Latest Maritime News
March 25-April 8, 2019
Sulphur 2020 – Countdown To The Switchover

Sulphur 2020 (MARPOL Annex VI Reg. 14.1.3) is still dominating headlines and as we draw closer to the 1 January 2020 deadline it’s clear that this is a big challenge for numerous players within the industry, from supplier to the end-user. At this point owners and operators should have chosen their compliance option. We’re now seeing major fuel suppliers announcing their availability of 0.50% compliant fuel.

Last month, BP announced that they have successfully tested Low Sulphur Fuel Oil at sea and will be selling 0.50% before 2020. This came shortly after the International Energy Agency projected that almost half of the global fleet will use marine gas oil in 2020 and eventually, 40% will burn Very Low Sulphur Fuel (LSFO). We’ve also seen that compliant fuel is available in ports such as Rotterdam. Importantly, this gives shipowners and operators the ability to plan ahead - as they learn which suppliers have what fuel available and where – helping them get their fleets and crews ready for this regulation. Continue reading here (Source: Lloyd's Register ).
Why Oil Prices Rallied 30% This Year

Oil prices gained around 30 percent in the first quarter this year, with both WTI and Brent posting their best quarterly performance in a decade—since the second quarter of 2009.

At the start of the second quarter of 2019, WTI Crude had already topped $60 last week and has been trading above that level in the first week of April, while Brent Crude has been flirting with the $70 mark for days.

At the end of last year, the analysts predicting such a fast rise in oil prices in 2019 were in the minority, after market participants panicked over gloomy forecasts about slowing oil demand growth this year that sent oil tumbling nearly 40 percent in Q4 2018.

A quarter into this year, signs have started to appear that concerns over faltering demand growth may have been overblown. Continue reading here ( Source: Oil Price).
Shipping Data Shows Weakness in Global Economy

The volume of U.S. ocean cargo imports arranged by Deutsche Post’s DHL Group, United Parcel Service Inc, FedEx Corp and other freight forwarders fell sharply in February, sending a warning on global trade, a key barometer for the world economy.

Though just a sliver of the global delivery and logistics business, freight forwarding – the arranging of end-to-end transport of goods for importers and exporters – is seen as a proxy for international trade.

Towards the end of last year their clients binged on imports such as apparel, auto parts, chemicals and furniture to avoid U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods. Continue reading here (Source: gCaptain).
IMO 2020 Stability and Compatibility Headaches

2020 will be a mess from fuel oil stability and compatibility point of view. 2020 is clearly price-driven, so the temptation to “cut corners” is great, meaning a set of highly variable number of blend components to manufacture the fuel oil will open a “Pandora’s Box” of large numbers of complex and questionable formulations. 

Exhaustive studies of the relationship between asphaltene content and aromaticity have shown that the order in which we do the fuel oil blends is critical to obtain compatible and stable fuels [1], [2], [3]. 

The order of blending is one of the concerning issues [1]. Two fuel oil blend components, A and B, each perfectly stable on their own, exhibit a puzzling behavior: when blending fuel A into B, the blended fuel is perfectly stable and compatible. On the other hand, blending fuel component B into A leads to immediate sludging. Continue reading here (Source: Maritime Executive).
IMO 2020 - Differing Perspectives Across Shipping Sectors

IMO 2020 continues to dominate discussions in shipping the annual Capital Link conference in New York this week was no exception providing a variety of perspectives from across different sectors of shipping even if there an acknowledgement that “nobody knows” precisely what will happen.

Discussions at different panels across the day covered everything from trading patterns and slow steaming, to bad bunkers and insurance.

Gary Vogel, ceo of Eagle Bulk noted that fuel economics would be impacting drybulk trade patterns- with scrubber equipped vessels more suited for longer haul voyages with more time at sea. Vessels seeing higher fuel prices, presumably ultra-low sulphur gas oil or expensive blends, would be better suited for shorter trades, with relatively greater proportions of port time. Continue reading here (Source: Seatrade Maritime News).
Singapore Will Seek Prison For Captains and Owners Breaking 2020 Low Sulphur Fuel Rules

Singapore has a message for shipping companies considering cheating on rules starting next year to combat pollution to save a few dollars on their fuel bills: don’t.

Captains and owners of vessels that burn overly sulfurous fuel in the Asian country’s territorial waters could face as long as two years in prison from the start of 2020, according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. If enforced, such a penalty would probably be among the strongest deterrents yet to dodging regulations that are supposed to cut emissions of a pollutant blamed for asthma and acid rain. Continue reading here (Source: gCaptain).
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