InterManager Daily News 07.05.2021.

1. Crew Welfare Charities Launch Fund to Help Indian Seafarers Amid Surging Virus Cases
Even before the recent surge in India, an estimated 200,000 seafarers had continued to be impacted by the pandemic-fueled crew change crisis, in some cases stranded on ships for months beyond agreed contracts. Despite some progress in combatting the crisis, the daily number of COVID-19 cases in India, which is home to many of the world’s 1.5 million seafarers, has reached more than 400,000 per day, prompting some major ports to prohibit ship crew changes for seafarers with recent travel history the country, says the International Chamber of Shipping.

2. Retail Brands Pledge Supply Chain Audit to Help Seafarers Stranded by COVID-19
Unilever Plc and other big retail brands are among consumer giants adopting a toolkit to audit their shipping supply chains in an effort to help bring seafarers stuck on commercial vessels back home and eliminate human rights risks. The voluntary initiative, which launches later this week, calls on companies that put cargo on shipping containers to address problems stemming from government-imposed restrictions on crew changes. It’s estimated more than 200,000 crew around the world are still stuck on vessels beyond the expiration of their contracts and well past globally accepted safety standards.

3. Salvage Crews Arrive at SEACOR Power Wreck
Salvage crews began removing fuel from SEACOR Power’s tanks on Monday, kicking off salvage operations for the overturned lift boat off the coast of Port Fourchon, Louisiana. Crews began arriving at the site over the weekend to familiarize themselves with the equipment to be used in the operation. Salvage crews are using a method called hot tapping, which uses pressure to allow for drilling into the fuel tanks and making a hose connection without ruining the integrity of the tank or causing pollution impacts.

4. Cargo Removed from Stricken Tanker off China, Preparing for Voyage to Repair Yard
Cargo onboard a tanker that leaked oil off China has been removed and preparations are underway so the vessel can sail to a Chinese repair yard, the ship’s manager said on Wednesday. The A Symphony was anchored roughly 40 nautical miles (74 km) off the coast of Qingdao when it was struck by the bulk carrier Sea Justice in dense fog on April 27. The collision ruptured A Symphony’s cargo and ballast tanks, causing it to leak roughly 400 tonnes of its bitumen mix cargo.

5. US Trade Deficit Reaches Record High
The U.S. trade deficit jumped to a record high in March amid roaring domestic demand, which is drawing in imports, and the gap could widen further as the nation’s economic activity rebounds faster than its global rivals. Manufacturers lack the capacity to satisfy the surge in demand because of resource constraints and bottlenecks in the supply chain. Inventories are very lean. Demand is being driven by a rapidly improving public health situation and massive government aid to households and businesses to cushion the blow from the COVID-19 pandemic.

6. Force majeure in Mozambique upends LNG fundamentals
The declaration followed a deadly attack by the Islamic militant group, Ansar al-Sunna, on the coastal town of Palma in the country’s northern province, Cabo Delgado. The assault left scores dead and many others unaccounted for.The region is where Total’s Afungi site was under development. Ironically, the energy company had opted to develop an onshore site, rather than a floating facility, to generate greater benefits for the impoverished East African nation. The company rapidly withdrew all personnel following the latest strike.

7. Indian seafarers face fresh challenges as Covid epidemic overwhelms the country
Concerns over the availability of vaccines and waiting time are adding to the job uncertainty of seafarers. Shipowners have begun insisting on hiring crew who are vaccinated ahead of joining ships on their next contract, as new variants of the Covid-19 virus wreak havoc in one of the top suppliers of seafaring manpower. India’s incidence of Covid infections has touched a new world record of over 350,000 new positive cases over the past 24 hours.

8. Stronger Rates Lift Baltic Index To Near 11-Year Peak
The Baltic exchange’s main sea freight index rose on Wednesday, its highest since mid-2010, boosted by gains across vessel segments.
The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels ferrying dry bulk commodities, rose by 109 points, or 3.5%, to 3,266, its strongest level since June 2010.
The capesize index rose 224 points, or 4.3%, to an over 11-year high of 5,404.

9. ENGINE: Europe & Africa Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook
Low sulphur fuels are readily available in key bunker ports around Europe and Africa, while prompt availability of high sulphur fuel oil is tight in the Canary Islands and South Africa.There are no supply issues in ARA ports, other Norther European ports or in Gibraltar Strait ports, where stems of VLSFO and LSMGO are readily available with most suppliers, sources say. Supply of low sulphur fuels remains steady in these ports, in contrast to bunker hubs further east, like Singapore and Fujairah, where lead times for these grades fluctuate a lot more.

10. Adani Ports Could Abandon Myanmar Project If Found To Violate U.S. Sanctions
Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSE.NS) said on Tuesday it could abandon a Myanmar container terminal project and write down the investment if it is found to be in violation of sanctions imposed by the United States. “In a scenario wherein Myanmar is classified as a sanctioned country under the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), or if OFAC opines that the project violates the current sanctions, (Adani Ports) plans to abandon the project and write down the investments,” the company said in a filing to exchanges on Tuesday.


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