‘Shipshape 10’ News for Week Ending April 22nd, 2017

‘Shipshape 10 List’, a list of news and articles published in the current week that a senior executive in shipping, shipping finance, commodities, energy, supply chain and infrastructure should had noticed; news and articles that are shaping the agenda and the course of the maritime industry.

Sometimes seemingly tangential, periodically humorous, occasionally sarcastic, sporadically artistic, inferentially erotic, but always insightful and topical.

And, this week’s ‘Shipshape 10’:

The dry bulk and commodities market had a difficult week overall; high inventories and weakening demand are the short-term drivers to blame :

1a.Baltic Dry Index Falls Almost 4%, Biggest Loss Since Mid-December (Reuters via gCaptain)

1b. Dry Bulk Freight Market: The Best Is Yet To Come (Seatrade Maritime)

1c. Iron Ore Price Tumbles To A Near Six-Month Low (Financial Times)

In the tanker market, a legal twist to the market consolidating forces; the article in Lloyd’s List quoting Basil Karatzas:

2a. Tanker Wars — The Empire Strikes Back (Lloyds’s List)

2b. Frontline Sues DHT (Splash 24/7)

3c. U.S. Court Rejects Frontline’s Last-Minute Bid To Stop BW-DHT Deal (gCaptain)

An iconic name in the German shipping world is in restructuring while one of their sponsored companies has been on the block; lots of head-scratching for the logic supporting the acquisition and the price paid for it; but shipping is a gutsy industry:

4a. Rickmers Group Reaches Restructuring Agreement (Maritime Executive)

4b. Navios Partners Buys Bankrupt Rickmers Maritime Boxship Fleet For $113m (Seatrade Maritime)

And, speaking of consolidation, a Korean shipbuilder got a new lease on life:

5a. Korea Avoids Daewoo Shipwreck (Bloomberg)

5b. Keeping DSME Afloat Bondholders Enforced To Agree On Reviving Daewoo Shipbuilding (Business Korea)

An interesting in-depth article in the Wall Street Journal on the Port of Lazaro Cardenas on the west coast of Mexico; APM’s ambitious terminal to build a strong base just outside the US to by-pass any Jones Act requirements have been cut short by a possible border import tax:

6. Trump’s Trade Plans Spell Uncertainty For Mexican Port (The Wall Street Journal)

Keeping an eye on a crucial commodity for shipping, grains, still at the intersection of government policy:

7a. U.S. Farmers, Who Once Fed The World, Are Overtaken By New Powers (The Wall Street Journal)

7b. Russian Agriculture Sector Flourishes Amid Sanctions (Financial Times)

7c. American Farm Belt Anxious About Trump Trade Threats (Financial Times)

Keeping an eye on another crucial-to-shipping commodity, oil, where it seems there are diverse opinions on the state of the market; good luck to the tanker owners deciphering the market, while the Eni-Libya article should emanate good news for the aframax tanker market:

8a. Oil’s Slide Towards $50 A Barrel Slows (Financial Times)

8b. Oil Dives Below $50 As Confidence In Opec Wavers (Financial Times)

8c. OPEC Sees A World That Still Has Too Much Oil (Bloomberg)

8d. Eni-Operated Libya Oil Field To Re-Open After Two-Year Halt (Bloomberg)

8e. Saudi Aramco Chief Warns Of Looming Oil Shortage (Financial Times)

And, shipping, besides financial, market and regulatory risks, definitely have to deal with operational risk too; two million barrels of crude oil in a supertanker grounded can easily turn into a nightmare:

9. Salvors Working To Refloat Grounded VLCC In Java Sea (gCaptain)

Taking a looking on the US domestic commodities, energy and shipping markets, some strong headlines point to very diverse directions:

10a. Blackstone To Buy Permian Basin Pipelines For $2 Billion (Bloomberg)

10b. Coal Shipments Lift CSX Earnings In First Report With New CEO (The Wall Street Journal)

10c. Princess Cruises Sentenced To Pay $40 Million Fine For Pollution Scheme (Miami Herald)

And, for those with a literary bone to nourish:
Literature’s Arctic Obsession The Greatest Writers Of The Nineteenth Century Were Drawn To The North Pole. What Did They Hope To Find There? (The New Yorker)

And, for those with travel flexibility, please join us next week at George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, for the 2nd Cayman Maritime Week; Basil Karatzas will present at the 5th Mare Forum Cayman Shipping and Yachting Summit on the implications of the Trump Administration to the shipping industry.

A pretty face of the cruising industry. Image credit: Karatzas Images

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