‘Shipshape 10’ News for Week Ending July 16th, 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.

We apologize for the absence of an update for almost a month to those who have found this blog worthwhile to subscribe to and follow it regularly.

And, this week’s ‘Shipshape 10’:

On the Cosco and OOCL transaction:
1a. China underlines shipping ambitions with $6.3bn takeover of HK group (from the Financial Times) – article quoting Basil M Karatzas

1b. China’s Cosco to Buy Shipping Rival Orient Overseas for $6.3 Billion (from The Wall Street Journal) – article quoting Basil M Karatzas

1c. Cosco Takes OOCL, Eyes CMA CGM (from Splash 24/7)

1d. As Trade Revives, Big China Shippers Merge (from Barron’s)

1e. Karma and Comfort for Orient Overseas (from Bloomberg)

1f. Not Keeping It in the Family (from Week in China)

Dryships once again on front page news:
2. A Shipping Company’s Bizarre Stock Maneuvers Create High Seas Intrigue (from the Wall Street Journal)

Brazilian shipbuilding:
3. In Lula’s Shadow, Brazil’s Shipbuilders Struggle to Right Themselves (from The New York Times)

A UK shipyard is looking far away from traditional lines of business:
4. Mersey shipyard Cammell Laird set to build UK polar research ship (from the Financial Times)

New trading patterns due to expanded Panama Canal become more apparent with time:
5. Panama Canal Does Some Good While Upending Historic Trade Routes (from Bloomberg)

US crude oil exports:
6. US crude exports forecast to exceed most Opec members by 2020 (from the Financial Times)

Wheat trade and possible impact on the dry bulk market:
7. Traders Gobble Up Wheat Amid Great Plains Drought (from The Wall Street Journal)

Opinion article in Splash 24/7 by yours truly on whether there is still time for the famous ‘asset play game’ in shipping
8. The Asset Appreciation Play Has Yet to Leave Port (Basil M Karatzas, from Splash 24/7)

Opinion article by yours truly in Splash 24/7 on shipping finance:
9. Credit is Due to Shipping (Basil M Karatzas, from Splash 24/7)

Summer is the perfect time to to take to the water, this time for pleasure:
10. 5 Summer Water Sports You Can Master the Easy Way (from The Wall Street Journal)

Panamax Containership MV ‘OOCL Montreal’ sailing upstream in Norderelbe, Hamburg. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website.Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information herewithin has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

‘Shipshape 10’ News for Week Ending May 28th, 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’:

While lots of shipping hope has been laid at the feet of a Chinese recovery, China’s sovereign debt has been downgraded mostly on concerns of slowing growth:
1. China’s sovereign debt downgraded by Moody’s (Financial Times)

2. China Moves to Stabilize Currency, Despite Promise to Loosen Control (The New York Times)

A seemingly major investor for shipping, but not clear whether there are string attached; in any event, the funding gap in shipping could suck up Dubai’s billion fund in seconds:
2. Dubai looking into forming $1 billion shipping investment fund (Reuters)

Shipping is a commodity b2b business. Od, isn’t it?
Quoting Basil M Karatzas, at Splash 24/7
3. Has Shipping Become Commoditised? (Splash 24/4)

In a weak overall market, mergers in the commodities trading world, and other news:
4a. Sowing Glencore’s Waves of Grain (Bloomberg)

4b. Huntsman and Clariant unveil $20bn tie-up (Financial Times)

4c. Noble Group, a big Asian commodities trader, is teetering

4d. War on Sugar Turns Years of Growth Into Market Tipping Point (Bloomberg)

OPEC had once promised to do ‘whatever it takes’ to drive oil prices higher. This week’s developments from Vienna show that OPEC may not be in charge of the oil markets as it used to be:                                                                                         5a. OPEC Should Watch Glencore’s Bunge Jump (Bloomberg)

5b. OPEC’s Weakest Link Is Not Who You Think It Is (Bloomberg)

5c. Opec: more of the same (Petroleum Economist)

5d. BP and Glencore warned over bullish fossil fuel forecasts (Financial Times)

5e. Oil market awaits ‘whatever it takes’ details as Opec gathers (Financial Times)

And the reason for OPEC’s dwindling chances controlling the oil markets:
6. New era beckons as Euronav VLCC is first to load US oil (Lloyd’s List)

Soft tanker asset prices have been conducive for M&A activity, with Scorpio Tankers acquiring the Navig8 Products Tankers fleet, creating the biggest player in the sector:                                                                                                                     7a. Scorpio Tankers fleet worth $3 bn after Navig8 Product Tankers takeover (Seatrade Maritime)

7b. Scorpio Announces Merger With Navig8 Product Tankers (The Maritime Executive)

While the world of ‘commodity shipping’ is struggling to recover, the cruiseship market has been strong, and China’s prospects in the sector cannot be ignored: 8a. China Tops Two Million Cruise Passengers (The Maritime Executive)

8b. Princess Tells “Chinese Story” Along Silk Road Route (The Maritime Executive)

8c. Greece To Bolster Cruise Capabilities (The Maritime Executive)

The current issue of the Economist is running a series of articles the oceans:
9a. How to improve the health of the ocean (The Economist)

9b. Getting serious about overfishing (The Economist)

9c. Megaprojects threaten Hong Kong’s iconic dolphins (The Economist)

“I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore.” Genesis 22:15-18, and “like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted” Genesis 32:12. Apparently, sand is not as plentiful these days:

10a. The World is Running Out of Sand (The New Yorker)

10b. An improbable global shortage: sand (The Economist)

Majestic sunset: Piraeus. Image credit: Karatzas Images

© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website.Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information herewithin has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

‘Shipshape 10’ News for Week Ending December 4, 2016

‘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, sometimes humorous, occasionally sarcastic, but always insightful and topical.

And, this week’s ‘Shipshape 10’:

This week’s news predictably has been dominated by Maersk’s acquisition of Hamburg Süd at US$ 4 billion; a couple of years ago, Hamburg Süd had considered a merger of sorts with co-patriot Hapag Lloyd but concerns on pricing and also managerial control had the Oetker family shareholders walk away; some time later, in a new order of priorities, Hamburg Süd sold hook, line and sinker, hooker and exited shipping after 80 years in the business. The price seems a multiple of NAV and of hard assets rather than a multiple of EBITDA and cash flows (although Hamburg Süd being a private company, there is little info to draw upon):

1. Maersk Line to Buy German Shipping Line Hamburg Süd in $4 Billion Deal (from the Wall Street Journal Logistics Report)

Now, much speculation whose hands will be forced to make a move in the rapidly changing seascape of the containership liner business:

2. And then there were 11. Who will follow Hamburg Süd? (from Splash 24/7)

And, also worth reading from the Financial Times:

2A. Asian shipping lines navigate a war of attrition (from the Financial Times)

And, in rather surprising news that rather mud further the waters, the 2M alliance has given Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) the cold shoulder for joining the alliance:

3. Ship Alliance Backtracks on Hyundai Merchant Marine Membership (from the Wall Street Journal Logistics Report)

The dry bulk freight market keeps being reasonably strong; lots of sale & purchase (S&P) activity has been reported with many buyers coming out of the woods; some say that this is another sign of a recovering market; in a recent article in Seatrade, Basil M. Karatzas argues that the activity should not be considered a breakout pattern:

4. Is it really the right time to buy ships? (from Seatrade Maritime News)

In the energy world, surprising news with OPEC agreeing to a 10% cut of oil production; the agreement is contingent on several factors and OPEC members are not the best behaved bunch, thus the news has to be taken with a grain of salt; shipping analysts do not seem to agree whether this is a positive or negative net development for the overall shipping industry; such is the world of shipping… No doubt, this is big news if OPEC manages to abide by the agreement:

5. OPEC Confounds Skeptics, Agrees to First Oil Cuts in 8 Years (Bloomberg)

However, the following article can be only be positive for the shipping:

6. Saudi Arabia Becomes Net Fuel Oil Importer (from the Maritime Executive / Reuters)

Staying with macro-economics and the ‘big picture’, a lot has been written about Wilbur L Ross as the leading candidate for Secretary of Commerce under the incoming White House administration; via his firm WL Ross, Mr Ross has been an active distress investor in shipping for crude oil and product tankers, gas tankers and dry bulk vessels. It has been surmised that Mr Ross’ familiarity with the shipping industry, having now access to the highest levels of the government, will act as a catalyst for the industry’s crises; a recent article on Bloomberg reminded the audience that the shipping investments by WL Ross have not been stellar, to say the least, bringing into question whether hopes laden on his person may have to find a port:

7. Wilbur Ross’s Funds Have Posted Mediocre Returns in Last Decade (Bloomberg)

On related news, the nominee for Secretary of Transportation Ms Elaine Chao does have a long interest in the shipping industry via the family business, Foremost Maritime:

8. Trump Picks Elaine Chao for Transportation Secretary (from The New York Times)

In the world of finance, RBS failed their stress test last week; although RBS is not active in shipping anymore, more than US$ 6 billion of RBS shipping loans are up for sale; one has to wonder how, if at all, the latest stress test would affect the development of the shipping loan sale discussions:

9. RBS Must Add $2.5 Billion in Capital After Failing BOE Stress Test (from the Wall Street Journal)

And, also on HSH Nordbank AG:

9A. HSH Nordbank holds meetings with potential buyers: sources (from Reuters)

Princess Cruise Lines, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Carnival Corporation, was fined an eye-popping $40 million after pleading guilty to illegal oily waste discharges in the US:

10. Princess Cruise Lines to Pay Largest-Ever Criminal Penalty for Deliberate Vessel Pollution (United States, Department of Justice, Press Release)

mv-cap-san-marco-9

Hamburg Süd’s post-panamax containership MV ‘CAP SAN MARCO’ entering the Port of Hamburg. Image credit: Karatzas Images


© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website.Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information herewithin has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

‘Shipshape 10’ News for Week Ending November 6, 2016

‘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, sometimes humorous, occasionally sarcastic, but always insightful and topical.

And, this week’s ‘Shipshape 10’:

1. The week started with a blockbuster announcement of the three largest Japanese container line companies (NYK, K Line and Mitsui O.S.K Line) where effectively creating a new, bigger business entity in order to compete in a bigger world of falling rates in the containership line business alone.
Japan’s Largest Shipping Firms to Merge Container Operations (The Wall Street Journal, Logistics Report)

2. The story of consolidation in the containership liner business kept going strong as on Friday, the Wall Street Journal broke the news that Israel’s ZIM has put themselves up for sale. The company really does not have critical mass or competitive advantages or the financial capacity to grow big alone in this now monster market. Zim has been one of the candidates to be absorbed and frequently mentioned in the ever growing game of shipping companies that will not live to see the next business cycle – not at least in their present form.
Israel’s Zim Looking to Sell Most Global Shipping Operations (The Wall Street Journal, Logistics Report)

3. If there’s need for evidence of the bad state of the containership market, this week it was reported that another young panamax containership was sold for scrap. When this class of ships started getting built were costing well in excess of $80 mil; now selling for scrap at $5 mil; even for the lucky vessels that had managed to secure long –term sky-high charter rates in the good days, it’s doubtful whether the investors saw their money back.
The 4,923 teu YM Los Angeles sets new boxship scrapping records (Splash24/7)

4. While demolition represents the strongest hope for a market recovery at present and under current circumstances, there are concerns that the cleansing powers of scrapping for shrinking tonnage often are exaggerated.
Holy scrap! (Splash 24/7)

5. And, as a reminder of the dangers in shipping and also un-predictabilities, a major explosion will scrapping an offshore storage tanker took place in Gadani, Pakistan, where a reported thirty workers lost their lives in the burning inferno that ensued for several days. We mourn the loss of life, even for a country where life seems to have little substance. From a commercial standpoint, the Pakistani scrap market has effectively closed for several months, which will drive prices for scrapping vessels lower and would decelerate the pace of vessel demolitions.
Dire safety conditions revealed in wake of Gadani fire as death toll feared to surpass 100 (Splash 24/7)                                                                                                                                                                     
6. Speaking of explosions, a Colonial petroleum products pipeline accidental breach in Alabama, the second in two months, has stopped the movement of petroleum products from the US Gulf to the New York area. There had been high hopes that the accident will boost the moribund tanker petroleum trades, both for Jones Act and international flag assets, but the impact from the closing of the pipeline seems to be manageable for now.
What Happens When the Most Important Pipeline in the U.S. Explodes (Bloomberg)

7. Volatility is high in shipping, everybody knows; however, volatility in related industries and markets is not much lower, and as reminder, one of the best investments this year has been the price of coal, whether thermal (mostly) or metallurgical coal. Some think that a bouncing commodities market would bring better fortunes to shipping too.
Coal Surge Leaves China Grappling With Runaway Market It Started (Bloomberg)

8. The Jones Act and offshore market in the US keep deteriorating, and a week after Tidewater formally mentioning the words ‘Chapter 11’ in their latest press release, now Hornbeck announced that they will be idling 80% of their offshore fleet.
Hornbeck to Stack Nearly 80 Percent of OSV Fleet (The Maritime Executive)

9. Reading such news about the state of the market, private equity funds keep moving aggressively in the space, and KKR, one the of the most active investors in shipping this year, have announced bigger plans for growth in the European markets via their Pillarstone platform.
Pillarstone to Snap Up Europe Shipping Loans (The Maritime Executive)                                                                                                                                                              
10. And, for those arguing that monetary policy alone is not sufficient for a market recovery and governments worldwide should be more active with investment, mostly in infrastructure, an article from Japan investigates the policy for the Japanese Coast Guard’s aging fleet. Possibly, at a time when ‘Shipshape 10’ News for Week Ending November 6, 2016, possibly a strategy to renew aging vessels could be stimulating in more than one way.
Many coast guard vessels operating past service limit (The Japan Times)                                                                                                                                                            

mv-zim-piraeus_dsc_1172

Containership MV ‘Zim Piraeus’ entering majestically the New York Harbor with the World Trade Center in the background. Image credit: Karatzas Images


© 2013-2015 Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website.Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information herewithin has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.