Bulk Carriers – China likely to halt coal imports to support domestic producers and tackle environmental issues

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A Chinese government document shows ports in the Luoyuanwan Port Area in Fuzhou have been prohibited from accepting imported coal cargoes since April 1, while traders say the nearby port Dongwu has received a similar order as well. Customs authorities in Fujian province have ordered local ports to stop receiving foreign coal, signaling an upcoming broader ban on importing such commodities in the country. The authorities have set up a meeting to “better explain” the matter to terminal operators and other relevant parties. The immediate effect of the ban could bring was limited because vessels could switch to other available ports, but the influence will increase, with the ban likely to extend to terminals in other regions. Earlier on February a Southern Chinese port had confirmed it received a notice from the General Administration of Customs of China requesting that all primary and secondary ports in China halt coal imports from February 15, although the imposition was later pushed back to the end of March. However, there is still the possibility of further delays.

Bulk Carriers – China is likely to reinstate coal import restrictions

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China is likely to reinstate limitations on coal imports in the coming months in a move to balance increasing production in domestic mines while limiting oversupply, according to Chinese trade media. The move would likely help curb CO2 emissions from the sector, which grew in 2017 for the first time in three years. Coal cargoes held back in the southern Fujian province this week have driven speculation that the government is about to re-impose restrictions, with the leading Fenwei Energy Information Services Co. reporting earlier on the week that they will be put in place from July. The government has not confirmed the move, but it imposed similar curbs last July as part of the crackdown on oversupply. The restrictions were then lifted in December as rising demand led to record high prices. Officials have also vowed that while the winter ban on coal-fired heating for millions of homes across 28 cities in northern China was partially abandoned due to a lack of natural gas amid rocketing prices, the campaign will continue this year to help decrease pollution levels. This week the environment ministry urged those same 28 cities to shut down factories in order to hold back a short-term “attack” of smog encapsulating most of the northern part of the country. Meanwhile, the Natural Resources Defense Council last month predicted coal consumption in China would fall 2% in 2018 compared to last year. (Sources: sxcoal – Carbon Pulse)

Bulk Carriers – Argentina agri exports

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Argentine farmers are expected to harvest 51 million tonnes of soy in the 2017/18 season, according to the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange, due to drought that resulted in revising its preliminary estimate of 54 million tonnes. Based on short term weather forecasts that indicate no relief for the areas already suffering from dryness, the crop estimate was reduced by 3 million tonnes, while the previous marketing year Argentina produced 57.5 million tonnes of soybeans.

Bulk Carriers – Recent developments in Chinese Shipbuilding

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China State Shipbuilding Corporation’s listed units CSSC Holdings and CSSC Offshore & Marine plan to bring in major investors to inject about 10.2 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) of capital into four Chinese shipyards. The planned capital increases are part of the government’s wider “supply-side structural reform policy”. According to an announcement, China CSSC Holdings Ltd is bringing in investors, such as China Life, CPIC Property and PICC, to invest 5.4 billion yuan in Shanghai Waigaoqiao and Chengxi Shipyard. In a separate statement, CSSC Offshore & Marine Engineering Group Co Ltd said the same group of investors planned to increase the capital of Guangzhou Shipyard International and Huangpu Wenchong by a combined 4.8 billion yuan.

Bulk Carriers – Iron ore production in India is projected to fall in FY18

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Iron ore production in India is projected to fall 15 per cent in FY18 after rising steadily for two successive years since 2014-15 as closure of seven working mines in Odisha and lesser production in Goa will weigh on total output. The cease of operations for seven working iron ore leases in Odisha on January,1 this year will impact production as their combined annual capacity is 20 million tonnes per annum. It is believed that the expected production loss would be reflected in the January-March quarter. Odisha is the country’s largest producer which contributed 102 million tonnes to the pan-India output of 191 million tonnes in last fiscal. Closure of mines in Odisha will have adverse impact on iron ore production, while the output impacted could be around 15-20 per cent according to the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (Fimi). During this fiscal, iron ore exports stood at 10.11 million tonnes (till August end). Exports are likely to decrease during the current financial year in comparison to previous year 2016-17. The fall in exports will be due to likely less exports from Goa and due to the continuation of export duty of 30 per cent on iron ore of Fe grade above 58 per cent.

Bulk Carriers – Ukranian Black Sea ports developments

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Regarding recent developments at the Ukrainian Black Sea ports, their grain exports capacity increased to 68 million tonnes per year through to the end of 2017 – while at the same time port storage facilities stood at around 3.4 million tonnes. Given the above, export loading capacity expanded by 1.75 million tonnes in 2017. According to domestic industry officials eight grain terminals plan to lift significantly their capacities, increasing their loading facilities for export by around 14 million tonnes just in 2018. It is said that the grain cargo capacities in Ukraine will grow by 27 percent and will amount 4.3 million tonnes while the terminal capacity for grain transshipment will reach 82 million tonnes.

Bulk Carriers – China’s province of Shandong plans to eliminate 10.23 million tonnes of coal capacity

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China’s province of Shandong plans to eliminate 10.23 million tonnes of coal capacity, after the central government criticised Shandong officials for failing to take action to curb coal capacity. The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) issued a statement earlier on the week accusing Shandong of deceiving authorities to evade capacity cuts in the polluting coal, steel, aluminium and chemical sectors. According to MEP total coal consumption in 2015 and 2016 increased by 6.94 million tonnes and 7.06 million tonnes respectively compared to the level in 2012.