Friday, January 30, 2009
By Rebecca Keenan and Kyunghee Park
Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- The iron ore market may have bottomed as demand from Chinese steelmakers recovers, driving prices for the raw material higher, according to Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., Australia’s third-biggest producer.
“We are starting to see some evidence that the bottom of the depressed state has been reached,” Graeme Rowley, executive director of public policy and corporate affairs, said today. “We are seeing a comeback in the prices.”
The economy in China, the world’s biggest iron ore user, expanded at the slowest pace in seven years in the fourth quarter as the global recession hurt export demand and steelmakers cut output. The government has unveiled a 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion) stimulus package to counter the slump.
“The worst is behind us but it’s too early to say demand is recovering,” said Song Jae Hak, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul. “Demand could increase from time to time. It still looks bad for the whole year.”
Fortescue rose 2.3 percent to A$1.77 at the 4:10 p.m. Sydney time close on the exchange. The stock has slumped 71 percent over the past year as commodity prices plummeted.
“We have order books full all the way through to March,” Rowley told journalists. Fortescue received an average price of A$96.63 ($62.60) a metric ton for ore in the December quarter, up 9 percent from the September quarter.
Fortescue joins Australia’s Atlas Iron Ltd. and Taiwan’s China Steel Corp. in forecasting a rebound. Atlas said last month the market may have reached bottom as China’s stimulus package spurred a recovery in “real demand,” while China Steel said it expected an improvement from the second quarter.
China imported 6.2 percent more of the steelmaking ingredient in December than November, while stockpiles as of Jan. 9 were 22 percent below a September record, according to the nation’s customs. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for commodities, rose for an eighth day yesterday on stronger demand for capesize vessels to haul iron ore.
Fortescue may ship 17.6 million tons of iron ore in the six months to June 30, it said today in a statement to the Australian stock exchange. Shipments in the three months to Dec. 31 were 6.3 million tons, down 8.7 percent from the previous quarter on a planned shutdown. It began producing ore in May.
Profit for the December quarter was A$607 million, up 19 percent from the previous quarter, Fortescue said today.
To be sure, Macquarie Group Ltd. analysts including Andrew Dale wrote in a Jan. 22 report on Angang Steel Co. that while “the perfect storm appears to have passed” for China’s second- largest steelmaker, iron ore prices may extend declines. “The outlook for raw materials is they will continue to decrease,” Dale wrote in the report.
Friday, 30 January 2009
Shipping investor Nobu Su plans to offer his fleet of 20 supertankers to speculators to store crude and bet that prices will appreciate later in the year. Su's Taipei-based company, TMT Co. Ltd., will lease out its 2 million-barrel vessels at below-market prices in return for a share of any profit from the trade on the oil. His fleet, able to hold enough crude to supply Europe for two days, is available for immediate hire, he said.
"The oil price is very cheap," Su, founder and chief executive officer of TMT, said in an interview in London yesterday. "We get a lot of enquiries" about storing cargoes, he said.
Oil companies such as BP Plc and banks including Citigroup Inc., through its Phibro LLC unit, have stored as much as 80 million barrels of crude at sea, seeking to profit from the fact oil futures rise as the year progresses. The price curve is described as being in contango when futures are more expensive than immediate supplies.
Rather than seeking traders wanting to lock in a profit now from the difference between immediate supplies and futures prices, Su is marketing his vessels to investors willing to wait several months before selling the oil on the market, he said.
TMT will help investors secure cargoes by introducing them to oil traders, Su said. TMT may store some cargoes in the Persian Gulf at cheaper prices on its four single-hull supertankers and deliver them in vessels with two hulls, he said.
The average price of storing 2 million barrels of oil on a tanker is about $57,500 a day, depending on the duration of the contract, the quality of the ship and its location, according to data from London-based shipbroker Galbraith's Ltd. That works out at 86 cents a barrel a month.
Source: Alaric Nightingale, Bloomberg
Baltic Exchange Dry Index 1070 (UP 34)
Baltic Exchange Capesize Index 1981 (UP 9)
Baltic Exchange Panamax Index 795 (UP 76)
Baltic Exchange Supramax Index 512 (UP 24)
Baltic Exchange Handysize Index 300 (UP 5)
Daily Summary of the Baltic Exchange Time Charter Routes
Average of the T/C routes $17410 (UP 140)
Average of the T/C routes $6357 (UP 614)
Average of the T/C routes $5357 (UP 252)
Average of the T/C routes $4442 (UP 80)
Baltic Exchange Capesize Index TM - 30 January 2009
Baltic Exchange Capesize Index 1981 (UP 9)
Num Description Weight Avg. Move
====== =============================================== ====== ====== ======
C2 160000lt Tubarao -Rotterdam 10 8.055 0.146
C3 150000mt Tubarao - Beilun/Baoshan 15 16.842 0.379
C4 150000mt Richards Bay - Rotterdam 5 6.941 -0.100
C5 150000mt W Australia - Beilun/Baoshan 15 5.768 -0.114
C7 150000mt Bolivar - Rotterdam 5 8.341 0.094
C8_03 172000mt Gibraltar/Hamburg trans Atlantic RV 10 18336 386
C9_03 172000mt Continent/Mediterranean trip Far East 5 30592 461
C10_03 172000mt Pacific RV 20 13137 -242
C11_03 172000mt China/Japan trip Mediterranean/Cont 5 7575 -46
C12 150000mt Gladstone - Rotterdam 10 11.400 -0.070
Average of the T/C Routes 17410 140
Baltic Exchange Panamax Index TM - 30 January 2009
Baltic Exchange Panamax Index 795 (UP 76)
Num Description Weight Avg. Move
====== ============================== ====== ===== ====
P1A_03 74000mt Transatlantic RV 25 6413 677
P2A_03 74000mt SKAW-GIB/FAR EAST 25 12648 988
P3A_03 74000mt Japan-SK/Pacific/RV 25 4152 475
P4_03 74000mt FAR EAST/NOPAC/SK-PASS 25 2216 316
Average of the T/C Routes 6357 614
Baltic Exchange Supramax Index TM - 30 January 2009
Baltic Exchange Supramax Index 512 (UP 24)
Num Description Weight Avg. Move
=== ================================== ====== ===== ====
S1A Antwerp - Skaw Trip Far East 12.5 7000 467
S1B Canakkale Trip Far East 12.5 6555 370
S2 Japan - SK / NOPAC or Australia rv 25 3579 187
S3 Japan - SK Trip Gib - Skaw range 25 3558 116
S4A US Gulf - Skaw-Passero 12.5 10967 373
S4B Skaw-Passero - US Gulf 12.5 4058 197
Average of the T/C Routes 5357 252
The route(s) below do not form part of the index calculation
S5 W.Africa via ECSA to FarEast 0 8978 272
S6 Jpn-SK trip via Aus/India 0 3718 210
S7 EC India - China 0 8838 367
Baltic Exchange Handysize Index TM - 30 January 2009
Baltic Exchange Handysize Index 300 (UP 5)
Num Description Weight Avg. Move
=== ================================================== ====== ==== ====
HS1 Skaw - Passero trip Recalada - Rio de Janeiro 12.5 3329 50
HS2 Skaw - Passero trip Boston / Galveston 12.5 3414 78
HS3 Recalada / Rio de Janeiro trip Skaw / Passero. 12.5 7222 122
HS4 US Gulf trip via US Gulf or NCSA to Skaw / Passero 12.5 5285 105
HS5 SE Asia trip via Australia to S'pore / Japan 25 4475 81
HS6 S Korea / Japan via NOPAC to S'pore-Japan 25 3668 61
Average of the T/C Routes 4442 80
Baltic Exchange Daily Fixture/Index List 30/01/2009
BDI 1070 (UP 34) BCI 1981 (UP 9) BPI 795 (UP 76)
BSI 512 (UP 24) BHSI 300 (UP 5)
Last published BDTI 623 (DOWN 19) BCTI 592 (UP 8)
'Alameda' 2001 170726 dwt dely Far East end Feb 2 years trading redel worldwide $21000 daily - Classic Maritime
'Manousos P' 2008 83000 dwt dely PMO 1/5 Feb trip via Richards Bay redel China $7500 daily - Oldendorff
'Prem Varsha' 2006 82379 dwt grd dely Xingang 1/5 Feb trip via NoPac & Iraq redel PMO $10500 daily - Golden Ocean
'Crown Star' 2002 76662 dwt dely Onahama 5/7 Feb 4/6 months trading redel worldwide $8000 daily - GMI
'Danann Island' 2006 75637 dwt dely Soma 29 Jan/5 Feb trip via NoPac redel Singapore-Japan rge $4000 daily 1st 30 days + $7000 dailly - Louis Dreyfus
'Gurasis' Cosbulk relet 1997 75339 dwt dely Shanghai 10/15 Feb 4/6 months trading redel worldwide $8250 daily - GMI
'Great Ambition' 1999 73725 dwt dely Amsterdam 5/10 Feb 11/13 months trading redel worldwide $12750 daily - Deiulemar
'Obelix Bulker' ex Great Pescadores 1998 70529 dwt dely Charleston 6/10 Feb trip via USEC redel Continent $7500 daily + $205000 bb - Cobelfret
'B Oceania' 1900 70424 dwt geared dely Zhanjiang 4/6 Feb trip via NoPac & Iraq redel PMO $10000 daily - Golden Ocean
'Turnberry Glory' 1987 67232 dwt dely Cape Passero spot trip via EC South America redel Far East $9500 daily - Glencore
'Tai Hunter' 2007 55418 dwt dely Taichung 1/3 February trip via Australia redel India $4200 daily - cnr
'Gem of Kilakarai' 2005 53299 dwt dely PMO spot trip via West Coast India redel China $7750 daily - cnr
'Mastro Giorgis 2' 1995 52370 dwt dely USEC spot trip redel Singapore-Japan $8500 daily - Raffles
'Sealady' 1995 42183 dwt dely aps Rio de Janeiro 1/5 Feb trip redel West Africa intention Angola $7300 + $100000 bb - Empros Lines
'George Lyras' 1984 35730 dwt dely aps Ukraine 25/30 Jan trip redel West Africa $5000 daily - Empros Lines
'Papua' 2003 31817 dwt dely Port Sudan end Jan about 6 months trading redel Atlantic approx $6800 daily - grain chrtr
'Chinese TBN' 160000/10 Dampier/Qingdao 15/24 Feb $5.50 fio scale/30000sc - Rio Tinto
'Manasota' NSS relet 2004 / - <is the NSS TBN to BHP Billiton reported 29/01 and the size is 170000/10>
'Polydefkis P' 1982 21000/ dwcc 990653 cft grain agriproducts 54 cft Paranagua/Sete 1/4 Feb $ 390000 lumpsum fio 4.5 days sc/8000 sx - Dreyfus
'Lion' 1986 33000/10 scrap stowing 45 cft US east coast/Turkey prompt $15.00 fio 5000 sc/7000 sc - Sims Metals - <recent>
Panamax business closed the week in a very positive frame of mind. Sources said
there was a good level of inquiry being heard in the market and rates are
expected to firm next week on the back of limited spot tonnage. There remains
ongoing demand for period tonnage, with periods of about 1-years trading
reported done in the high-$12,000 daily range. Fronthaul business saw older
tonnage fixed at $9,500 daily, with a trans-Atlantic run done at $7,500 daily
plus a ballast bonus of $205,000. For Pacific business, there was some
improvement today, with rates apparently pulled up a little on the back of
optimism for next week. Tonnage has tightened somewhat, with vessels in ballast
and demand for period tonnage. Short period business of 4-6 months trading are
seeing rates holding to the north of $8,000 daily. The Baltic Panamax index
jumped 76 to close the week at 795.
For Atlantic Panama business, an unnamed charterer reportedly fixed on subjects
the 2007-built 75,884 dwt Pioneer Navigation-relet Perla Bulker with
end-January/early-February delivery Rotterdam for a trip via the US Gulf or
ECSA, with redelivery in the East at $14,000 daily.
Glencore was said to be the charterer of the 1987-built 67,232 dwt Turnberry
Glory with spot delivery Cape Passero for a trip via east coast South America
and redelivery in the Far East at $9,500 daily.
The 1998-built 70,529 dwt Obelix Bulker (ex-Great Pescadores) has gone to
Cobelfret with February 06-10 delivery Charleston for a trip via the U.S. east
coast and redelivery on the Continent at $7,500 daily plus a ballast bonus of
The 2002-built 73,000 dwt Nicos L was reported fixed to Cargill with spot
delivery Singapore for a trip via east coast South America and redelivery in the
East at $7,250 daily.
Deiulemar has the 1999-built 73,725 dwt Great Ambition fixed for February 05-10
delivery Amsterdam for 11-13 months trading, with redelivery worldwide at
Pacific Panamax business heard that Golden Ocean took tonnage today, fixing the
2006-built 82,379 dwt (geared) Prem Varsha with February 01-05 delivery Xingang
for a trip via NoPac and Iraq, with redelivery passing Muscat outbound at
The charterer also fixed the 1990-built 70,424 dwt (geared) B Oceania with
February 04-06 delivery Zhanjiang for a trip via NoPac and Iraq, with redelivery
passing Muscat outbound at $10,000 daily.
The 2008-built 83,000 dwt Manousos P has reportedly fixed with Oldendorff for
February 01-05 delivery passing Muscat outbound for a trip via Richards Bay and
redelivery China at $7,500 daily.
Alfred C. Toepfer was linked with the 1995-built 72,515 dwt Suerte with spot
delivery Zhangjiagang for a trip via NoPac and redelivery in the Red Sea at
about $4,900 daily, or about $4,750 daily for redelivery in the Persian Gulf.
In Pacific period business, GMI was the charterer of the 1997-built 75,339 dwt
Cosbulk-relet Gurasis with February 10-15 delivery Shanghai for 4-6 months
trading and redelivery worldwide at $8,250 daily.
The charterer also has the 2002-built 76,662 dwt Crown Star with February 05-07
delivery Onahama for 4-6 months trading and redelivery worldwide at $8,000 daily.
Atlantic Capesize business appears to have successfully navigated a week fraught
with the potential for disaster. Sources said that while activity has been
limited in light of the Chinese New Year celebrations, rates have held steady.
Today most sources felt that with the return of holidaymakers next week,
business will pick up markedly and rates are expected to firm. Sources reported
an influx of new business with limited tonnage availability. There are ships in
ballast, but they will be for more forward dates. Pacific business will likely
see some improvement too next week, but here rates have been mixed, with some
easier and some slightly better numbers reported over the course of the week.
Upward momentum slowed for the Baltic Capesize index today. The index rose 9
From the Atlantic, Rio Tinto Shipping was back in the market, reportedly fixing
on subjects the 1986-built 171,931 dwt Andros Warrior with February 01-05
delivery Piraeus for a trip via Seven Islands and redelivery China at $32,500
The charterer was also said to have the 1987-built 146,019 dwt Leon V on
subjects with February 03-10 delivery Piraeus for a trip via Seven Islands and
redelivery China at $30,000 daily.
In voyage business, Noble has the 1986-built 194,744 dwt Kassos Warrior on
subjects for February 10-15 loading 170,000 tons 10% iron ore from Saldanha Bay
to China at $11.00.
Out of the Pacific, Noble has the 1987-built 183,316 dwt Leonidas Warrior with
February 05-08 delivery Rizhao for a trip via Brazil and redelivery China at
about $15,500 daily.
Noble has a Chinese TBN with February 15-24 loading 160,000 tons 10% ore from
Dampier to Qingdao at $5.50.
For Pacific period business, the 2001-built 170,726 dwt Alameda has gone to
Classic Maritime with end-February delivery in the Far East for 2-years trading
with redelivery worldwide at $21,000 daily.
There appeared to be no end to the positive spin in the marketplace today, with
talk that tonnage availability is finally starting to tighten. Atlantic tonnage
saw a fresh influx of demand for scrap cargoes from the Continent. Rates for
this business are now said steady in the mid-$7,000 daily range. Pacific
business saw the Indian Ocean return to its favoured position as market-maker,
with rates firming for trips to China and $10,000 daily reported done.
Elsewhere it was harder to call, but as for the larger sizes, everyone seems to
believe that the return of Chinese traders next week will result in an uptick
for the market. West Australia rounds ranged from the low-$4,000's daily to the
mid-$5,000's daily depending on need and delivery. The Baltic Supramax index
gained 24 to 512, while the Handysize index moved up 5 to 300.
Out of the Atlantic came news that Raffles has the 1995-built 52,370 dwt Mastro
Giorgis 2 with spot delivery east coast U.S. for a trip with redelivery
Singapore-Japan range at $8,500 daily.
Norden was linked with the 1997-built 47,200 dwt STX Pan Ocean-relet Blest
Marine for end-January/early-February delivery Santander for a trip via
UK-Continent and redelivery in the eastern Mediterranean with scrap at about
The 2007-built 55,800 dwt Sanko-relet KT Venture was linked to Bunge with
February 01-05 delivery Montoir for a trip via east coast South America and
redelivery Singapore/Japan range at about $7,500 daily.
Empros Lines has reportedly taken the 1995-built 42,183 dwt Sealady with
February 01-05 delivery aps Rio de Janeiro for a trip with redelivery West
Africa at $7,300 daily plus a ballast bonus of $100,000.
The 1996-built 46,493 dwt Go Trader has fixed with Oldendorff for February 02-08
delivery Canakkale for a trip via the UK and redelivery in the East at $7,000
An undisclosed charterer reportedly fixed the 2003-built 31,817 dwt Papua with
end-January delivery Port Sudan for 6 months trading with redelivery in the
Atlantic at $6,800 daily.
The 1982-built Polydefkis P has gone to Louis Dreyfus with February 01-04
loading 21,000 tons grain (990,653 cft agriproducts stowing 54 cft) from
Paranagua to Sete at a lumpsum amount of $390,000.
It emerged that Sims Metals recently fixed the 1986-built Lion with prompt
loading 33,000 tons 10% scrap (stowing 45 cft) from the U.S. east coast to
Turkey at $15.00.
Atlantic period business heard that GMI fixed the 2000-built 52,400 dwt Star
Delta with February 15-30 delivery in the US Gulf for about 1-years trading and
redelivery worldwide at $11,300 daily.
From the Pacific, Ikhlas reportedly fixed the 2002-built 53,904 dwt Alitis with
February 10-16 delivery Mumbai for a trip via west coast India and redelivery
China at 10,000 daily.
The 2005-built 53,299 dwt Gem of Kilakarai fixed to an unnamed charterer with
spot delivery passing Muscat outbound for a trip via west coast India and
redelivery China at $7,750 daily.
The 2005-built 28,000 dwt CS Savannah has reportedly fixed to an undisclosed
charterer with February 04-08 delivery Surabaya for a trip via west Australia
and redelivery in the East at $5,500 daily.
Oldendorff has taken the 1997-built 27,365 dwt Hanjin Calcutta with February
01-03 delivery Singapore for a trip via west Australia and redelivery
Singapore-Japan range at about $4,250 daily.
The 2007-built 55,418 dwt Tai Hunter has gone to an unnamed charterer with
February 01-03 delivery Taichung for a trip via Australia with redelivery India
at $4,200 daily.
By Marcus Hand
As adapted from Lloyd's List
Friday 30 January 2009
THE sorry tale of seafarers onboard the Orient Steamship capesize bulker Silver Constellation being left unpaid and running out of food exposes an ugly underside of the global shipping industry.
The 25 Filipino crew onboard the vessel in Falmouth have not been paid for three months and are set to run out food in a matter of days, and its master is receiving no response from the company’s headquarters.
While it is understandable that companies get into financial difficulties, leaving crew to starve halfway around the world is unconscionable.
With the dire warnings of many bankruptcies to come in shipping as a result of the financial crisis, it raises the likelihood of the sorry scene being played out onboard the Silver Constellation being repeated across the globe.
Fallout from the Asian crisis a decade ago saw crew from companies such as failed Singaporean company Thong Soon Lines being stranded for a year or more unpaid and thousands of miles from home.
In these situations seafarers are left with little, if any recourse and left quite literally to the mercy, or lack thereof in the more unfortunate cases, of the shipowner.
However bad times become it should be ensured that seafarers are at least fed, paid the wages they are due and repatriated. Leaving crew to starve off foreign shores is simply inhumane and should not be allowed to happen in even the most extreme of circumstances
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Thursday January 29, 2009, 4:05 pm EST
ATHENS, GREECE--(MARKET WIRE)--Jan 29, 2009 -- DryShips Inc. (NasdaqGS:DRYS - News), a global provider of marine transportation services for drybulk cargoes and off-shore contract drilling oil services, announced today that:
Symbol Price Change DRYS 6.63-1.93
M/V Maple Valley
The Company has entered into an agreement to cancel the previously announced acquisition of the 2005 built Panamax drybulk carrier M/V Maple Valley for a purchase price of $61.0 million from an unrelated third party. In view of market conditions and following negotiations, the Company and the Seller have mutually agreed to cancel the Memorandum of Agreement to acquire the M/V Maple Valley in consideration of a payment of $8.0 million to the Seller and the Seller's retention of the $6.1 million deposit that was previously paid. This cancellation will further reduce DryShips' 2009 capital expenditures by $46.9 million. The London arbitration and the New York proceeding between the Seller and the Company are both being discontinued.
The Company also announced that it has entered into a time charter for the M/V Alameda, its only remaining unfixed spot based Capesize drybulk carrier. The M/V Alameda will be chartered at a gross rate of $21,000 per day for a period of approximately two years. The charter is expected to commence during late February or early March 2009. The M/V Alameda is a 170,662 dwt Capesize drybulk carrier built in 2001.
About DryShips Inc.
DryShips Inc., based in Greece, is an owner and operator of drybulk carriers that operate worldwide. As of the day of this release, DryShips owns a fleet of 43 drybulk carriers in the water comprising seven Capesize, 29 Panamax, two Supramax and five newbuilding drybulk vessels with a combined deadweight tonnage of approximately 3.9 million tons, 2 ultra deep water semi-submersible drilling rigs and 2 ultra deep water newbuilding drillships.
DryShips Inc.'s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market where it trades under the symbol "DRYS."
Matters discussed in this release may constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance and may include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts.
The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, management's examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from third parties. Although DryShips Inc. believes that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, DryShips Inc. cannot assure you that it will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections.
Important factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions, including changes in charterhire rates and vessel values, changes in demand that may affect attitudes of time charterers to scheduled and unscheduled drydocking, changes in DryShips Inc.'s operating expenses, including bunker prices, dry-docking and insurance costs, or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents and political events or acts by terrorists.
Risks and uncertainties are further described in reports filed by DryShips Inc. with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Investor Relations / Media:
Capital Link, Inc. (New York)
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
January 27, 2009
Article from: The Australian
BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have turned defensive because of a developing cyclone.
And late yesterday a McConnell Dowell contractor was killed at Fortescue Metals Group's port operations as a crane was being dismantled ahead of the approach of the cyclone.
BHP said yesterday it had halted output at the Griffin oil field off the northwest coast of Australia and moved the production vessel clear.
Rio Tinto said it had stopped exporting iron ore in Western Australia.
"Both Cape Lambert and Dampier ports are closed," said Leith Paganoni, a spokeswoman for London-based Rio.
Four iron ore ships from Dampier and two from Cape Lambert have been sent out to sea for safety, she said. Trains transporting the iron ore from the mines to the port were slowing and stopped yesterday afternoon.
BHP said the Griffin venture disconnected from its riser last night to sail out of the expected path of Cyclone Dominic.
There may be strong winds as the tropical low pressure system gathers strength, potentially becoming a tropical cyclone, the nation's weather bureau said on its website. It could strengthen to a category 2 event. Five is the most severe rating.
The region hosts most of Australia's oil and gas and iron ore production and was expected to face more tropical cyclones than average this season, according to an October forecast by the bureau. The region may experience five to seven cyclones from November through to April, up from four last year, the agency said.
If the cyclone nears, it would be the third of the season for the region. Cyclone Billy last month forced the closure of some oil and gas operations. Cyclone Anika developed far offshore in November and had no effect on resources production.
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Star Bulk Carriers Corp., a global shipping company focusing on the transportation of dry bulk cargoes announced yesterday that: FFA Contracts. The Company has sold contracts in the Freight Forward Agreement ("FFA") market on the Capesize index for Calendar 2009 for a total of 360 calendar days with an average rate of approximately $19,900 per day. The Capesize index refers to a modern Capesize dry bulk carrier. The contracts are intended to serve as an approximate hedge for one of the Company's Capesize vessels trading in the spot market for 2009, effectively locking-in the approximate amount of revenue that the company expects to receive from such vessel for the period. Similarly, the Company announced that it has sold FFA contracts on the Capesize index for Calendar 2010 for a total of 60 days at an average rate of approximately $25,225 per day. All of the Company's FFA transactions are cleared trades and are intended as approximate hedges to its physical exposure in the spot market.
Universal Shelf Registration Statement
The Company recently filed a universal shelf registration statement, which has not yet been declared effective, to register an aggregate of $250 million of securities in order to provide flexibility to the Company to raise capital in the future as management and the board of directors may determine.
The Company also announced the completion of the previously announced private placement to insiders who had committed to reinvesting the cash portion of their dividend paid in respect of the third quarter 2008 into shares of Star Bulk. A total of 818,877 common shares were issued pursuant to the private placement. The Company included the resale registration of shares and warrants held by insiders and a former officer of Star Maritime Acquisition Corp. who had "piggy back" registration rights under various agreements, as well as shares issued to insiders and employees pursuant to the Company's equity incentive plan.
Update on Star Sigma Employment
The Company also announced that the vessel Star Sigma, which was on time charter to a Japanese charterer at a gross daily charter rate of $100,000/day until March 1, 2009 (earliest redelivery), was redelivered earlier to the Company pursuant to an agreement whereby the charterer agreed to pay the contracted rate less $8,000 per day, which is the approximate operating cost for the vessel, from the date of the actual redelivery in November 2008 through March 1, 2009. The Company has received payment in full and the vessel is currently trading in the spot market on a voyage charter to BHP Billiton at a gross time charter equivalent rate of approximately $14,100 per day, resulting in a revenue for the vessel that is effectively higher than it would have been under the original charter at the rate of $100,000 per day. The vessel is still committed to a 3-year time charter at a gross daily average charter rate of $63,000/day commencing in March 2009.
Akis Tsirigakis, CEO of Star Bulk, commented: "We are happy to announce our entry into FFA contracts aiming to enhance our fleet coverage and cash flow visibility for 2009 and 2010. Moreover, the pre-payment of the charter hire for the Star Sigma enhanced our cash position and liquidity, adding strength to our balance sheet. We continue to explore constructive ways to enhance and secure the Company's revenues in response to this period of uncertainty in the shipping markets. In this context we are pursuing various employment options for our vessels that include physical charters, contracts of affreightment (COA), charter extensions, FFA contracts and pool employment. We are also pleased to have completed the private placement to insiders who re-invested their cash dividend proceeds, clearly demonstrating their confidence in the Company's prospects."
Source: Star Bulk
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Container shippers are unleashing a wave of titanic vessels on the oceans during the biggest dip in global trade since World War II. The trend could keep sea freight rates depressed well into 2010. That's good news for their customers, the millions of businesses big and small that import parts and products from overseas. But it's likely to spell pain within the shipping industry itself and could precipitate consolidation as smaller players are pushed out.
The jumbo vessels -- many longer than three football fields -- carry everything from strawberries and tea to iPods and motorcycles, for thousands of customers at once. The economies of scale can be great if shippers can fill their holds.
The MSC Daniela is a glimpse of the future. The size of an aircraft carrier, the ship completed its maiden run from Asia to Europe this month packed with 13,800 containers, or equivalent units, each big enough to contain all the contents of a three-bedroom house.
Thirty-five ships of Daniela's scale are scheduled to hit water in 2009, doubling the number floating today. They'll make up roughly a quarter of the net increase in container capacity on the high seas. The Asian companies that make up 16 of the top 20 container shippers are also ordering the ships, led by China's Cosco Container Lines with 24. By 2013, some 200 ultralarge ships will be in service around the world.
Meanwhile, a ship capable of fitting 22,000 containers has been designed by South Korea's STX Shipbuilding Co.
Giuseppe Di Maio, an operations manager at the Daniela's owner, Mediterranean Shipping Co., said the company filled every slot -- but at bargain rates.
Shippers are eager to avoid partially filled vessels at almost any cost. "To fill their big boats, these guys will cut their price to any level for customers," said Dirk Visser, an analyst at Dynamar NV, a Dutch consultancy.
With overcapacity and a drop in trade, the bottom recently fell out on shipping rates. The rate for shipping a container from Asia to Europe, the world's busiest trade lane, has fallen to around $300, one-tenth the cost of a year ago, even as some shippers cancel regular runs. Some ships have gone so far as to take containers free. The only cost to the shipper is roughly $500 in fuel and transit fees, which are assessed on all containers.
According to the most recent data available, the U.S., Japan, China and the European Union all suffered 10% declines in exports in November, auguring a bitter 2009 for global trade. Yet shipping companies aren't expected to cancel any orders for new ships, allowing the global fleet to increase by over 12% -- way ahead of expected demand.
Two European billionaires are leading the move to supersize ships. Gianluigi Aponte, owner of Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping, has ordered 48 ultralarge vessels, including the Daniela. . His strategy is to gain market share by building bigger ships and aggressively recruiting customers, said people familiar with the company. MSC is the second-largest container shipper in the world, with 450 vessels, behind Denmark's A.P. Moeller-Maersk, with 500 ships.
Mr. Aponte's rival is Jacques Saade, the 71-year-old founder and director of Marseille-based CMA-CGM, which has ordered 37 ultralarge ships. The two tycoons, who've been battling each other since the 1970s, study each other's moves like chess players. "We're not shrinking anything in our organization," Mr. Saade said in a rare interview. "If we need to, we'll order more big ships, for economies [of scale]."
Some companies are suspending routes and scrapping smaller vessels -- to little effect. Recent analyst reports predicted rates are unlikely to rise until the end of the economic downturn. "The challenging environment could continue in 2010 until a demand recovery narrows the demand-supply gap and improves the level of profitability in the sector," a J.P. Morgan & Co. report said.
Most of the new big ships were ordered before the economic bust in anticipation that the China-fueled boom in global trade would continue. But instead of canceling orders, shippers now see an opportunity to force a shakeout in what has long been a fragmented industry of family-led carriers.
In the 1990s, A.P. Moeller-Maersk pioneered the first gargantuan container ships.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., Japan’s third-largest shipping line, jumped the most in more than a month in Tokyo trading after the Baltic Dry Index rose for a fifth day. Kawasaki Kisen rose as much as 10 percent to 379 yen and traded at 376 yen at the 11 a.m. trading break on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Nippon Yusen K.K., the country’s biggest shipping line, added as much as 6.3 percent to 492 yen. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., the second-biggest, gained as much as 7.1 percent to 590 yen.
The Baltic Dry index, which tracks transport rates on international trade routes, rose 1.5 percent to 995 yesterday on demand for steelmaking raw materials in China. The gain in the index typically means shipping companies are able to charge customers more.
“The gain in the Baltic is leading investors to buy shipping stocks,” said Yoshihisa Miyamoto, an analyst in Tokyo at Okasan Securities Co. “The index is still at historically low levels and it’s hard to imagine the rally continuing.”
The index is down 92 percent from its all-time high of 11,793 touched last May.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Athens: Armed men attacked a Cameroon trawler at the weekend and killed the Greek captain, writes AFP. The diplomat said the unidentified men struck Friday night off Kribi, southern Cameroon. No further details of the incident or the identity of the captain were available from the Greek embassy in Yaounde or the Cameroon Defense Ministry, which said it was still gathering information.
The independent daily Le Jour said two trawlers were intercepted by some 10 pirates aboard motorized canoes, who held the crews before making off with a total of 2.9m CFA francs ($5,700) found on board. The Cameroon navy, based at Kribi, pursued the pirates after the alarm was raised but failed to catch them, the report said. [27/01/09]
London: Although the Baltic Exchange noted a very positive end to last week for capesize vessels, with rates “much stronger with a tight supply of tonnage in the Atlantic and the major producers once again mopping up tonnage”, it cautioned, “The Lunar New Year holidays next week could put a brake on the market and this rush to fix could just be the result of the upcoming holidays.”
However, it stated, “Nevertheless a charterer was said to be bidding a modern capesize $30,000 daily for a trip to the east and a 180,000-tonner coming from the east reportedly agreed a timecharter rate equating to the low $17.00 range. Those few charterers looking for transatlantic rounds were chasing very few ships and some talked of the rate at/or going to $20,000 daily.
In the east Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton was once again busy in the east with rates now nudging over $6.00 for West Australia/China runs. The backhaul route has been slow, but there was talk of timecharter business down from Richards Bay to the Continent equating to about $7.40 basis Rotterdam discharge. There has been period interest and as the week drew to a close came a rumour of an almost 20-year old 152,000-tonner fixing for about a year with April delivery in the east at $20,500 daily with just 2.5% commission.” [26/01/09]
Monday, 26 January 2009
The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for commodities, rose for a third consecutive week, boosted by demand for capesize vessels to haul coal and iron ore to make steel. The index advanced 35 points, or 3.7 per cent, to 980 points, according to the Baltic Exchange, an 11 per cent increase for the week. Capesize rates had a 24 per cent weekly gain and have more than doubled this month.
Miners including Brazil's Cia Vale do Rio Doce, the biggest iron-ore producer, are driving activity, shipbroker Fearnley Fonds ASA said in a note on Friday.
'Instead of having inventories in their own backyard, it's better to transport to China,' Rikard Vabo, an Oslo-based Fearnley analyst, said on Friday.
Steel demand has slumped as carmakers and builders cut output and global growth slows.
The UK economy, the fifth-biggest, contracted the most since 1980 in the fourth quarter, data showed on Friday.
December steel output in China, the biggest maker of the metal, fell 5.5 per cent from a year ago, according to the World Steel Association.
Rates to hire capesizes increased 7.3 per cent to US$17,894 a day.
Smaller panamax vessels, the largest to go through the locks of the Panama Canal, advanced 3.6 per cent to US$4,234 a day and gained 7.3 per cent in the week.
Forward freight agreements, derivatives used by traders to bet on future shipping rates, for capesizes advanced 0.7 per cent to US$17,125 a day for the first quarter, the highest in two weeks.
Panamax futures fell 3.2 per cent to US$6,500 for the same period. The data are from Oslo-based broker Imarex NOS ASA.
Freight rates collapsed last year, taking the Baltic Dry Index to a record 92 per cent annual drop.
That may spur fleet operators to seek delays to delivery of new vessels.
Cosco Corp Singapore Ltd said on Friday it will reschedule delivery dates for seven vessels at the request of an unidentified European shipowner.
Deliveries will be three to 13 months later than originally planned.
If orders for new dry bulk ships to be delivered this year and in 2010 are met, 2,097 ships will take to the water.
That's equivalent to 30 per cent of the current fleet, according to Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd in London.
Sunday, 25 January 2009
Guangdong province, China's biggest manufacturing base, has reported a sharp drop in economic growth in 2008 as global financial woes hammered the region -- often called the "world's factory floor." The gross domestic product for Guangdong grew by 10.1 percent last year -- a decline of 4.6 percentage points compared to 2007, the provincial Statistics Bureau said on its Web site Friday. However, the 2008 figure was higher than the government's forecast of 9 percent.
Guangdong, which shares a border with Hong Kong, has long been China's most important base for exporters producing everything from toys and shoes to computer parts and mobile phones. But many of the factories have been struggling amid rising production costs and the global economic crisis that is sapping overseas demand for their goods.
About 62,400 businesses shut down in Guangdong last year, 4,739 more than in 2007, a deputy provincial governor, Huang Longyun, told reporters in Beijing earlier this month. But Huang added that most of the shuttered firms were small companies, and the province added a net 38,200 new enterprises in 2008, according to a transcript of his remarks.
The global financial crisis began hitting Guangdong as officials were trying to carry out a new blueprint for the most industrialized part of the province, known as the Pearl River Delta. The plan calls for encouraging companies to shift to high-value manufacturing and heavy industry.
Labor-intensive factories producing low-end goods were being encouraged to move to interior provinces to make room for the more advanced industries. Those who have resisted moving have not received government assistance and have been battered by the economic downturn.
Among the hardest hit have been toy makers. Last year, 922 toy exporters -- nearly one-third of the toy factories operating in 2007 -- closed down in Guangdong, the official Xinhua News Agency reported this month, citing customs figures. China is the world's largest exporter of toys and Guangdong factories produce 70 percent of the goods, the report said.
Source: Associated Press
Sunday, 25 January 2009
Slumping Asian property markets could intensify the region's economic downturn this year, further undermining consumer and investor confidence and prompting homeowners to tighten spending. Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand are already in recession, and data yesterday showed activity in regional powerhouses China and South Korea is rapidly cooling as the full force of the global financial crisis hits home.
Goldman Sachs sees economic growth in Asia excluding Japan falling to 4.4 per cent this year from an estimated 6.9 per cent in 2008, but says the risk is to the downside.
"People are worried about losing their jobs and that the economy will get worse, so they are refraining from making very large investments," said Michael Spencer, Deutsche Bank's Asia economist.
Half the wealth of Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and India is tied to property, according to CLSA.
In Hong Kong and Singapore, double-digit declines in property prices last year and falling real interest rates have made apartments more affordable, and home prices are forecast to slide another 20-25 per cent this year as the global economy weakens.
Buyers, however, are thin on the ground as investors who lost heavily in Asian stock markets last year have less money to put down for property purchases.
Worsening economic data across the region, meanwhile, is also discouraging people from committing to big investments like housing.
As homeowners see the value of their assets being eroded in tandem with the deteriorating economic climate, they become part of a vicious cycle, cutting back on consumption - which needs to grow significantly to offset declining Asian exports - and thereby accelerating the economic slowdown across the region.
Hong Kong homeowner Maggie Chan has just put off buying her daughter a new watch and says she has had to do without new boots this winter.
With recession deepening, Chan, a 40-something clerical worker, fears she will soon be strapped with negative equity on the HK$3 million ($385,000, Dh1.41 million) two-bedroom apartment she bought eight years ago in the middle-class neighbourhood of Tai Koo Shing, owing more on her mortgage than the property will be worth.
"Property prices are going to go down and that's making me think a lot more before I spend," she said, adding that there will be no holiday abroad for the family this year to match last summer's trip to Thailand.
As exports and domestic consumption weaken, HSBC forecasts a 0.6 per cent contraction in Asian GDP ex-China and Japan in the first quarter of 2009 from a year earlier, the region's weakest performance since late 1998 during the Asian financial crisis.
Asia would typically lag a US economic downturn by two to three quarters, but is moving more in sync with the US cycle in this crisis, says Goldman Sachs.
That's partly because of the worsening credit crisis since Lehman Brothers' collapse in mid-September, which is making banks worldwide reluctant to lend, further depressing business activity and property sales.
"Asian loan-to-deposit ratios are lower now than during the Asian financial crisis," said Michael Buchanan, Goldman Sachs' Asian economist.
In Hong Kong, for example, banks are offering 70 per cent mortgages on just 85-90 per cent of the value of a property, says property consultants Colliers International. Spencer at Deutsche Bank says Asian property prices are unlikely to pick up until exports, now falling at double-digit rates in some parts of the region, stabilise. And that will largely hinge on when US and European demand recovers.
Marcus Hand, Singapore - Friday 23 January 2009
COSCO Shipyard Group has rescheduled seven more newbuilding deliveries at the request of a shipowner.
Singapore-listed Cosco Corp, majority shareholder in CSG, said that the yard group had agreed with an unnamed European owned to postpone the delivery of four out of seven 57,000 dwt bulkers it has on order and three remaining 80,000 dwt bulkers.
The vessels were ordered in August and September from Cosco Guangdong and Cosco Dalian yards.
The deliveries have been pushed by back a range of three to 13 months, with the last delivery in October 2011 instead of December 2010.
“The agreement on the rescheduling of vessels’ deliveries has been acceded to upon the request of and after negotiations with the ship owner,” Cosco said, it gave no further details.
The delivery postponements are the latest in a series to CSG in its orderbook of slightly over 100 newbuildings largely comprising bulk carriers.
Earlier this month GE Shipping cancelled two supramax bulkers on order from the Chinese yard group and delayed the delivery of the remaining pair that it had contracted.
In December 2008, another owner cancelled two supramax bulker newbuildings with the shipyard group and delayed the delivery of three more.
World crude steel production reached 1,329.7 million tons for the year of 2008. This is a decrease by 1.2% YoY. 2008 is the second consecutive year that world steel production has been over 1,300 million tonnes.
Steel production declined in nearly all the major steel producing countries and regions including the EU, North America, South America and the CIS in 2008. However, Asia, in particular China, and the Middle East showed positive growth in 2008. Worldwide steel production has shown an acceleration of negative growth from September to 2008 year end. World crude steel output for December 2008 recorded a decrease by 24.3% compared to 2007.
China became the first country ever to produce more than 500 million tonnes in one year. China’s crude steel production in 2008 reached 502 million tonnes, an increase of 2.6% on 2007. Production volume in China has more than doubled within five years, from 222 million tonnes in 2002. China’s share of world steel production continued to grow in 2008 producing 38% of world total crude steel.
Asia produced 770 million tonnes of crude steel in 2008, 58% of world total steel production, 1.9% growth over 2007. South Korea and India recorded increases of 3.8% and 3.7% respectively. Japan produced 118 million tonnes in 2008 down by 1.2% YoY.
The EU 27 produced 199 million tonnes of crude steel in 2008 recording a decrease of -5.3% compared to 2007. Major steel producing countries including Germany, Italy and France recorded reductions.
In 2008, steel production in North America also down by 5.5% over 2007. The US produced 91 million tonnes of crude steel down by 6.8%.
Overall, the CIS showed a decrease of -8.1% in 2008. Russia produced 69 million tonnes of crude steel, a -5.4% reduction over 2007 while Ukraine recorded a decrease of -13.1% with year end figures of 37 million tonnes.
Iron ore output of Brazilian mining giant Vale plunged by 21% YoY in Q4 of 2008 to 63,3 million tonnes as compared with 80,1 million tonnes a year earlier and by 26.3% QoQ.
Iron ore production throughout 2008 reached 301.7 million tonnes down by 0.5% YoY, first annual decline since 1999. From 2001 to 2007, output had grown at an annual average rate of 13.4% YoY.
Vale said that "The numbers for iron ore production in the fourth quarter of 2008 illustrate the effort that is being made by Vale to adjust its operational activities to the current demand levels.”
It added that "Vale is managing its production in accordance with the new global economic outlook emerging from the financial market stress, which has caused a strong recessionary impact on the real economy.”
Friday, January 23, 2009
BDI 980 UP 35
BCI 2032 UP 93
BPI 531 UP 18
BSI 443 UP 7
BHSI 281 UNCHANGED
'Agility' 1989 152065 dwt dely China 1/15 Apr 11/13 months trading redel worldwide approx $20500 daily basis 2.5% - Formosa Plastics 'Penda Bulker' 2005 76520 dwt dely Aden ppt trip via EC South America redel Singapore-Japan rge $6750 daily - Louis Dreyfus 'Kavo Alkyon' Bunge relet 2005 75408 dwt dely EC South America 8/10 Feb trip redel Singapore-Japan rge $10750 daily + $275000 bb - Baumarine 'Pavian' 2001 74716 dwt dely S.Korea 30/31 Jan trip via Gladstone redel China $2000 daily - Danzas 'Afovos' 2001 74306 dwt dely Gibraltar 23/26 Jan trip via US Gulf redel Syria $5000 daily - Windrose 'Tian Zhu Feng' 2000 74201 dwt dely Lanshan 3/8 Feb 4/6 months trading redel worldwide $7000 daily - cnr 'Gallia Graeca' 2001 74133 dwt dely UKC 5/15 Feb 11/13 months trading redel worldwide $11500 daily - Cargill 'Scythia Graeca' 2002 74133 dwt dely Singapore ppt 4/6 months trading redel worldwide $7500 daily - Cargill 'Jacaranda' NYG relet 1999 73729 dwt dely US Gulf 12/18 Feb trip redel Japan $8000 daily + $200000 bb - Marubeni 'YK Sentosa' 2000 73625 dwt geared dely Vizakhapatnam 7/10 Feb trip via India redel China $8250 daily - cnr 'Seajoy' 2000 73454 dwt dely Rotterdam ppt trip via Baltic breaching IWL redel UKC $8500 daily - cnr 'Oinoussian Lion' 1996 71662 dwt dely Malta 27 Jan/6 Feb trip via Black Sea redel China int ore $9000 daily - Richstone 'Joyous Land' 1994 69283 dwt dely Lianyungang 24/28 Jan trip via EC India redel China $2000 daily - AHT 'Shun Ji Xing' 1983 69011 dwt dely Singapore spot trip via EC India redel China $2000 daily - Noble 'Santa Anna' 2006 56042 dwt dely Morocco spot trip via North Brazil redel Singapore-Japan $7500 daily - Cargill 'Yasa Aysen' 2007 56042 dwt dely PG early February 1 years trading redel worldwide approx $10250 daily - AMN Bulk Carriers
'Pos Island' 2006 55710 dwt -
'Genco Predator' 2005 55407 dwt dely Japan 28/30 January trip via Nopac redel Singapore-Japan $3750 daily - EBC 'Grigorpan' 2002 53806 dwt dely Hoh Chi Minh City 30 Jan/3 Feb trip redel Singapore $4000 daily - Nasbulk (Nasco) 'Tai Hawk' 2005 52686 dwt dely West Coast India early February trip redel China $9000 daily - cnr - 'Medi Cebu' Cargill relet 2002 52239 dwt dely aps Indonesia 1/6 February trip redel India $4800 daily - Eitzen 'Song Hai' Cosbulk relet 1998 47201 dwt dely Thailand 2/10 February 2-3 laden legs 80/100 days redel India-Japan $5500 daily - Armada Switzerland 'Expander' 2000 46634 dwt dely passing Canakkale early February trip via Black Sea redel Singapore-Japan $5500 daily - WBC - 22/01> 'Sheng Qiang' Cosco HK relet 1998 45706 dwt dely USGulf 27 Jan/1 Feb trip redel Skaw/Morocco $7000 daily - Armada Switzerland 'Ace Glory' 1988 42304 dwt dely Belem 23/29 January trip redel South-east Asia $5750 daily - cnr - 'Kee Lung' 1985 37389 dwt dely aps Richards Bay early February trip redel Pakistan $4750 daily - Shadab -
'Olympius' 2004 160000/10 Dampier/Qingdao 10/20 Feb $6.10 fio scale/30000sc
'Eurydice D' 1985 140000/10 Saldanha Bay/Qingdao 5/10 Feb $10.50 fio
scale/30000sc - Kumba
'Bulk Leher' 1992 150000/10 Newcastle/Mailiao 10/20 Feb $7.95 fio
35000sc/30000sc - BHP Billiton
'Sanko Oasis' 1995 150000/10 Hay Point/Fangcheng 15/25 Feb approx $7.10 fio
50000sc/25000sc - BHP Billiton
TBN 22500/ min/max maize south Brazil/Morocco 3/8 Feb $22.50 fio 5000/3000 -