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Daily Briefing July 31 2020

Free to read: Seafarers close to breaking point, warns shipmanager | Maersk Pool linked to Xihe tankers deal | Hong Kong crew change suspension dismays unions | Contango trades shield oil majors from epic losses 

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   |   Markets   |   In other news




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What to watch


Thousands of seafarers stranded at sea with expired contracts are close to quitting, according to one shipmanager.

Maersk Tankers has held talks with two shipmanagement firms and the shipowning affiliates of Hin Leong Trading regarding a deal to run and market more than three dozen tankers.

Two seamens’ unions in Hong Kong have expressed disappointment with the government’s decision to suspend crew changes at the port for vessels without cargo operations.

More cases of coronavirus infections among Russian seafarers arriving in South Korean ports have been confirmed, with the local Yonhap news agency reporting that 12 new cases from a ship docked in Busan had brought the total number of related cases to 91 from nine vessels since June.


Analysis


Recent containers losses from vessels is a cause of concern and is an issue that still needs to be resolved, according to TT Club risk management director Peregrine Storrs-Fox.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy has been more severe than initial forecasts predicted and will result in a year-on-year decline in seaborne trade for the first time since the global financial crisis.


Markets


The second quarter of the year crude price shock that delivered record freight rates for the crude and tanker sector is also delivering record profits for oil majors’ trading divisions that hired the vessels.

The dry bulk fleet is expected to expand this year, while demand is likely to fall, leading to a toxic mix for the market.

Container lines’ worst fears have not been realised. Despite a collapse in volumes, carrier discipline has helped keep rates and earnings high during the pandemic.


In other news


Pacific Basin, a Hong Kong-based bulker owner and operator, is looking to upgrade its smaller, older handysizes to the larger versions as it booked a hefty impairment in the first six months.

Keppel Offshore & Marine said it had reduced the workforce at its yards by almost 75% after outbreaks of the coronavirus at staff dormitories.

A Liberia-flagged, China-owned dry bulker was banned from entering Australian ports this week, concerning accusations of wage exploitation made by a group of Burmese seafarers on board, according to the local maritime authority and the shipmanager.

Port of Zhuhai, a major feeder port in southern China, has proposed to take over a smaller rival in the east of the country as part of its expansion plan.

Venice has become the second Italian port in a week to announce a sharp drop in throughput due to the economic impact of the health crisis.

Performance Shipping has continued its profitable run since refocusing its activities on the tanker market and jettisoning a fleet of boxships.

The strategy of d’Amico International Shipping, an Italian owner of product tankers, is to deleverage the company by paying off debt.

Navios Maritime Acquisition has posted a sharp rise in profits against a backdrop of strong second-quarter tanker rates and has – at least temporarily – become a containership owner.

Co-operation between maritime employers and longshore workers has been essential in keeping the Port of New York-New Jersey fluid since the outbreak of the coronavirus, according to New York Shipping Association president John Nardi.

The founder of one of world’s biggest maritime law firms has taken over the running of its Singapore offices, from where he plans to make a “renewed and continued push” for growth and market share.

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