‘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


© 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.

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‘Shipshape 10’ News for Week Ending February 4th, 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, sometimes humorous, occasionally sarcastic, but always insightful and topical.

And, this week’s ‘Shipshape 10’:                                                                                              
One cannot talk about shipping these days without bringing up the topic of bankruptcy, liquidation, Chapter 11, etc but also consolidation, M&A, etc

Rather surprising news that Toisa Ltd and Brokerage and Management Ltd of Gregory Callimanopulos opted to file for bankruptcy protection in New York; the numbers are of the billion-order magnitude, with or without the two Gulfstream private airplanes seeking protection from the creditors:

1. Shipping Fleet Operator Toisa Files for Bankruptcy (from Wall Street Journal)

Just a formality, but after several months through the court system, Hanjin Shipping no more:

2. South Korean Court to Liquidate Hanjin Shipping (from the Maritime Executive)

Eike Batista, the man who allegedly made more money from the PowerPoint than Bill Gates himself, having filed for bankruptcy in Brazil recently, had to take a quick flight back from New York to appear in court in Rio de Janeiro. Mr Batista is the man who was raising tens of billions of dollars on oil fields to be mapped to be explored to be developed to be drilled to produce oil offshore of Brazil in the good days of the $100+/bbl;

3. Eike Batista Says He Will Turn Himself In to Police (from the Wall Street Journal)

A weak market forces shipbuilders too to re-think their business model:

4. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plans to spin off shipyards (Splash 24/7)

And, on the other aspect of the spectrum, Norwegian shipping tycoon John Fredriksen did what John Fredriksen does best, making an un-solicited all-paper offer to take over a competitor in the VLCC market in the desperate market when prices are cheap and no much of a premium is needed:

5. Frontline launches takeover offer for Double Hull Tankers (from the Financial Times)

Speaking of supertankers and VLCCs, one has to always cognizant of OPEC and their present balance equilibrium of oil production:

6. OPEC Convinces Investors That Its Oil Output Cuts Are Real (from Bloomberg)

7. U.S. Senators Should Learn to Love OPEC (from Bloomberg)

and

Traders Rush to Ship U.S. Oil as Window to Asia Opens (from Reuters via gCaptain)

More on commodities:
8. Iron Ore’s Party Is Just Getting Started (from Bloomberg)

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Fascinating detail of Nedlloyd three-island-arrangement vessel from painting ‘Sydney, December, Midday’ by Craig McPherson, 1990. Oil on linen. In the lobby of the American Express Building (Three World Financial Center) in Downtown Manhattan. Part of our daily commuting to Karatzas Marine Advisors offices at One World Financial Center next door. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Shipping is about the waves and the open sea and the people who live by the sea, too:

9. New Indonesia tsunami network could add crucial minutes (from the AP)

And if one believes that shipping is uncorrelated to politics, that’s a clear misconception. The most innocent of political stories that we could put on our blog these days!

10. Norway Salmon, Anyone? Stocks to Watch If Russian Sanctions Ease
(from Bloomberg)

And, a nice story about the Chinese New Year; one may wonder why such a story appears on a shipping blog, but again, please bear in mind that China is responsible for 15% of worldwide imports and 20% of worldwide exports. They matter for shipping and knowing a bit about Chinese culture and history and tradition is good for culture and good for business, we would opine. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Everything you need to know about Chinese New Year (The British Museum)


© 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.

S&P, Newbuilding and Demolition Update (March 18th, 2014)

Since our last Sale & Purchase report in January, the market has kept an active pace with general all market segments showing signs of life, and certain markets even much more so. The prevailing mode is that the world economy is entering a growth phase and that logically shipping would be the major beneficial of it; actually, a lot of market pundits have come to believe that the worst is behind us in shipping, the bottom of the market behind us as well, and now it’s the last chance to get on the boat before she leaves port.

We have been more skeptical than the average pundit – but we have been known to be of a skeptical nature – and we think that the present wave of enthusiasm may be a tad too much given the overall state of the market, still.  Since our last report, we have had the opportunity to travel extensively and catch up with shipowners, charterers, banks, vessel managers, etc Certain markets such as older containerships remain abysmally bad, and several independent shipowners have been very concerned about the outstanding orderbook in every sector. Yes, indeed, independent shipowners have ordered vessels as well, but the majority of the ordering has taken place from financial players who have been riding fully the ‘eco design’ wave; to a certain extent, some of these financial players are the tail that wags the dog (rather than the charterers and cargoes) since they have been known to be placing orders and chasing markets that have been neglected during the present boom.

In the most recent developments, while China still remains that 600-pound gorilla that can move the shipping market with just a thrash of the dragon’s tail, there have been signs that the economy is slowing – despite the recently announced 7.5% official GDP growth for the next year; it’s an absolutely great number, but also absolutely interesting are the news that the Chinese government has been slowly devaluing the Chinese Yuan (CNY), that there has been the first major default of a real estate developer company in China for $500 million un-serviced ‘bond’, and that the shadow banking in China stands at an exorbitant $7.5 trillion dollars or about 85% of Chinese GDP (the numbers from last week’s front page graphic of the Financial Times.)

And just last week, Scorpio executed on a really impressive (risky nevertheless) ‘asset play’ maneuver, flipping their seven VLCC newbuilding orders in Korean yards to a US-based buyer (Genmar and/or Peter G.) for a capital gain of about $50 million for holding the orders for just a few short months; the price per vessel has been $105 million or so, about $7 million higher than the newbuilding orders, and the first time in more than three years that a VLCC changed hands above $100 million (actually more than five years, if one were to count only ‘arm’s length transactions’ where there was no involvement of seller / soft finance.) Believe it or not, there was a bidding war among several buyers for these vessels; all the buyers were sponsored by financial players; we caught several ‘old salt’ shipowners scratching their heads on the acquisition and pricing, and we noticed that although the words ‘VLCCs’ and ‘Fredriksen / Frontline’ are synonymous, ‘Big John’ has been conspicuously absent from all the gerrymandering in the VLCC space; either he knows something that the rest of the market doesn’t or the buyers of the Scorpio VLCCs know something that the market doesn’t know. For sure somebody better know more than the market.

Shipping is beautiful industry, and never boring!

VLCC TANKER MT 'GENMAR ATLAS'

VLCC TANKER MT ‘GENMAR ATLAS’

© 2013-2014 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.