Soggy corn raises costs for U.S. grain exporters

Wet corn is piling up in the U.S. Midwest, boosting premiums for dry grain and raising costs for exporters who already have been undercut in global markets by cheaper Argentine supplies, traders said on Tuesday. The slowest U.S. corn harvest in three years was beset by rains and cool weather during the past two months that prevented later-planted crops from drying naturally in the fields. Corn supplies going into the harvest were the largest since 1988 and space in on-farm storage and dryers is at a premium. (Reuters)


Agribusiness firms discouraged by Saudi mills sale terms

An unwieldy sale process and onerous ownership rules are discouraging some potential investors from bidding for Saudi Arabia’s state-owned grain mills, sources close to the firms say, in a potential snag for the kingdom’s economic reforms. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to modernise Saudi Arabia and reduce its dependence on oil. The kingdom is selling assets worth about $300 billion to fund the plan and potential foreign investors and bankers are watching the sales closely. (Reuters)




Last Index Published Date: 22 NOVEMBER 2017

Baltic Exchange Dry Index            1413  +17

Baltic Exchange Capesize Index     3298  +43

Baltic Exchange Panamax Index    1281  +6

Baltic Exchange Supramax Index    875  +19

Baltic Exchange Handysize Index    624  -1




‘Anangel Unity’ 2015 179818 dwt dely Cape Passero 01 Dec/03 Jan – <reported 21/11 the charterer is not Uniper>

‘Anangel Argonaut’ 2009 177835 dwt dely CJK 23/24 Nov trip via West Australia redel Singapore-Japan $20,250 daily – Hydndai Glovis

‘Shinyo Brilliance’ 2001 172589 dwt dely retro Caofeidian 21 Nov trip via Australia redel Singapore-Japan $18,700 daily – Huaya

‘Genco Claudius’ 2010 169001 dwt dely Jiangyin 23/24 Nov trip via east Australia redel Singapore-Japan $17,750 daily – RGL

‘Ikan Kedewas’ 2006 88266 dwt dely Hibikinada 28 Nov trip vias East Australia redel India $10,850 daily – Oldendorff

‘KM Keelung’ 2010 82072 dwt dely SW Pass 04 Dec trip Skaw-Gibraltar $13,000 daily plus $300,000 bb – Klaveness

‘Dream Star’ Bunge relet 2014 81909 dwt dely Kohsichang 21/24 Nov trip via Indonesia redel India $11,000 daily – PCL

‘Nord Beluga’ 2015 81840 dwt dely Mariveles spot trip via Indonesia redel Japan $12,000 daily – Cobelfret

‘Inspiration ‘ 2010 80700 dwt dely Gibraltar spot trip via Kamsar redel Aughinish $12,000 daily – Cargill

‘Golden Eclipse’ 2010 79471 dwt dely Gibraltar 23 Nov trip via Kamsar and Fos redel Gibraltar $10,500 daily – Jera

‘Wei He’ 2012 79440 dwt dely Qinzhou 25 Nov trip via Indonesia redel Malaysia $9,250 daily – Panocean

‘Coral Jasper’ 2012 78078 dwt dely Santos 08 Dec trip Singapore-Japan $14,900 daily plus $490,000 bb – Louis Dreyfus

‘Chance’ 2004 75926 dwt dely Rotterdam 27 Nov/03 Dec trip via Baltic to Saudi Arabia Gulf redel PMO $17,250 daily – Langlois

‘Shao Shan 6’ 2012 75700 dwt dely Rotterdam prompt trip via Baltic and Turkey redel Passero coal $12,000 daily – Cargill

‘TCLC Luzhou’ 2017 61963 dwt dely Hong Kong 21/23 Nov trip via Indonesia redel WC India $10,000 daily – cnr

‘Pacific Award’ 2015 61411 dwt dely Luoyuan 26 Nov trip via Indonesia redel Thailand $9,750 daily – cnr

‘Medi Astoria’ 2017 61000 dwt dely wwr Ghent 01/05 Dec trip redel East Mediterranean $13,800 daily – Centurion

‘Carina Ocean’ 2009 58765 dwt dely Skikda 21/22 Nov trip via Spain redel West Africa $12,750 daily – IMC

‘Spar Lynx’ 2005 53162 dwt dely Fangcheng prompt trip via Indonesia redel Thailand $9,000 daily – Cargill

‘Hyderabad’ 2004 52951 dwt dely Singapore spot trip via Indonesia redel China $9,400 daily – cnr

‘Alex A’ 2002 50300 dwt dely Singapore prompt trip via Indonesia redel Thailand $10,500 daily – Cargill

‘Pacific Pamela’ 1997 49061 dwt dely Singapore prompt trip via Indonesia redel China $9,250 daily – Pacific Success




‘ABYO Audrey’ 2011 175125 dwt dely Singapore 24/26 Nov 4/6 months trading redel worldwide rate linked to the average of the 4 t/cs + $275,000 bb – Pacific Bulk




Oil prices rose as ongoing cuts of piped Canadian crude to the United States added to falling U.S. crude inventories, while expectations of a prolonged OPEC-led production cut also offered support. Gold prices remained in a narrow range as investors remained cautious ahead of the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last meeting, which could offer hints on the outlook for the central bank’s monetary policy. Zinc rallied more than 1 percent in London, tracking strength in Chinese steel prices on expectations that mills will restock following the country’s forced production cuts over winter. Chicago wheat prices climbed for a second session, with short-covering by investors and a decline in the U.S. winter crop condition underpinning the market. The dollar treaded water against its peers, capped as U.S. Treasury yields failed to rise despite increasing investor risk appetite in broader financial markets. (Reuters)





Venezuela leans on foreign partners for oil to feed its refineries -sources

Venezuela’s state-run PDVSA is siphoning oil from its cash-paying joint ventures with foreign firms to feed its domestic refineries, two sources close to the matter told Reuters, at a time when late debt payments have triggered defaults. PDVSA asked its Petropiar joint venture with Chevron Corp to turn over as much as 45 percent of the oil it planned to export in November with no immediate reimbursement, one of the sources said this month. (Reuters)


China’s CEFC set to overtake Trafigura as main Rosneft oil trader in Asia

China’s CEFC looks set to unseat Trafigura as Rosneft’s main oil trading partner in Asia after securing a five-year deal to take 60 million tonnes of crude from Russia’s energy giant, industry sources said. International trading firm Trafigura is now Rosneft’s main buyer of seaborne volumes of ESPO Blend and Sakhalin Sokol oil. (Reuters)


Statoil plants flag in Big Oil’s race for ‘cleaner’ crude

There’s oil and then there’s oil, says Norway’s Statoil, which is pitched in a race to develop the cleanest crude as countries wean themselves off fossil fuels. While the world will need oil and gas for decades to come, Statoil’s Chief Executive Eldar Saetre expects that many oil deposits will never be tapped as increasingly discerning consumers will demand only the lowest-polluting crude. (Reuters)





Navios Holdings Delivers Loss, Closes USD 305 Mn Offering

Although its revenues increased during the third quarter of 2017, Greek shipping firm Navios Maritime Holdings delivered a slightly widened net loss in the period.

The company said that its net loss for the three month-period ended September 30 stood at USD 28.3 million, slightly more compared to a net loss of USD 27.5 million reported in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue for the quarter increased to USD 120.5 million, against a revenue of USD 113 million seen in the same period in 2016. Revenue from dry bulk vessel operations was up to USD 61 million from USD 49.7 million for the same period during 2016. The rise was mainly due to the increase in the time charter equivalent (TCE) per day by 5.2% to USD 9,481 per day in the third quarter of 2017 and an increase in available days of the company’s fleet by 579 days.

For the first nine months of 2017, the company delivered a net loss of USD 114.3 million, compared to a net loss of USD 61.3 million reported a year earlier, while its revenue for the period reached USD 334.5 million, up from USD 320.3 million recorded in the nine-month period of 2016.

Revenue from dry bulk vessel operations reached USD 171.8 million as compared to USD 142.9 million for the same period during 2016.

On November 21, Navios Holdings informed that the company and Navios Maritime Finance II completed the sale of USD 305 million of 11.25% senior secured notes due 2022.

The net proceeds of the offering will be used to complete a cash tender offer for any and all of its outstanding 8 1/8% senior notes due 2019 and to redeem any and all such notes that are not purchased in the tender offer after all conditions to the tender offer are satisfied or waived. (World Maritime News)


DryShips Widens Loss

Greek ship owner DryShips has plunged further into the red as its net and operating losses increased during the three-month period ended September 30.

The company’s net loss for the three months reached USD 17.9 million, compared to a net loss of USD 5.2 million reported in the same period in 2016.

While operating loss also widened to USD 6.5 million in the third quarter, compared to a loss of USD 3.7 million seen a year earlier, DryShips’ revenues surged to USD 29.9 million from USD 12.1 million year-on-year.

For the nine months ended September 30, the company said that it cut its net loss to USD 44.3 million from USD 79.7 million, while its operating loss shrunk to USD 27.8 million from USD 69.9 million.

The company’s revenues for the nine-month period increased to USD 58.1 million from USD 42.2 million seen in the same period a year earlier.

Following the closing of the previously announced USD 100 million private placement and USD 100 million rights offering on October 25, 2017, the company’s credit facility with Sierra Investments Inc., with an outstanding

balance of approximately USD 73.8 million, was refinanced with a new loan facility secured by assets.

The credit facility has a loan to value ratio of 50%, a tenor of 5 years, no amortization and a margin of LIBOR plus 4.5%, DryShips informed. (World Maritime News)


Alphaliner: Global Container Volumes Grow by 7.7% in Third Quarter

Port volumes recorded a 7.7% rise in aggregate throughput in the quarter ended September 30, growing at their fastest pace since 2011, according to Alphaliner.

Through its survey, which covers more than 200 ports that account for over 75% of global container volumes, Alphaliner saw that the strong third-quarter growth figures surpassed the growth rates of the previous two quarters, which stood at 7.4% and 5.8%, respectively.

Full year growth estimate for 2017 has thus been adjusted upwards to 6.4%.

All regions posted improved year-on-year growth, led by Latin American ports which recorded the highest growth rate of 10% in the third quarter. The strong volumes recovery could lead to a major revamp of Asia-South America services in the coming months.

Mexican ports led the way with growth reaching 15.2% during the period, with notable gains in Manzanillo, Lazaro Cardenas, Veracruz and Altamira, while ports in Panama recorded an 11.1% gain. (World Maritime News)


Vessel queue at Australia’s Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal at highest in nearly eight years

The number of coal vessels queuing at the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal in Australia’s Queensland state is at the highest level seen since early 2010, shipping data and historical records from terminal operator DBCT Management showed. On Wednesday, there were 44 ships at anchor off the terminal and two loading coal, according to shipping data.

Monthly daily average queue lengths for the terminal have not breached 40 ships since 2010, according to DBCT Management data dating from April 2009 to June 2017. Figures were not readily available for July-October of this year. In 2010, the average daily queue in May grew as long as 61.7 ships, according to the data.

But from 2011 to June 2017, the monthly daily average queue has exceeded 30 ships only twice. In November last year it was as low as nine ships. The most recently available monthly daily average is for June when there were 27.6 vessels.

“DBCT works on a cargo assembly basis, which means that cargo is railed specifically to meet each shipment on a just-in-time basis,” said a report from a shipping agency.

“Due to the nature of the supply chain linking DBCT and the mines which it services, actual delays can vary due to actual production at the mines, congestion at the port and rail allocation,” the report added.

Also, Berth No. 2 is undergoing scheduled maintenance between November 8 and December 5.

While buyers had reported delays for coal deliveries from DBCT since October, urgency began to build in the met coal market early in November, lending support to met coal prices.

Platts Premium Low Vol FOB Australia saw a 8.4% hike in prices from the beginning of November to date, moving from $179/mt FOB Australia on November 1 to $194/mt FOB Australia Tuesday.

Buyers continue to report delays of 20-30 days in their coal deliveries, with several buyers also having procured prompt cargoes at higher prices to offset shortages stemming from the delays.

Coal exports from DBCT, which services mines in Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin, have been strong in recent months.

The terminal, which is leased from the state government by DBCT Management, operated near its 85 million mt/year nameplate capacity for August-October, at an annualized rate of 80.20 million mt.

For January-October however, its annualized rate was lagging at 64.75 million mt after the impact of Cyclone Debbie which made landfall in late March.

In recent months, DBCT has at times run above nameplate capacity, a source close to the terminal said Wednesday.

And while throughput is expected to be strong in December, the queues are expected to ease by the end of 2017, or in the beginning of the new year — subject to an unusual weather event changing that forecast, he said. (Platts)


Colombia’s Compas expects Pacific port to load first Panamax with coal

Colombian port operator Compas said Tuesday it expects to load the first Panamax vessel with coal in January at its new Aguadulce terminal, close to the port of Buenaventura.

Compas said the newly completed terminal on the Aguadulce peninsula is a game changer for Colombia’s trade, bringing forward the capacity to load vessels of up to 80,000 mt for the first time in the Pacific, and via a new system of conveyors and loading equipment.

Compas has invested in state-of-the-art automation with loading equipment that can operate at a rate of 1,200 mt/hour of coal, according to a company source.

The new terminal with a draft of 15 meters successfully loaded a 56,000 mt met coal cargo in October, in a shipment bound for Japan. Aguadulce is expected to load another similar vessel before loading a Panamax at the start of 2018 with a cargo of 70,000-73,0000 mt, sources close to the matter said.

Compas sees demand for Colombian met coal and coke loaded at its Pacific facilities principally from Asia, with interest growing outside Japan, its key market to date. Japanese steel mills and traders are involved in exports of Colombian mid-vol blend to date.

Aguadulce will complement larger capacity Colombian coal ports found in the Caribbean and Guajira regions of the country, which are involved in met coal shipments to Brazil and Turkey and thermal coal to other markets. Compas handled 4.3 million mt in 2016 via terminals in Cartagena, Buenaventura, Barranquilla, Tolu, and through joint ventures in Panama and Houston, operated with cement and industrial group Argos.

Compas handles met coal and met coke, serving markets in Europe, North America and Asia. (Platts)


Weak Tanker Rates Put More Pressure on Frontline

John Fredriksen-controlled tanker owner and operator Frontline ended the third quarter of 2017 in loss due to weak average spot daily time charter equivalent (TCE) earnings.

During the period ended September 30, the company reported a net loss of USD 24.1 million, compared to a net income of USD 5.5 million seen in the same quarter a year earlier. The change was mainly attributed to weak time charter rates achieved by the company’s fleet and a USD 5.8 million loss on the termination of the charter of one of Frontline’s ships.

The company’s total operating revenues also dropped to USD 140.5 million from USD 157.2 million reported in the third quarter of 2016.

“The impact of the significant fleet growth over the last two years was felt across the industry and is reflected in our results for the third quarter,” Robert Hvide Macleod, Chief Executive Officer of Frontline Management AS, said.

“Indeed, the rate environment presented in the quarter was the weakest we have experienced since 2013. During this time, we showed commercial discipline by not accepting unreasonably low offers from charterers. This resulted in extended waiting time, particularly on our VLCC’s, and impacted our average TCE earnings,” Macleod added.

Net income attributable to the Company in the nine months ended September 30, 2016 included a loss on the cancellation and sale of newbuildings and vessels of $2.7 million, a vessel impairment loss of $34.4 million, an impairment loss on shares of $7.2 million, and a loss on derivatives of $11.4 million.

As of November 2017, the company estimates that the average daily cash breakeven rates for the remainder of 2017

will be approximately USD 21,600, USD 17,700 and USD 15,700 for its owned and leased VLCCs, Suezmax tankers and LR2/Aframax tankers, respectively. (World Maritime News)





Clarksons: Containership Orderbook in Decline

The global containership orderbook stood at 368 vessels of a combined 2.8 million TEU as of the start of November, representing a 58% drop in TEU terms since its peak in July 2008, Clarksons Research informed.

The size of the orderbook declined continuously month-on-month this year until October, when it reached 2.6 million TEU, its lowest level since December 2003. Meanwhile, the containership orderbook as a percentage of the fleet also declined, to below 13% in TEU terms in September, its lowest level on record.

“Overall, the decline in size of the Korean boxship orderbook has been the key driver behind the changing profile at a global level,” Clarksons Research said.

Traditionally, Korean yards have led boxship sector contracting, taking 49% of global orders in TEU terms from 2008 to 2016, notably receiving 56% of 8,000+ TEU orders in TEU terms in the same period. With the recent slowdown in containership ordering, especially in the 8,000+ TEU sector, the Korean boxship orderbook has shrunk to 0.6 million TEU as of the start of November, down 31% since October 2015 in TEU terms.

As a result, in May, the Korean boxship orderbook for the first time on record became smaller in size than that of both Chinese and Japanese builders, whose orderbooks stood at 1.4 million TEU and 0.6 million TEU as of the start of November, respectively.

Although this shake up has primarily been driven by a decline in larger boxship ordering, Chinese yards have also had an impact by competing in the 8,000+ TEU sector, having taken 36% of orders in 2017 so far, in numerical terms, up from only 18% in full year 2008. Additionally, Chinese yards still dominate sub-3,000 TEU boxship contracting, and have increased their share of orders from 54% in 2008 to 72% in 2017 so far in numerical terms.

“Given the recent limited appetite, a significant new dynamic in big boxship ordering will be needed to generate a significant shake up the profile of the containership orderbook once again,” Clarksons concluded. (World Maritime News)


Pacific Carriers in for another MR tanker

Robert Kuok-controlled Pacific Carriers (PCL) has added its second ship of the year in a business diversification drive.

Sources say that the privately held Southeast Asian player has bought the Greek owned 50,000 dwt  sized tanker Fidias for  just under $17m. The ship was sold by Ionia Management, which has a handful of elderly tankers under its control. The sale marks Ionia’s end to its exposure in the MR sector.

PCL, best known as a dry bulk operator, has not bought any bulkers for the past two years, focusing instead on the MR sector. In September PCL added the slightly younger tanker Box, now renamed Plover Pacific from Alma Maritime for $20m. (Splash247)