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Daily Briefing May 14 2020

Free to read: Skou confident carriers can maintain capacity discipline | Maersk warns of looming sharp drop in container volumes | Record-high inactive fleet weighs down charter rates | PD Ports on investors radar as owner reviews options

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


The Maersk chief executive Søren Skou expects carriers to continue with a newfound approach to capacity discipline that has ensured freight rates have remained high during the coronavirus health crisis.

Maersk, the world’s largest ocean box carrier, said global container volumes could drop by as much as a quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The container shipping sector has seen laid-up fleet hit record high level as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, putting pressure on an already weakened charter markets.

PD Ports, owner of about a dozen UK freight operations, has attracted the attention of potential buyers following unconfirmed reports that it may soon be up for sale.


Analysis


The future of shipping is being decided not in the boardrooms of the major liner operators or in space-age remote control centres but on sofas and at dining tables around the world.

Opec has forecast oil demand to contract by a record 17% over the second quarter as the coronavirus outbreak hits economies.

Blank sailings continue to be the central concern of California’s main container ports, with Oakland, Long Beach and Los Angeles all showing reduced throughput due to fewer ship arrivals.


Opinion


In an unlikely bright spot for container shipping, ocean carriers are managing to stabilise freight rates despite a meltdown in cargo volumes, writes Janet Porter.



Lenders licking their wounds from two fraud-tainted insolvencies have once again started withdrawing from the oil sector. But the circumstances surrounding these most recent insolvencies have raised fresh questions about whether sufficient effort has been put in to mitigate credit risks linked to a cyclical business, writes Hwee Hwee Tan.


Markets


The capesize market has continued its downward spiral, with expectations of further erosion in the coming days.

Gard has said it will postpone the due day for the final instalment of 2019 P&I premiums due to uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The liquefied petroleum gas market should brace for a short-lived recovery as coronavirus and low oil prices complicate the future, LPG carrier Epic Gas has warned.


In other news


As supply and demand balance remains very close, the secular recovery in the dry bulk market will be characterised by extreme volatility, according to Precious Shipping managing director Khalid Hashim.

CMA CGM has secured a €1.05bn ($1.1bn) state-backed loan to help the French carrier ride out the coronavirus storm.

The former chairman of China Shipbuilding Industry Corp is being investigated by the state anti-corruption agency, according to an official statement.

Sembcorp Marine has revealed its 20,000-strong workforce had plunged to just 4% of normal capacity due to coronavirus shutdown measures imposed by the city-state.

Star Bulk shareholders have voted to delist the company from the Oslo Bors after the Greece-based owner cited “limited benefits” from being on the Norwegian exchange.

West of England P&I Club has reduced its combined ratio to 107% from 114% in the previous year, according to a statement.

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