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Daily Briefing March 16 2020

Free to read: Turbo-charged tanker rates | Box lines face $17bn shortfall | European gas price crash looms | Air freight soars as shipping suffers | Interview with Rodolphe Saadé 

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

Saudi shipping company Bahri has chartered a very large crude carrier at a record-breaking rate equating to daily earnings of $370,000, as the Kingdom’s strategy to flood oil markets continued the tanker markets rally into the weekend

Putting draconian restrictions on vessels calling from high-incidence countries may seem an obvious and attractive no-brainer response to inevitable public clamour to ‘do something’. It should be rejected. This media-driven hysteria is out of control. Governments must let shipping keep on shipping.

The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Tankers toilet rolls and scuppered scrubber economics. Panic buying seems to be the trend of the moment, whether you’re stockpiling bathroom essentials amid coronavirus concerns, or making a grab for tanker tonnage amid an increasingly volatile oil price war — it’s all the same sentiment spooking markets

Container lines could be facing a $17bn shortfall in revenues this year as developed economies’ efforts to halt the spread of coronavirus lead to a slump in demand.

European gas hub prices could crash to new lows if the coronavirus outbreak drags out into the next few months. The region is expected to attract even more cargoes with Asia set to fall short of delivering the expected import growth this coming summer.


A shortage of available container slots and cancellation of passenger flights is pushing up air cargo demand. Cargo airlines and airports are seeing extra demand for freighter aircraft flights out of China as the Asian nation’s factories return to work after the coronavirus shutdown.

The week in charts: China’s container ship calls back to norm, tanker rates soar. Our weekly round up of key data points via a series of dynamic charts show how Europe and the US are introducing more restrictive measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, but new cases in China are gradually reducing and container activity is increasing.


Coronavirus highlights digital’s role in driving tomorrows safety outcomes, argues class society ABS chief executive Christopher Wiernicki in an exclusive article for Lloyd’s List. Safety must be viewed as a state of being and a living, breathing thing that needs cultivation, he says. While no one has the playbook for the coronavirus outbreak, industries are learning and adapting to this new reality on the fly, where new methods of working virtually and remotely are being devised and implemented in real-time.

The Interview: Rodolphe Saadé probably thought that he knew what to expect when he stepped into the top job at CMA CGM three years ago, and understood it would not be easy, but even he could not have anticipated quite how difficult the job was to become.


Dry bulk players are rethinking their approach to speed. Amid volatile fuel prices during the past couple of months dry bulk players have recorded marked reductions in the steaming speeds of bulk carriers, but across the different sectors behaviour has varied greatly.

US crude oil exports were the highest-ever in 2019 despite trade war. As US exports to China declined in 2019, its shipments to other destinations picked up, in particular Canada, France, India, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea and the UK.

In other news

The US is continuing its pursuit of Russian companies operating in Venezuela’s oil sector, while apparently assuring a Swedish firm that sanctions on it will be lifted after it completed legal action to separate from joint venture partner Petróleos de Venezuela SA.

Russian tanker giant Sovcomflot expects a strong market for energy shipping in 2020, following lofty profits in 2019, as the temporary jolt in rates lies on top favorable market dynamics.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank has become the first Asian ship financier to join the Poseidon Principles by, which aims to align shipping portfolios to climate goals. With the commitment of the Japanese bank, signatories now represent more than $150bn in loans to international shipping, making up over a third of the global shipping finance portfolio.

Jotun, the Norwegian chemicals company, has extended its focus on performance coatings by introducing new technology that will proactively keep vessel hulls clear of biofouling.

Cash-hungry Pacific International Lines has confirmed the sale of its South Pacific feeder boxship unit Pacific Direct Line. The buyer is Neptune Pacific Line, a rival feeder operator owned by the modestly named Wonderful Company.

A conference interpreter working at the International Maritime Organization in London on March 4 has since tested positive for the coronavirus.





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