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From the News Desk: Innovation and emissions opportunities emerge, but uncertainty prevails

In this week’s insider’s guide to the stories shaping shipping we highlight the trillion dollars of green shipping opportunities on the horizon, but not before we caution you against the immediate uncertainty of a long-term trade war and explain why the US is now importing more oil from Russia than Saudi Arabia

A weekly tour of the stories that the Lloyd’s List News Desk consider to be required reading

A TIMELY, if not slightly terrifying report from the OECD’s International Transport Forum this week reminded those burdened by the bureaucracy of decarbonisation in shipping that, left unchecked, the industry’s carbon emissions would increase 160% by 2050.

Even if the global economy largely divests from fossil fuels, there is a huge challenge ahead, warned the report. Stick duly noted, those more interested in carrots should pencil a date in their diary for next week’s Lloyd’s List Podcast which features Baroness Bryony Worthington, who leads the European arm of the Environmental Defence Fund.

She is firmly of the belief that emissions-free shipping can be the engine that drives green development across the world. Not only can international shipping meet its target of at least halving its emissions by 2050, but it can unleash trillions of dollars of investment opportunities in sustainable industrial infrastructure — particularly in developing countries — by using clean fuel such as “green” ammonia, as long as the fuel is produced using untapped renewable potential without increasing fossil fuel use.

With Nor-Shipping looming on the horizon, innovation and the emissions debate will inevitably be topping the agenda over the coming week so consider next week’s podcast an early primer. Those looking for the full package should register immediately for the Lloyd’s List Innovation Forum in Oslo on June 3. The debate promises to set the agenda for the week and should be top of anyone’s Oslo trip to-do list. 

 

Podcasts, ports, politics and the burden of bureaucracy

If you can’t wait for next week’s Lloyd’s List Podcast make sure you have downloaded the latest edition featuring the ever-erudite editorial explorations of Janet Porter, Anastassios Adamopoulos, James Baker and of course our regular podcast host and editor, Richard Meade.

Expect insights into why Robert Yildirim was so angry about losing his bid to buy Long Beach Container Terminal, what’s keeping the container industry power brokers awake at night and why the IMO is struggling to keep up with the regulatory agenda.

Don’t forget, you can now subscribe to the Lloyd’s List Podcast via iTunes and Spotify, as well as most other podcast providers. And make sure you are registered for a free account on Lloydslist.com so you can receive our Daily Briefing e-mail.

 

We live in uncertain times

Maersk chief Søren Skou has had his serious face on for some time now and the bellwether results from big blue on Friday offered little to raise a smile, from him or anyone else on the call.

The world’s largest container line actually reported a good start to 2019 but warned that “considerable uncertainties” courtesy of what Skou politely refers to as “trade tensions” will probably hurt its business. Maersk of course is not alone in feeling the pinch — Moody’s latest figures point to the escalating tariff war between China and US reducing container throughput growth in China over the next 12 to 18 months, which would be a credit negative for the country’s port operators.

Alphaliner meanwhile slashed its 2019 estimate for global throughput growth from 3.6% to 2.5%. Still not worried? Try reading our China Editor’s recent reflections from his most recent trip.

This is increasingly looking like a long-term issue for shipping with absolutely no certainties to plan for or mitigate risk. One tweet from President Trump’s tiny thumbs and the entire sector is yet again on the back foot.

 

Energy markets in flux

America is set to take in more crude from Russia than its long-time Middle East ally Saudi Arabia for the first time on record, as shipments from the kingdom collapse and Venezuela sanctions force refineries to seek oil alternatives.

Yes, you read that correctly, Saudi imports to the US so far this month total 6.76m barrels, just over half the 12m barrels the Lloyd’s List Intelligence tracked last month.

With this intriguing display of transitioning trade lanes in mind we have set about organising a Trade Outlook Forum to coincide with our Asia Pacific Awards in Singapore on October 17. Details will be announced shortly, but everyone entering the awards will be welcome to attend. So enter the Asia Awards now and keep up to date with the new world order in the process!

Entries are free and you can complete the online form in a matter of minutes here. Good luck and we hope to see you in Singapore in October.

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