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Daily Briefing March 3 2020

Free to read: Rosneft sanctions leave oil trader’s Venezuela VLCC fleet stranded | Coronavirus fear persists despite slowed blank sailings by carriers | The bet that failed: Kurt Zech unravels Zeaborn

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


An oil trader who began a new Venezuela crude shipping business in January with Rosneft Trading has three unemployed very large crude carriers anchored off Mauritius after terminating all business with the Swiss trading unit.

Coronavirus-led void sailings have slowed following the recovery of China’s factory and logistics activities. But the spread of the disease in other countries has raised concerns about a further disruption to container shipping demand.

Kurt Zech’s flirtation with shipping appears to be coming to a close, with the construction entrepreneur’s rapid expansion of Zeaborn Group on the back of the cheap assets available in the wake of the shipping downturn now portrayed in German industry circles as a brave bet that sadly failed.


Analysis


A Vitol-owned newbuilding very large crude carrier is the first tracked trading clean in nearly 10 months, with Elandra Kiliminjaro now storing a 2m-barrel cargo of diesel off Singapore.


Opinion


Lars Robert Pedersen, the deputy secretary-general of BIMCO, argues that a recent study suggesting very low sulphur fuel oil blends are not friendly to the environment was based on too narrow a set of data collection and that more tests would clarify the situation.

Lloyd’s List Podcast: Qatar’s Hamad port with its next-generation terminals and free zone form the foundation of a maritime cluster that draws on best practice elsewhere. It’s rare for such expertise to be gathered in a new location and, as our podcast speakers show, the future for the Qatar cluster is exciting.


Markets


The steep decline in the scrubber premium corresponds with lower prices captured from trades done on compliant fuel oil in Singapore. This sharp reversal from what was observed in January put carriers without scrubbers in serious contention for long-haul charters.


In other news


Cosco Shipping Holdings, the container shipping and ports arm of the state conglomerate, has raised $143.5m by selling a so-called virus control bond. Such bonds offer an interest rate below the central bank’s benchmark, allowing issuers to use the cheap funds in part to shore up their liquidity.

Boxships out of service for scrubber retrofits will continue to boost the sector in 2020, according to Clarksons.

Finnish company Wärtsilä plans to produce a new engine and propulsion solutions that it hopes could significantly cut fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants.

Public Health England, a government watchdog, is to step up monitoring at ports in response to the coronavirus threat.

A large number of container shipping executives have had their plans overhauled during the weekend following the last-minute cancellation of the annual Trans-Pacific Maritime conference, which was due to take place in Long Beach, California this week.

Maritime technology expert Daryl Williamson is joining the Lloyd’s List Editorial Board, bringing an added dimension to the extensive industry knowledge and experience of existing members.

Most containerships operating in the Pacific Sea between China and the US would require only minor adjustment to be powered by hydrogen, according to a study.

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