Latest Maritime News
January 22-February 3, 2020
Oil Falls More than 2%, Sinking to Lowest Level in More than 1 year

Oil prices fell more than 2% on Monday, dragged down by concern over demand in China after the coronavirus breakout, though the possibility of deeper crude output cuts by OPEC and its allies offered some price support.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate fell $1.42, or 2.8%, to trade at $50.13, its lowest level since Jan. 2019. Earlier in the session WTI slid more than 3%, trading as low as $49.92 per barrel.

Brent crude was down $2.17, or 3.8%, trading at $54.43 per barrel, its lowest level since Jan. 3, 2019. Continue reading here ( Source: CNBC)
Shipping Needs to Prepare for Coronavirus Restrictions

The shipping industry needs to be prepared for potential restrictions in order to prevent the further spread of the ‘Wuhan’ coronavirus, advises a leading maritime law firm.

Preparation for potential escalation is needed advises Beth Bradley, a Partner with Hill Dickinson, who says that shipping should be prepared to face the same issues that arose in previous severe disease outbreaks, such as with other coronaviruses or Ebola, such as infection of crew members, quarantine measures, closure of ports, and possible repercussions on charterparty obligations. 

“While this outbreak is not currently anticipated to cause the global complications experienced by the Ebola and Sars outbreaks, it is wise for ship operators and charterers to be prepared for any greater spread of this virus,” she says.  Continue reading here ( Source: Tanker Operator)
IMO 2020 Sends January Bunker Bills 66% Higher

Following the January 1 introduction ot a 0.50% sulfur cap on marine fuel, bunker buyers last month paid on average 66% more tor fuel compared to a year ago, according to Ship & Bunker data.

To comply with the new rule the vast majority of vessels are now burning IMO 2020 grade VLSFO fuels that are significantly more expensive than the previously ubiquitous 380 cSt HSFO bunkers they were lifting last year. Continue reading here ( Source: Ship and Bunker)
Capesize Rates Slump to All-Time Low

The capesize component of the Baltic sea freight index plunged to an all-time low on Thursday, hurt by high fuel costs owed to new shipping regulations and a seasonal slowdown worsened by a coronavirus outbreak.

* The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels to ferry dry bulk commodities, fell 27 points, or 5.1%, to 498 — its lowest level in over 3 years.
* The capesize index dropped 92 points, or 98.9%, to a record low of 1 point, extending its losing streak to a 35th straight session.  Continue reading here (Source: Reuters)
Coronavirus Hammers Bulk Shipping

The coronavirus crisis in China has hammered many markets this month. None may have felt a bigger impact than freight.

Rates for giant Capesize ships, typically used to carry raw materials such as iron ore, plunged 90% from a September peak to less than $4,000 a day based on an index that tracks their earnings. A wider Baltic Dry Index more than halved in January to hit the lowest since 2016, as the worsening outbreak brought an already-weak freight market because of the Lunar New Year to its knees.

The plunge in shipping rates underscores just how much pull China has in global commodities markets, with the virus upending everything from oil futures to copper prices. Continue reading here (Source: Bloomberg)
Most US Ports Boost Container Traffic in 2019 Despite High Tariffs

US top ports either surpassed or came close to topping 2018's record-breaking figures, in spite of the weaker trade environment, triggered by the US-China trade war.

The nation's busiest port, Los Angeles, finished the year with near-record cargo volumes despite the tariffs, which port officials claim hurt business, especially in the second half, reported Global Net Logistics of Flower Mound, north Texas.

The port handled 9,337,632 TEU in 2019, representing a decrease of 1.28 per cent compared to 2018's record of 9,458,748 TEU. However, container traffic in December was down 17.3 per cent year-on-year to 746,749 TEU. Continue reading here (Source: Shipping Tribune)
Current Price Indications
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