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Daily Briefing February 14 2020

Free to read: Coronavirus-hit China leads crude and product tanker demand lower | Ghani loses UK shipping brief in Cabinet reshuffle | Greek owners say European ETS push must be thwarted

Good morning. Here’s our quick view of everything you need to know today.

The Lloyd’s List Daily Briefing is brought to you by the Lloyd’s List News Desk.

What to watch   |   Analysis   |   Opinion   |   Markets   |   In other news




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What to watch


Oil agencies’ bearish coronavirus oil demand revisions suggest a cap on first-half crude tanker earnings and further uncertainty for product tankers as crude and middle distillate trade flows are disrupted or redistributed by the severe downturn in China’s land transport and aviation sectors.

As India and Bangladesh scrapyards are not permitting Chinese crew to disembark at the recycling locations due to precautions introduced as a result of the coronavirus threat, deflated sentiment begins to creep into the market.

UK Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani, who had responsibility for overseeing shipping and maritime, has been moved out of the post as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle.

Greek shipowners have called for opposition at the International Maritime Organization to rebut a European push to include shipping in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme.


Analysis


Shipping is waking up to the stress caused by working at sea thanks to increasing social and cultural awareness on the issues surrounding mental health and its repercussions.

The US increased its seaborne exports of crude oil by 51% to 133m tonnes in 2019, with December registering the highest monthly figure at a record 13.9m tonnes, according to shipping association BIMCO.

The worlds of seafaring and shore-side management are not exactly chalk and cheese. However, while the first is characterised as closer to science, the latter is more akin to art.


Opinion


When UK shipping minister Nusrat Ghani talked to Lloyd’s List last week, she noticeably spoke about her job in the past tense. There appears to have been a reason for that and now she has been sacked. But first, she told Lloyd’s List what the future holds for the industry.

Established over two decades, the Lloyd’s List Awards provide an unrivalled platform to celebrate innovation, leadership and excellence in shipping. Entries for this year’s cycle are now open.


Markets


Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company, members of the 2M Alliance, have found a new South Korean partner to replace Hyundai Merchant Marine, which is set to join a rival grouping.

Eurodry says market “uncertainties” made worse by the coronavirus outbreak may eventually have a silver lining for owners.

Hyundai Merchant Marine has warned of market impact from the coronavirus outbreak and US-China trade war as it posted a loss last year.

All but one of the major trade lanes served by Malaysia-based Westports are connected to China, which is experiencing a major slowdown amid the coronavirus outbreak. One analyst has downgraded Westports’ earnings outlook, suggesting the port operator would not gain more trade volume this year.


In other news


The Yang Ming containership earlier arrested in Sydney over a debt dispute has been released.

A Cosco Shipping dry bulker has rescued two people from a distressed sailing boat in the North Atlantic.

Ports and railroads across Canada are facing a shutdown because of climate activists opposed to the construction a 670 km natural gas pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to the $40bn liquefied natural gas Canada export facility in Kitimat on the Pacific Coast.

Epic Gas says growing US gas production and strong demand from Asia gave it reasons for optimism in the year ahead, despite posting a $1m loss in the most recent quarter.

Singapore-based harbour and terminal towage operator PSA Marine is expanding in South America with the acquisition of Tramarsa Flota and its subsidiaries in Peru from Grupo Romero.

Repair workers are dealing with a leaking liquefied petroleum gas carrier and have evacuated the vessel from port and positioned it off Fuzhou in southern China.

Seanergy Maritime envisaged that 2020 would be a “positive year” for the beleaguered dry bulk sector as the listed owner of 10 capesizes reported a small profit for the second consecutive quarter.

An investigation in connection with TUI’s divestment from box carrier Hapag-Lloyd has been discontinued, according to a statement from the bank.

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