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Daily Briefing April 6 2020

Free to read: Bankers go easy on owners as coronavirus bites | Chinese lessors warn on rising shipping defaults | The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Piracy in a time of coronavirus | The week in charts

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   |   Markets   |   In other news




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What to watch


Bankers are likely to cut shipowners some slack during the conronavirus crisis, rather than jump to enforcement at the first possible opportunities, according to lawyers who specialise in ship finance.

Chinese shipping lessors are growing vigilant about their coronavirus-hit borrowers, with some forecasting a surge in bad debts in the coming months should economic activity remain frozen by the pandemic.

Charterparty disputes arising from coronavirus are unlikely to have a direct impact on owners’ financing arrangements, with the notable exception of prolonged off-hire, shipping lawyers believe.

After losing out in the bidding for Long Beach Container Terminal in southern California, Yildirim Group chairman Robert Yildirim has turned his attention to the US Gulf where he hopes to develop a terminal that will be handling more than 300,000 teu a year initially, with scope for further expansion as the facilities are upgraded.

Blanked sailings on the back of lower demand are expected to continue beyond April and spread beyond the mainlane trades.

Register now for the Lloyd’s List Future Fuels Webinar on April 23: Join shipping and bunker industry experts to discuss how the sector will fuel its future and what businesses can do to mitigate risk and transition effectively.

Lloyd’s List subscribers can now download the latest edition of the Lloyd’s List magazine, as we switch to a digital platform for the next three months or until such time as the situation can be resolved.


Analysis


The Lloyd’s List Podcast: West African pirates clearly didn’t get the memo on social distancing. Piracy is still rife and insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea in particular continues to blight the lives of seafarers. On the podcast this week we have BIMCO’s head of safety and security Jakob Larsen and Stephen Askins, partner at Tatham & Co — Maritime Solicitors.

The week in charts: Container-related port calls suggest China is increasing exports, while Bahri provisionally charters two more VLCCs, boosting rates.

Freight forwarder Flexport had been due to sign a lease on new office space in London just ahead of restrictions on movement. It went ahead with the office opening, just without the office.


Markets


The San Pedro Bay ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were fully operational on Thursday, following the closure of a single terminal on Wednesday after a labour dispatcher for the dockworkers’ union tested positive for the coronavirus.

Norwegian shipping companies are anticipating an average 35% drop in turnover in 2020 and around half of them have said they may have to lay off people over the next two weeks, as operational challenges due to coronavirus abound.


In other news


The port of Antwerp could see its volumes fall by 15% this year but is warning that the longer-term consequences of the coronavirus pandemic could be even more disruptive.

Singapore is suspending all non-essential business and social activities from next week but its port operations and certain maritime-related activities will be exempted from the month-long suspension.

Dynacom Tankers has confirmed orders for seven large tanker newbuildings in China.

CDB Leasing, part of policy lender China Development Bank, has firmed up a newbuilding deal for eight ultramax dry bulkers worth $188.9m.

Mitsui OSK Lines has merged its Asian and European tanker management companies into one after the virus-hit Japanese shipping giant reported a $146m extraordinary loss last week.

Singapore-based Keppel Shipyard has placed about 100 workers on 14-day leave of absence from Wednesday, following four confirmed coronavirus cases among those said to be engaged in constructing the Liza Unity floating production, storage and offloading vessel and the Coral South floating liquefied natural gas turret projects.

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