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Daily Briefing January 18 2021

Free to read: Tensions rise as charterers refuse to fix ships with crew-change commitments | Record LNG prices and rates ‘won’t last,’ say analysts | The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Why shipping still needs to focus on human rights at sea

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


Charterers are refusing to fix ships with imminent crew-change requirements or demanding that crew changes are postponed in order to avoid costly disruption to voyages.

The jury is out on whether the liquefied natural gas trade, which staged a dramatic comeback this winter, will outperform pre-pandemic levels, with much dependent on weather conditions in Asia in the months ahead.

China said it is planning to release measures to tackle the thorny supply issues for shippers in the container shipping market, raising concerns about another round of clampdowns on freight rates.

The International Maritime Bureau’s annual report gives some idea of the scope of the west African piracy problem, but there is also much it leaves out.


Analysis


Europe’s P&I clubs are having to reapply for standing as regulated insurers in the UK if they wish to continue writing business London after Brexit, it has emerged.


Opinion


Carriers need to inform each other when they find shippers trying to hide dangerous goods. But fears of breaching competition law are preventing them collaborating on safety.


The Lloyd’s List Podcast: David Hammond, the founder and chief executive of Human Rights at Sea, explains why the crewing crisis has helped highlight wider abuses in the maritime sector and why we can’t let that attention fade along with coronavirus once the vaccination programme kicks in.


Markets


Container shipping freight rates on major east-west routes have held firm at near record highs without any hint of the supply/demand imbalance that has driven up prices easing.


In other news


Sea robbery and piracy incidents across Asia rose by almost one fifth last year, with the highest number taking place in the Singapore Strait, according to latest data.

Maersk has added to calls for international action to tackle the piracy threat off west Africa after one of its vessels was targeted.

Orient Overseas Container Line, a unit of state conglomerate Cosco Shipping, reported a sharp increase in the top line and cargo volume in the fourth quarter.

Container lines say they are doing all they can to provide capacity. But they are hampered by factors beyond their control and only co-operation with customers will help alleviate capacity and equipment shortages.

Container traffic through the port of Los Angeles in 2020 was the most erratic yet seen, according to executive director Gene Seroka, who nonetheless praised the workforce for adapting to the huge swings in volume.

Brazilian mining giant Vale has said its iron ore terminal in Ponta da Madeira remains operational after a fire hit a ship loader on one of the four berths early on January 14.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding is diversifying into the clean energy sector after signing a joint venture agreement to invest in a local liquefied natural gas storage project.

Awilco LNG could rake in over $14m from a single charter contract of its liquefied natural gas carrier as the LNG spot market remains tight.

Frank Coles has resigned as chief executive of Hong Kong-headquartered Wallem Group.

Total, the French energy major, has severed ties with the American Petroleum Institute, citing the US organisation's misalignment with the company’s environmental goals.

A handysize bulker was reported to be flooding and in danger of sinking after it experienced a cargo shift, according to a Lloyd’s List Intelligence casualty report.

Norton Rose Fulbright, the corporate law firm with strong shipping roots, is to shed 132 jobs as part of a restructuring.

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