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Daily Briefing October 16 2019

Free to read: Lower West Africa ship charters trigger tanker earnings collapse | MSC confirms options for five new ultra-large boxships at DSME | Changing perceptions from the inside out | Japan-EU trade agreement boosts Italian exports

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


Rates for the largest crude tankers have tumbled, snapping a run of stratospheric gains over the past three weeks as some of the highest-profile fixtures failed for vessels chartered at rates exceeding $300,000 per day.

Mediterranean Shipping Co has taken options on five more ultra large containerships from South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.


Analysis


At a time of increasing protectionism, the EU’s economic partnership agreement with Japan has already begun to show results for European exports.

Shipping should be regarded as a ‘human capital intensive’ industry rather than its more usual designation as a capital intensive industry, a leading Greek ship finance specialist says.


Opinion


If you can’t inspire or articulate why your people should get out of bed in the morning, then it’s best to stay in bed. People want to work for companies and organisations that have a clear sense of purpose, says Mark Stokes, director with BLUE, a business, brand and communications consultancy specialising in the marine and energy markets.


Markets


Despite economic slowdown concerns, global steel demand remains resilient, according to an outlook report by the World Steel Association. China’s demand this year is forecast to expand by 7.8% to a whopping 900m tonnes, with a further 1% gain estimated in 2020.

Brazilian mining giant Vale is expecting to restore about 30m tonnes of iron ore production following the fatal Brumadinho dam disaster in January which forced a suspension of activities in several facilities. Rising volumes are seen having a positive effect on capesize rates.


In other news


Barakah Offshore has seen its hopes of revival go up in smoke after the suspension of its Petronas operating licence, with what looked like a viable financial rehabilitation plan being scuttled by the inopportune development.

Members of Greece’s Alafouzos family have increased their majority stake in the Oslo-listed Okeanis Eco Tankers just as a New York investment management firm became the firm’s second-largest shareholder.

Russian oil company Lukoil said its Volgograd refinery has begun production of low-sulphur fuel oil compliant with the requirements of IMO 2020. It plans to produce about 1m tonnes a year along with other types of marine fuel possessing “improved environmental characteristics”.

Singapore has come down hard on Inter-Pacific Petroleum Pte Ltd for the continued tampering of mass flow meters, completely revoking its bunker craft operator licence after temporarily suspending it in June.

BW Group has sold an approximately 5% stake in its publicly-listed liquefied petroleum gas unit BW LPG.

A bunker adjustment factor indexing mechanism and bunker charge guide has been published to help shippers monitor and control bunker charges as carriers switch to the more expensive bunkers required under the IMO 2020 low-sulphur regulation.

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