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Daily Briefing April 22 2020

Free to read: White knights line up for troubled Hin Leong and Ocean Tankers | Floating storage profits surge as oil price collapse widens contango | US-bound Saudi crude armada adds to oil price woes 

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


Leading energy and commodity companies are seeking roles in the rescue financing to be lined up for two key businesses of oil tycoon, OK Lim, even as the Singapore Police Force has launched a probe into his family-owned trading firm, Hin Leong.

The historic collapse in oil prices amid a global shortfall of commercial land-based storage leaves floating storage on tankers as one of few viable options to address the unprecedented oversupply of crude now overwhelming the market.

The US oil market is facing a perfect storm as it trades in negative territory for the first time in history with around 36m barrels of Saudi Arabian crude sailing for the US Gulf, and most due to arrive within the next four weeks.


Analysis


Recently published first quarter of the year traffic data for the Strait of Dover shows the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the Dover ferry and Eurotunnel shuttle operations.


Opinion


The coronavirus thunderbolt and oil war hit Chinese repair yards just after they had its best year more than a decade, while their Singaporean competitors recently also fell victim to the global pandemic, write Cichen Shen and Hwee Hwee Tan.



Markets


Global miner BHP expects a double-digit percentage contraction in steel production around the world this year, excluding China.

Carriers should brace for “rough seas ahead” and “challenging times” as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on containerised freight volumes, says Ocean Network Express chief executive Jeremy Nixon.


In other news


Wärtsilä, the Finnish smart technology business, has reported a fall in pre-tax profit for the first three months of the year, which it said had been a quarter characterised by a “sudden increase in uncertainty” because of the coronavirus and its longer-term impact on the global economy.

The International Association of Classification Societies has agreed a series of measures such as sharing each other's surveyors, if needed, in order to manage the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.

Shipowners’ Club has warned of higher premiums ahead after recording a $10.3m underwriting loss for 2019, as the small craft specialist’s combined ratio slipped out to 105% from 104% last time round.

Gearbulk, the Bergen-based open-hatch bulker operator, has started to renegotiate charter rates for bulkers with Japanese shipowners who have their vessels on long-term charters to the company amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has awarded two new bunker supplier licences to Minerva Bunkering and TFG Marine, forging Singapore’s position as a top bunkering centre where supply permits are much sought after.

ENI Trading and Shipping has extended its charter of Knot Offshore Partners’ shuttle tanker Torill Knutsen for two years.

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