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Containership fires: it is time to take action, says IUMI

This year has already seen an alarming number of container ship fires including Yantian Express, APL Vancouver, Grande America, E.R. Kobe and KMTC Hong Kong. The escalation is of growing concern to IUMI (International Union of Marine Insurance) who used a recent forum to call for an urgent improvement to onboard firefighting systems. At a conference in Arendal, Norway, organised by marine insurer and P&I Club, Gard, and attended by IMO, flag states, shipowners, salvors, class, and insurers, IUMI strengthened its position on this global issue. Helle Hammer, Chair of ...

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China Marine Bunker starts supplying low-sulphur fuel oil to Chinese ports

China Marine Bunker Co, a unit of PetroChina , says it has started to supply bonded low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) to all major Chinese ports before tighter fuel standards come into force in 2020 * General Manager Sun Hougang said at an industry conference in Zhoushan that more than 10,000 tonnes of LSFO had already entered the company’s bonded warehouses in China * International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules ban ships from using fuel oil with a sulphur content above 0.5% from Jan. 1, 2020, compared with 3.5% now, unless equipped ...

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China steel prices tumble on Beijing’s relaxed winter output cuts

Chinese steel futures prices have tumbled over the past week on expectations of a steel oversupply, due to a relaxation of production cuts over winter, market sources said this week. January 2020 rebar contracts traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed at Yuan 3,324/mt ($470/mt) on Thursday, down 4.2% from the end of September. China’s winter emissions control plan does not contain across-the-board output cut percentages, as was the case previously when capacity utilization rates were reduced by up to 50%. Larger, more efficient mills that have invested heavily in ...

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Mystery oil spill pollutes Brazil’s north-eastern coast

Since early September, the shorelines of Brazil’s North-Eastern region have been polluted by an oily substance in the form of lumps of tar. On 10 October 2019, our local correspondent Representações Proinde Ltda. reported that more than 130 tonnes of oil waste had been collected on the many affected beaches and at the time of writing, Brazil’s environmental agency IBAMA reports of at least 120 locations in 77 municipalities in the nine north-eastern states that are affected by the oil spill. Affected areas IBAMA regularly updates maps of beaches and ...

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China September steel output skids to 6-month low on anti-pollution curbs

China’s monthly crude steel output slid to a six-month low in September, official data showed on Friday, as mill operations were hit by a raft of restrictions aimed at cutting pollution ahead of parades marking the country’s National Day on Oct. 1. Total output fell 5.4% to 82.77 million tonnes last month from 87.25 million tonnes in August, the lowest level since March, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Friday. But September production was up from 80.85 million tonnes in the same month last year. Average ...

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Russia pipe gas supplies may further slow China’s LNG import growth

The startup of the Power of Siberia Russia-China natural gas pipeline in December is expected to weigh on the mid-term LNG demand growth potential of China, the world’s second largest importer of the fuel, adding another bearish factor to an already oversupplied Asian market. The immediate impact on the region’s spot fundamentals and prices for this coming winter will likely be limited, however, given the relatively small volume that will be injected into the pipeline network over the first year. The construction of the northern section of the China-Russia gas ...

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GLOBAL LNG-Asian spot prices jump to 8-month high ahead of winter

Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose to an eight-month high this week as demand for cargoes emerged ahead of winter. Spot prices for December delivery to Northeast Asia LNG-AS are estimated to be about $6.80 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), up 35 cents from last week, said several sources who are market participants. Prices for November delivery are estimated to be about $5.90 per mmBtu, up 10 cents from the previous week, they added. Commodities trader Vitol bought a cargo for delivery over Dec. 13 to ...

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Saudi Aramco ships Arab Light crude to PetroChina from Japan storage

Saudi Aramco has shipped an Arab Light crude cargo in a rare from its leased storage in Okinawa, Japan, to a PetroChina refinery in central Hebei province arriving Friday, sources familiar with the matter told S&P Global Platts. The 136,000 mt Arab Light crude cargo on the Suezmax tanker Glorycrown will be delivered to PetroChina’s Huabei Petrochemical refinery, a port source said. The Glorycrown, is about to enter the Tianjin port in the Bohai Bay having left Okinawa in Japan’s southwest October 8, according to Platts trade flow software cFlow. ...

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U.S. becomes net exporter of crude and fuel for second week in a row for first time on record: EIA

The United States became a net exporter of crude and petroleum products for a second week in a row for the first time on record last week, data from the Energy Information Administration showed. The U.S. exported about 31,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude and petroleum products on a net basis last week after exporting a net 30,000 bpd a week earlier, the data showed. Meanwhile, refinery utilization rates in the U.S. East Coast slid to 59.8%, the lowest level since November 2012. Source: Reuters (Reporting by Devika Krishna ...

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Natural gas inventories surpass five-year average for the first time in two years

Working natural gas inventories in the Lower 48 states totaled 3,519 billion cubic feet (Bcf) for the week ending October 11, 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report (WNGSR). This is the first week that Lower 48 states’ working gas inventories have exceeded the previous five-year average since September 22, 2017. Weekly injections in three of the past four weeks each surpassed 100 Bcf, or about 27% more than typical injections for that time of year. Working natural gas capacity at underground storage ...

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OPEC’s Next Meeting May Unveil New Approach to Cuts

As the clamor grows for OPEC to slash even more oil production, and the group vows to consider any necessary action, its next meeting could result in an unusual step: a preemptive supply cut. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners — known as OPEC+ — have reduced output this year to contain a glut created by faltering oil demand and surging U.S. shale supply. Amid forecasts of a new surplus next year, there’s a chorus of calls from Morgan Stanley to Commerzbank AG for the alliance to ...

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IMF warns of Asia’s darkening growth outlook as trade war bites

Asian nations face heightening risks to their economic outlooks as the U.S.-China trade war and slumping Chinese demand hurt the world’s fastest-growing region, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday. In its World Economic Outlook report on Tuesday, the IMF cut its economic growth forecast for the Asia-Pacific region to 5.0% for this year and 5.1% for 2020 – the slowest pace of expansion since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago. “Headwinds from global policy uncertainty and growth deceleration in major trading partners are taking a toll ...

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China Economic Growth Slows Even More in the Third Quarter

China’s economy grew 6% in the third quarter, landing right on the central government’s full-year baseline target for gross domestic product, as business activity continues to deteriorate in the world’s No. 2 economy. Growth across the board cooled in the third quarter, despite some recoveries in industrial production and retail sales at the end of the quarter, according to data published Friday by the National Bureau of Statistics. But investment in fixed assets, a measure of construction activity that has long been a major economic driver but is becoming less ...

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Jos, Funtua Dry Ports to Commence Operations in Three Months

Efforts by the federal government to decongest Lagos ports is beginning to yield the much desired fruits as the government will in the next three months open the Jos and Funtua dry ports for operation. The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello, who disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos, said the two dry ports would be ready between December this year and January 2020. According to him, “We have up till December to bring on board Funtua and Jos. Two weeks ago, we had meetings ...

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Port storage fees waived to clear containers with plastic waste

Malaysia is negotiating with countries sending their plastic waste here to take back the trash. It is waiving storage fees to clear hundreds of containers of scrap stranded at ports across the country for months, officials say. Last year, Malaysia became the world’s main destination for plastic waste after China banned imports of scrap. It increased scrutiny after huge inflows and stopped many containers containing scrap which did not have the required permits. Over 300 containers carrying plastic waste from Japan, Hong Kong, Europe, Canada and the United States are ...

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