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Daily Briefing March 9 2020

Free to read: Cashflow critical to liner shipping carriers | EU commissioner wants to abolish bunker tax exemptions | The Lloyd’s List Podcast: How is shipping coping with coronavirus? 

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


It is all about cashflow now for container shipping carriers, writes Cichen Shen.

European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni has called for the abolition of tax exemptions on maritime bunkers, adding to the growing sentiment coming out of Brussels in favour of more regulations for shipping emissions.

The Lloyd’s List Podcast: The impact of coronavirus continues to ripple through the shipping industry and the wider global supply chain, so to help make sense of the increasingly complex picture we have once again sought a diverse range of industry insight for this week’s edition, including Guy Platten, secretary-general of the International Chamber of Shipping, Ray Lei, commercial director at Landbridge Holdings and Fleet Management’s head of business Captain Vikas Grewal.

US Gulf imports of crude or fuel oil from Russia were more or less equal to volumes from Saudi Arabia in 2019 and will likely exceed volumes from the country’s Middle East ally this year, Lloyd’s List Intelligence data shows.


Analysis


The week in charts: Ocean freight spot prices from Rotterdam to Shanghai rose 24% in the past week, 45% higher than for the same period last year. Meanwhile, the spread between high and lower sulphur marine fuel oil is contracting, which has slashed earnings premiums for scrubber-fitted vessels.

Defects in passage planning, as well as charts that have not been fully updated, will render a vessel unseaworthy, the Court of Appeal yesterday ruled in upholding the earlier findings of the High Court.


Opinion


Wärtsilä’s decision to change its organisational structure (again) will probably not make many headlines in another week dominated by coronavirus, writes Richard Clayton.

 

SEA/LNG chairman Peter Keller counters the environmental backlash against gas-fuelled ships.

 


Markets


Ocean freight spot prices from Rotterdam to Shanghai have risen 24% in the past week to reach $786 per feu, 45% higher compared with the same period last year, as lines prioritise the repositioning of empty containers in preparation for outbound demand from China, new figures from Drewry indicate.

Liquefied natural gas exports from the east coast of Australia to China in February were down 18% compared with the same month last year, yet another sign of the world’s second-largest economy weakening amid the coronavirus outbreak.

DHL’s supply chain risk management platform Resilience360 yesterday highlighted the ‘ripple effects’ on global supply chains as the new coronavirus epidemic continues to spread quickly beyond China.

Oil ministers from the 14 Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to push for a cut of 1.5m barrels a day. The move is expected to be positive for the liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas sectors, but negative for tankers.


In other news


Australia will allow shipowners to extend seafarer tours of duty beyond the 11-month ceiling set down in the Maritime Labour Convention where the coronavirus outbreak makes this necessary, the Australian Maritime Safety Agency has announced.

The Port of Tyne in northeast England wants to secure freeport status and establish the UK’s first ‘virtual’ economic zone that links the port with inland manufacturers as it seeks growth amid post-Brexit uncertainty.

Russia has ordered mandatory disinfection of ships arriving at two key Black Sea ports from Iran, Italy and South Korea in a bid to counter the spread of coronavirus, Reuters has reported.

Cargo vessels controlled by North Korea have made at least 175 trips to China’s port of Zhoushan since October last year, according to analysts at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

Tsakos Energy Navigation announced the sale of five vessels for $104m, telling investors its long-term outlook remains positive despite the coronavirus outbreak.

Head of the International Maritime Law Institute says greater clarity is needed on flag state laws to deter crimes at sea.

California authorities have blocked the return of a cruiseship to the port of San Francisco until passengers can be tested for the coronavirus, while cargo shipping also is suffering as the state’s main ports brace for significant declines in throughput.

The International Maritime Organization has postponed two meetings scheduled to be held over the next couple of weeks due to coronavirus.

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