Latest Maritime News
May 13-26, 2020
Oil Has Recovered From Record Lows But $40 prices Unlikely Before Q3 2020

You could be forgiven for being a little foxed with the oil market right now, especially if the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is your preferred futures benchmark to monitor. On April 20 ahead of the expiry of the May contract, it suffered the ignominy of negative oil prices. 

The contract eventually closed for the  first time in trading history at -$37 per barrel  as the global coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic left paper traders dangling contracts of unwanted oil they had little capacity to shift. Yet, rather spectacularly by May 21 – with trading on the WTI July contract in full swing – the benchmark closed at $33.92 per barrel. Continue reading here ( Source: Forbes)
North American Ports Largely Shielded From Coronavirus Fallout

North American ports generally have numerous safeguards and strong financial cushion on their side in being able to weather the sizable ripple effect of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report. However, ports that primarily handle cargo are expected to fare better than those with substantial cruise operations, which are expected to have sizable downside risk.

Global markets face growing recessionary economic pressures and North American ports are expected to face substantial volume stress for the balance of 2020. Seeing their exposure to demand risk and sensitivity to the economic performance of both the markets they serve and their trading partners, Fitch undertook a stress test analysis of its rated North American ports, to assess multiple scenarios, taking into account port revenue mix and potential for recovery. On the cargo side, Fitch’s stress tests assume drops in cargo volumes will exceed those seen during the global financial crisis, the SARS outbreak of the early 2000’s and Sept. 11. For cruise ports, the stress tests assume a more severe impact from the suspension of cruises through July, and anticipate minimal activity for the remainder of the year.   Continue reading here ( Source: Bunker Ports News)
Bunker Demand To Fall By 5% in 2020

Risavika LNG index continued its downward trend following European gas markets fundamentals, resulting in the index falling by 2 % week on week. Despite lower pipeline gas imports to Europe and colder weather last week, the market remained oversupplied. Most of the oversupply is accounted for LNG imports and historically high gas inventory levels.

Oil prices went up last week on OPEC+ production cuts, lower US oil production, recovering demand and easing fear of lack of oil storage capacity. Fuel oil prices (FO 3.5) front month closed at 160.68 USD/t last week, 8 % higher than previous week. Low Sulphur (MFO 0.5) front month has gained 3 % and closed at 220.40 USD/t. Stocks of all refined product held in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) oil hub fell 4% as of 14th of May, indicating demand recovery, after a record high level just a week before. Continue reading here (Source: Gasum )
River Cruise Lines May Be the First to Restart

With COVID-19 and a raft of restrictions on large-scale cruise ship operations, the next Caribbean cruise season may seem far off. However, dedicated cruisers can get their fix as early as next month with voyages on America's inland waterways. 

Despite well-publicized coronavirus outbreaks aboard small cruise vessels - the "superspreader" event aboard the Nile River cruise boat MS Asara and the 60 percent infection rate aboard the expedition cruise ship Greg Mortimer - several American river cruise companies plan to restart next month with enhanced precautionary measures.  Continue reading here (Source: Maritime Executive)
First Phase of South Korean SECA Coming in September

The first phase of a new Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) for South Korea is set to come into force from September 1, 2020.

From September 1, 2020 until December 31, 2021 the new rules will require vessels to use a max 0.10% sulfur marine fuel while at berth or anchorage.

From January 1, 2022 onwards vessels will be required to use 0.10%S fuel at all times when they are within the SECA's waters. Continue reading here (Source: Ship & Bunker)
Container Volumes At Major Chinese Ports Fell 5.1% in mid-May

During period 10 – 20 May container cargo volumes of eight major Chinese ports declined 5.1%. 

During the middle ten days period of May the operational status of major Chinese coastal ports improved and the cargo throughput increased 5.2% comparing to the first ten days of this month.

The overall container volume and international container cargo volume of eight major Chinese ports declined 5.1% and 5.6% year-on-year, but increased 3.4% and 6.6% comparing to the first ten days in May. Continue reading here (Source: Seatrade Maritime News)
The Number of Active U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Rigs is at the Lowest Point on Record

Producers were operating the fewest oil and natural gas drilling rigs on record in the United States at 339 on May 12, the lowest level in the Baker Hughes Company’s rig count data series that dates back to 1987. The number of active rigs began sharply decreasing in mid-March as crude oil prices fell: rigs have fallen by 56% (433 rigs) since March 17. Most of the decrease was in oil-focused geologic plays, but natural gas-focused plays also saw significant decreases. 

Since March 17, 71% (308 rigs) of the rigs taken out of service were in the top three U.S. crude oil-producing regions: the Permian region in southeastern New Mexico and western Texas, the Eagle Ford region in southern Texas, and the Bakken region in Montana and North Dakota. Drilling in oil-focused plays has declined as the impact of mitigation efforts for the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have caused  declines in petroleum demand  and the resulting fall in crude oil prices. In mid-March, the Permian region had 405 operating rigs. By May 12, that number had fallen by 57% to 175 rigs. The Eagle Ford and Bakken regions saw similar declines in their rig counts, of 64% and 69%, respectively, in that time. Continue reading here (Source: EIA)
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