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Strong Test for Shipping and the World Economy

The effect and the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic will be a strong test for both the shipping industry, but also the world economy and trade. In a recent weekly report, Allied Shipbroking noted that “it might be already overstated, but it seems to be important to point out once again how peculiar the current circumstances are. Before the start of the year, it was one of the favorite topics amongst participants in the shipping industry how challenging 2020 would be. However, no one could have guessed the level of ...

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Reality

In a few short months, the mayhem wrought by coronavirus has changed the world. Our response to the epidemic [more than the virus itself] has the potential to permanently alter the balance of the global economy. But it might be the kind of Black Swan event that we need to trigger real change in the shipping industry – and in particular its approach to digitalization of vessel operation. Like the worldview bubbles created by social media algorithms and fake news, the maritime industry is living in its own digitalization fantasyland ...

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Managing a crisis: Covid-19 and the threat to Critical National Infrastructure

In the midst of uncertainty and significant risk to people’s health, it is clear that the need for robust and accurate screening and testing of Covid-19 is needed now more than ever. The social and health implications of Covid-19 have already been well documented. However, what still remains largely unclear, is how badly our Critical National Infrastructure and supply chain is going to suffer and what measures can be put in place to preserve it, especially offshore. It is imperative that workers involved in the energy industry are supported in ...

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China’s outbound investment up 1.8 pct in first two months

China’s non-financial outbound direct investment (ODI) rose 1.8 percent year on year during the first two months, the Ministry of Commerce said. Non-financial ODI stood at 107.86 billion yuan (about 15.5 billion U.S. dollars) in the first two months, data showed. Chinese companies increased investment in countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative during the first two months, adding a total of 2.72 billion U.S. dollars of new investment in 48 countries, up 18.3 percent year on year. China’s investment mainly went into sectors including leasing and business services, ...

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U.S. Consumer Spending Rose Ahead of Coronavirus Spread

Consumers boosted spending as personal incomes rose in February, a month when concerns about the coronavirus pandemic began to escalate in the U.S. Personal-consumption expenditures, or household spending, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in February compared with January and personal income was up 0.6%, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 0.2% increase in spending and a 0.4% rise in personal income. The data are a sign of U.S. consumer strength prior to coronavirus’s spread across the U.S. Consumers had been buoyed by ...

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Around one in five German firms see themselves at risk of insolvency – survey

Almost one in five German companies sees itself at acute risk of insolvency due to the coronavirus crisis, a survey from the DIHK Chambers of Commerce showed, pointing to the heavy toll the coronavirus outbreak could take on Europe’s largest economy. “That should set all the alarm bells ringing – if we don’t take decisive action, we’ll see economic damage of historic proportions,” DIHK President Eric Schweitzer said of the survey published on Friday. The survey of 15,000 firms showed more than 80% of German companies expect revenues to decline ...

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Asia Distillates-Jet fuel cracks post weekly drop, front-month spread widens

Asian refining margins for jet fuel climbed on Friday, while front-month spread for the aviation fuel widened its contango amid market concerns that demand would likely remain muted through the first half of 2020. Refining margins, also known as cracks for jet fuel, crawled up to $2.86 a barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours, from $2.29 per barrel a day earlier. The cracks, however, slipped 3.7% this week, Refinitiv Eikon data showed. They had slumped over 61% in the week ended March 20, in their steepest decline in ...

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Italy business and consumer morale plunge in March as coronavirus impact bites

Morale among Italian businesses and consumers plummeted in March, data showed on Friday, hit by a coronavirus outbreak that has decimated activity in the euro zone’s third largest economy. The first piece of significant economic data issued by statistics institute ISTAT since the outbreak emerged on Feb. 21 showed its manufacturing confidence index sank to 89.5 in March from 98.8 in February. That was slightly below a median forecast of 90.0 in a Reuters survey of eight analysts. ISTAT’s composite business morale index, combining surveys of the manufacturing, retail, construction ...

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Japanese refiners prepare to keep products supply steady amid talk of Tokyo lockdown

Japanese refiners are preparing to maintain their supply of oil products and refining operations even if Tokyo imposes a citywide lockdown to combat a spike in coronavirus cases, company and industry officials said Friday. The Japanese refiners’ readiness to ensure their stable oil products supply came to light after recent remarks by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike about a possibility of imposing tough quarantine measures, including a lockdown, amid a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in Tokyo. Although it remains unclear how exactly the lockdown could be enforced, Japan’s top two ...

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UK GAS-Prices fall on rising Norwegian supplies, wind power output

British wholesale gas prices fell on Friday morning as supplies from Norway rose, while gas demand for power generation was forecast lower due to higher wind power output. * The day-ahead contract was down 1.0 pence at 19.00 pence per therm by 0842 GMT. * “The oversupply is helped by higher Langeled flows (from Norway) and forecasts for lower gas (demand) for power,” Refinitiv gas analysts said. * Total LNG send-out is nominated at 64 million cubic metres (mcm) on Friday, up from 61 mcm the previous day, Refinitiv data ...

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SAIL facing order cancellations, re-scheduling due to lockdown: Report

Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has had some of its orders cancelled due to slower handling at ports because of the 21-day lockdown imposed by the central government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country. The move has hit movement of goods and shipments across the country, a source, on the basis of anonymity, told news agency Reuters. The country’s largest state-owned steel company faced a marginal hit to production as some of its inventory was piled up at ports owing to the situation. Most steel ...

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Coronavirus threatens copper giant Peru’s 21-years of growth

Peru may be on track to record its first annual economic contraction in over two decades as the world’s second largest copper producer is hammered by the impact of a global coronavirus pandemic hurting commodities demand. Around the country miners have been forced to slow or suspend operations with the government strictly curbing movement and activity with military presence on the streets to halt the virus with 416 confirmed cases so far. The government of President Martin Vizcarra has decreed a state of emergency and a nightly curfew for 15 ...

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Fed balance sheet tops $5 trillion for first time as it enters coronavirus war mode

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s balance sheet soared past $5 trillion in assets for the first time this week as it scooped up bonds and extended loans to banks, mutual funds and other central banks in its unprecedented effort to backstop the economy in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic. The Fed’s total balance sheet size exploded by more than half a trillion dollars in a single week, roughly twice the pace of the next-largest weekly expansion in the financial crisis in October 2008. As of Wednesday, the Fed’s stash ...

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Italy’s Eni to cut upstream oil, gas capex over next two years

Italian oil and gas company Eni is to cut capital and operational expenditure over the next two years due to sharp drops in commodity prices, following similar moves by a number of global energy majors. Eni will reduce capex by Eur2 billion ($2.2 billion) in 2020, equivalent to 25% of what it originally planned to spend, while opex will be Eur400 million less than intended. A bigger percentage of scheduled capital expenditure is set to be dropped in 2021, to the tune of Eur2.5 billion-3 billion, or 30%-35% of what ...

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PetroChina posts 23% wider net loss in imported gas business for 2019

State-owned integrated oil and gas giant PetroChina posted a 23% increase in losses in its imported natural gas segment for 2019 on the back of expensive oil-linked contracts, which could not be offset by its downstream prices. The trading losses underscore the impact of long-term contract pricing on national oil companies, and signal lesser price pressure in 2020 as the price spread between oil-linked and Platts JKM spot prices has narrowed due to the oil price collapse. PetroChina posted a net loss of Yuan 30.7 billion ($4.3 billion) in its ...

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