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Daily Briefing August 20 2020

Free to read: Maersk lifts profits and crew repatriation efforts | Box lines eye volume recovery | Wakashio spill latest | China’s record imports: Miracle or mirage? | Sulphur cap not all smooth sailing

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


Amid the deepening crisis of seafarers stranded at sea, Maersk has managed to get about 2,000 crew members home in recent weeks. But group chief executive Søren Skou has warned that “it will be a while” before the crew change crisis is resolved.

The Japanese owner of the grounded bulker Wakashio has apologised for the grounding incident that caused the massive oil spill off Mauritius, while also backing the vessel’s master and chief officer after their arrest.

Carriers are aggressively reintroducing capacity, particularly on the transpacific, as the likelihood of a demand resurgence grows. As it stands, capacity in the third quarter of 2020 will far outweigh last year.

Fuel quality and safety problems will continue to challenge shipping, according to a new survey on problems experienced since the sulphur cap came into force.


Analysis


While China is trying to dig itself out of the pandemic-driven economic slump, dry bulk demand has become even more dependent on the economy. However, it seems that the record shipments into China in the first half of the year will not be repeated in the second half.

Nearly $3bn of investments in terminals, roads and rail have significantly boosted the ability of the port of New York-New Jersey to challenge the long-standing dominance of the top US west coast ports.


Opinion


Shipping has kept the world moving while the rest of the world was stopped in its tracks, and yet too often the industry remains out of sight, out of mind. It is more essential than ever that shipping’s stories are told to the global audience.



Markets


Maersk has reinstated its previous suspended full-year guidance with improved operating results, as volumes start to recover and post-Covid 19 recovery signals strengthen.

An oversupply of liquefied natural gas in Asia is forcing cargoes from Australia to venture to new markets as far away as Chile. An LNG shipment from Queensland Curtis LNG plant arrived on board the 170,000 cu m tanker Sevilla Knutsen, at Quintero, Chile on August 15, Lloyd’s List Intelligence data showed.

Scandinavia-based car carrier Wallenius Wilhelmsen said a sharp fall in volumes was “somewhat balanced” by cost cuts, cheaper fuel and better rates carrying heavy machinery. The company expected some recovery but warned excess capacity would delay rate rises for some time.


In other news


Golden Ocean’s newly appointed chief executive says he is actively monitoring fuel developments and new regulations to guide its ordering decisions. Ulrik Andersen also expects that the already historically low dry bulk orderbook will be kept in check, helping freight rates.

Despite the pandemic outbreak and declining revenues, Israel-based Zim has posted its highest quarterly profits since the second quarter of 2009.

Danish shipping company Norden has established a joint project with Synergy for technical management of its tanker fleet. The company has also raised the lower end of its profit guidance for the full year by $10m.

A 55-year-old Greek second engineer died and a 26-year-old Greek third engineer was injured when a fire broke out in the engine room of a bulker headed to Port Elizabeth.

US firm AlixPartners is the latest consultancy taking a role in the convoluted restructuring of OK Lim’s business empire. It will lend its shipping insights to the interim judicial managers for five Xihe entities from Grant Thornton Singapore.

China International Marine Containers says its second-largest shareholder Cosco Shipping wants to sell its stake in the company, raising prospects of an ownership restructuring of the container manufacturer and offshore rig builder.

DP World, via Unifeeder, has confirmed that it is buying India-based Transworld Feeders and Avana Logistek, including its subsidiary Avana Global.

Volatile tanker markets in March and April helped Braemar’s shipbroking division, while its other businesses benefited as the oil imbalance and Covid-19 shocks eased.

The oil industry has agreed to offer remote inspections of tankers as a temporary option to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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