Newbuildings still in demand
Newbuilding activity has kept its momentum over the past week, while S&P deals seem to have dropped off. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker said that “activity in the newbuilding sector remained on a similar level to the previous week, with deals concluded for around 15 new vessels. Dry bulk orders returned after two weeks of silence thanks to domestic orders placed with Chinese builder Nantong Xiangyu Shipbuilding. These orders are in-line with the preference for Ultramax vessels established throughout the first two months of year, in which over 50 percent of dry bulk carrier contracts were for this size group, and bring bulker orders almost to the level of container vessel orders seen so far this year.
IMO sub-committee on ships systems and equipment (SSE 9)
The 9th session of the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE 9) was held from 27 February to 3 March 2023. SSE 9 finalized the draft of new SOLAS requirements to minimize the incidence and consequences of fires on Ro-Ro passenger ships, and to require ventilation of totally enclosed lifeboats. The revision of the Code of Safety for Diving Systems to enhance the safety of divers in fixed and portable diving systems was completed, and the draft of the new interim guidelines on safe operation of onshore power supply services in ports was agreed.
The seafarers’ charity calls for increased support for the safety and welfare of women seafarers
A New research report released on International Women’s Day shines a spotlight on the welfare needs of women working on cargo ships. The Seafarers’ Charity, a significant funder of maritime welfare services, is now calling on its funded charities to consider increasing their support for women working at sea – especially those working in the male-dominated cargo sector. The ‘Port-Based Welfare Needs of Women Seafarers’ by Professor Helen Sampson and Dr Iris Acejo at the Seafarers International Research Centre, Cardiff University was funded by The Seafarers’ Charity. The research reveals women seafarers’ experience of exclusion, isolation and fear of sexual harassment and assault from their male colleagues.
Ship recycling: limited activity throughout despite more units becoming available
Few Sales have been completed in the ship recycling market this past week, despite the fact that there are more negotiations taking place. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker said that “whilst there are certainly more units being talked around, actual concluded sales remain limited. Sentiment remains optimistic from both India and Bangladesh, the latter in particular, as their L/C issues ease further. Looking at the potential supply of tonnage, the container sector is certainly the area that we shall see more units (smaller feeder types mainly) arrive from, but the dry bulk market could also provide more units as the charter rates continue to slide with average bulker earnings dropping below the USD 7,000/day by mid-February, the lowest levels since Jun-20 following the weaker global economic conditions.
Dry bulk market: soybean trade looks set to weaken on harvest delays
The Seaborne soybean trade could be set for a challenging short-term period, as harvest delays seem to be affecting available for export supply. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker said that “the short-term outlook of the global soybean market is currently pivoted by a combination of weather patterns that are affecting the harvest progress, as well as tensions in diplomatic relations between China and the US which could result in trade disruptions. According to USDA, global production of soybeans for the 2022/23 season is forecast at 385.04 million tons, up 7.6 percent y-o-y. Meanwhile, China’s highly anticipated recovery will also be reflected in the normalization of the country’s soybean consumption and imports after falling for two consecutive years. More specifically, according to Casde’s (China Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates) latest estimates, the country’s imports for 2023 are projected to grow 8.3 percent y-o-y to 95.2 million tons”.
Tankers: oil demand on the rise
The Tanker market could experience a healthy demand front during 2023. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker said that “oil prices have remained comfortably below $100/bbl over the past three months, with Brent largely trading between $80/bbl and $85/bbl, despite the imposition of the European ban on Russian crude and products imports. This relative stability is mostly attributable to the perceived success of the crude oil price cap and global coordinated SPR release last year. Urals exports have remained robust after the Dec 5th deadline, albeit travelling much longer distances to well-known buyers in third countries”. According to Gibson, “for products, the picture is less clear. Preliminary trade data from Kpler shows that Russian clean product exports in the West averaged at a healthy 1.5 mbd in February, with notable increases in shipments to Turkey, North and West Africa and the Middle East.
Dry bulk market: a recovery is well under way
The Average of the 5 Capesize timecharter routes were one step away from breaking through the $10,000 threshold upon closing on Friday after a week of continuous improvement. The BCI climbed over the 1,000-point benchmark on Thursday and despite the backhaul route remaining in the negative territory, positive trends were across the board. Amid the surge, East Australia coal to China – which was finally back in the market – reflected a daily hire of about $10,500 on the Transpacific round voyage. The China to Brazil round voyage, being a trip of a much longer duration but currently rewarding about the same time charter rate as the Transpacific run, or in the mid-high $18s per metric ton on a voyage basis.