of First Refusal (RoFR) to ships built in India,” the shipping ministry said in a statement yesterday.
10. Casey the Container
Looking got Half Term entertainment? A new rhyming children’s book has been published which follows Casey the Container, a new shipping container, along her journey on her first day in port. Casey meets new friends, experiences the workings of the waterfront, and learns the important role containers play in our world. The story, as told from Casey’s perspective, provides operational insight about the movement of containerized cargo. Eighty-five percent of goods used within the world are transported in shipping containers arriving on container ships. Readers of all ages learn how containerized cargo flows.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com