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Daily Briefing April 30 2020

Free to read: Cargo cancellations and low prices sink LNG rates | Singapore bunker premium rises as fleet tightens on Hin Leong fallout | P&I clubs’ co-operation helps shipping to be sustainable

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


Owners may hope that a contango market can bolster LNG floating storage in the autumn. For others, the practical problems undermine the business case.

Ocean Bunkering Services has stopped delivering cargoes after its trading affiliate turned insolvent, affecting the operations of over a dozen bunker tankers that have been licensed to operate in Singapore waters.

P&I is a resilient business model that has withstood crises and challenges over many decades, IG chairman Paul Jennings tells Lloyd’s List. P&I clubs are learning to co-operate more closely as part of that resilience, he says.


Analysis


If carriers resort to chasing market share in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, they could face losing more than $23bn this year.

Inconsistent coronavirus-related port and border closures or entry restrictions have led to goods being rerouted via ports different from those initially scheduled, creating extra costs — for example in demurrage, storage, handling and transport.

Weekly briefing: Initial concerns over frozen supply chains and port congestion as a result of lockdown measures has not come to pass, but carriers are still looking at a grim second quarter.


Opinion


China Merchants Group needs to consider not only the short-term benefits that could be brought about by de-listing the undervalued China Merchants Port Holdings from a public equity market, but also the long-term strategy for its global terminal business, writes Cichen Shen.


Navigating the coronavirus storm could prove too great a challenge for even the sturdiest of container shipping stock. Industry casualties are a real possibility, writes Linton Nightingale.




Markets


Strategic thinking from the carrier community appears to have mitigated any immediate damage to long-term contracted ocean freight rates linked to the coronavirus, according to one rates specialist.


In other news


A New York judge has denied an appeal filed on April 20 by Global Container Terminals to stop container line Maersk and its subsidiary Hamburg Süd from switching their business from GCT’s Staten Island, New York, terminal to a rival facility at Port Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Scandlines, the Baltic ferry operator, expects a significant hit to its finances from the health crisis as it reported steady earnings for 2019 and investment in green vessels.

Keppel Offshore and Marine has served force majeure notices on various customers and seen its main yard operations in the city-state sharply constrained, with a workforce reduced to less than 5% of pre-lockdown levels.

Brazilian mining giant Vale has decided to phase out or substitute 25 converted vessels from its fleet, it said in its operational results, in a move that is expected to be a positive for the dry bulk market.

China’s Bocomm Financial Leasing has signed a contract that is bringing another ordering bonanza to local shipyards with 12 dual fuel, long-range two tankers.

Costamare reported stronger-than-expected results for the first quarter of 2020 and has revealed that it has arranged financing worth $165m with banks since the start of the year.

California is being urged to reject calls by the maritime community for a slowdown in the proposed At-Berth regulations currently under consideration.

Singapore has started its first Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight Drone Delivery service with Singapore-based startup F-drones delivering the first parcel containing 2kg of vitamins dropped onto a ship anchored off the island earlier this month.

Email confirmation of charterparty agreements — now standard practice in shipping — renders the arbitration clause void in the Netherlands, the Dutch Supreme Court has ruled.

A rebound in tanker rates has boosted the first-quarter results of China Merchants Energy Shipping, which owns one of the largest fleets of very large crude carriers.

The US has issued new guidance on how it will assess the reasonableness of detention and demurrage regulations and practices of ocean carriers and marine terminal operators.

The US Army Corps of Engineers has signed off on a report recommending approval of the Houston Ship Channel expansion project, according to port officials.

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