March 26, 2019
As Global Energy Demands Grows, So Does Appetite for Offshore Wind
Global energy demand is now increasing at its fastest pace in over a decade, with fossil fuels meeting 70% of that growth in electricity consumption. As fossil fuel emissions continue to exacerbate the effects of climate change, carbon-free solutions like nuclear, solar power, and wind power are becoming a more important part of the world energy demand equation. Read more.
Texas Oil Export Terminal Plans Stall Over Lease Dispute
The Port of Corpus Christi’s plans for a new oil export terminal have stalled after a former port commissioner sought to have the project blocked over concerns that negotiations were being kept from public view. The 13th Court of Appeals issued an injunction on Tuesday, halting port officials from voting on a multibillion-dollar lease for the proposed terminal at Harbor Island near Port Aransas, the Corpus Christi Caller Times reported. Read more.
Houston Ship Channel Closure Could Cost $1 Billion
The closure of a portion of the Houston Ship Channel in the aftermath of the days-long Deer Park chemical fire could cost the petroleum and petrochemical sectors an estimated $1 billion in direct and indirect costs and lost revenues, experts said. A few days of closures typically equates to about $500 million in direct costs in delayed shipments and lost supply chain materials for thousands of impacted companies, said Maria Burns, director of the University of Houston's logistics and transportation program. Read more.
Texas Needs Another 10,000 Miles of Gas, Oil Pipelines by 2050: Study
Texas will need to add more than 10,000 miles of new, currently unplanned, pipeline infrastructure projects in the next 30-plus years to achieve its full potential for growth of oil and gas production, a new study finds. The study, by IHS Markit, predicts that gas production from three major Texas producing regions - the Permian Basin, the Eagle Ford Shale and the Barnett -- will peak in the 2030 timeframe at just under 35 Bcf/d and begin to gradually decline to around 30 Bcf/d by 2150. Read more.
March 25, 2019
Texas Ports Aggressively Bolstering Abilities to Handle Growing Volumes
It’s long been said that everything is bigger in Texas, and ports of the Lone Star State seem to be applying this trope to their facilities as they aggressively pursue bigger and better facilities for handling greater volumes of diverse cargos, from liquid bulk to containerized goods. Not only are Texas port terminals themselves expanding, but also, in a number of cases, initiatives are afoot to deepen the ship channels that serve them, including in order to accommodate increasingly large oil tankers. Read more.
A Growing List of Companies from Fedex to BMW are Warning About the World Economy
Corporate giants doing business abroad are painting a dreary picture of the world's economy. With an ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, Brexit uncertainty weighing on Europe and the U.K., and new weakness out of Japan, some business leaders say it's harder than ever to rake in profits. Read more.
Energy, Petrochemicals Stimulating Increased Activity at Louisiana Ports
Driven largely by energy and petrochemical interests, from offshore production to the booming plastic resin industry, ports of Louisiana are assertively expanding capabilities. With state and federal grants often providing a boost, Louisiana ports are beefing up infrastructure to efficiently handle these oil-and-gas-related commodities and other cargos. Read more.
March 22, 2019
Grain Markets Walled Off from Flood Impacts by Mountains of Supplies
A massive supply of grains has shielded the futures markets from the impact of flooding in the U.S. Midwest so far, with traders largely shrugging off this week’s reports of destroyed storage bins, swamped elevators and questions about if waters will recede in time for planting. Read more.
U.S. Midwest Flooding Bogs Down Mills, Railroad Operations
Flooding that struck the Midwest in mid-March looked to have a long-term impact on agriculture and the food industry. Rail transportation was disrupted. Affected operations included an Ardent Mills’ grain elevator in Fremont, Nebraska, U.S., where the town of more than 26,000 temporarily turned into a “virtual island,” and Manildra Milling Hamburg in Hamburg, Iowa, U.S. Read more.
U.S. Soybean Landed Costs Fall; Mixed in Brazil
Compared to the third quarter, the landed costs for shipping soybeans from the United States to Hamburg, Germany and Shanghai, China, fell during the fourth quarter of 2018. However, changes in the landed costs of shipping soybeans from Brazil, to the same foreign markets, were mixed during the fourth quarter. Read more.
U.S. Antidumping Duty Scrapped for Hyundai Steel’s Plated Steel Sheets
Hyundai Steel Co., South Korea’s No. 2 steelmaker, said Wednesday that the U.S. Commerce Department recently decided to scrap its antidumping duty on the steelmaker’s plated steel sheets. In 2015, the Commerce Department launched an investigation into the sale of corrosion-resistant steel products from South Korea and other countries, claiming they were being sold at less than fair value. Read more.
Asia’s Coal Addiction Puts Chokehold on Its Air-Polluted Cities
Over the past year, the number of patients treated each day in the hospital unit where cardiologist Ade Imasanti Sapardan works in Indonesia’s capital has almost doubled to about 100. Sapardan, who sees up to 150 people every week, cites worsening air pollution as a major reason for the rise in patients seeking treatment in the mega-city of Jakarta, home to 10 million people. Read more.
March 21, 2019
Barge Traffic Shuttered on Major Swath of Missouri River as Snow Run-Off Causes Flooding
Nearly 300 miles of the Missouri River remain closed to barge traffic due to high water and swift currents after massive floods hit the Midwest. While local communities are feeling the flood’s negative impacts, the Missouri’s declining role in river transportation means that there will be very little impact on nationwide bulk transport markets. Read more.
China to Cut Port Charges
China’s Ministry of Transport and National Development and Reform Commission has revised port charging plans and will reduce some port charges starting from 1 April 2019, for a five-year period. The nation will reduce the charge items of harbour dues on cargo, port facility security fee, pilotage (mooring) fee, tugboat charges for domestic ships by 15%, 20%, 10% and 5% separately. Read more.
Dredging Project Continues for Port of Baltimore, Removing 2.5M Cubic Yards of Sediment
The finish line is just inside the Key Bridge to complete a dredging project that started last December. “We call it shoaling up,” Jeremiah Spiga, of Army Corps Engineers, said. “Basically material settling out in the channels and over time it builds up.” Read more.
EIA Says US Ethanol Production Falls, Stocks Rise
US ethanol production averaged 1.004 million b/d in the week ended March 15, a 2,000 b/d decrease from the previous week, Energy Information Administration data showed Wednesday. Production fell 45,000 b/d, or 4.29%, year on year. Production was in line with market expectations. Read more.
March 19, 2019
Port Everglades Chief Executive and Director Steven M. Cernak Dies, Age Sixty-Three
Port Everglades Chief Executive and Director Steven M. Cernak passed away over the weekend, following a long, valiant battle with cancer. He was the immediate past Chairman of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and immediate past Chairman of the Florida Ports Council. Read more.
Colombia’s Corn Production Stalls, Imports Grow
Colombia is expected to import a historically high level of corn from the United States as its production stagnates due to lack of incentives to increase acreage. Total corn imports are estimated at 5.7 million tonnes for 2019-20, with 5.6 million tonnes coming from the United States, according to a March 15 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Read more.
Port of Savannah Adds Routes, Facilities for Chilled Produce
The Port of Savannah, Ga., has added East-West routes to its chilled produce business, with new services to Europe and Asia. The port serves as a gateway for perishable products after joining the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Southeast In-Transit Cold Treatment Pilot Program, according to a news release. Read more.
World Trade & Transport Conference Focuses on River Ops, Economy and More - The Waterways Journal
“Anderson said he sees Avondale Marine playing a role in the oil and gas piping logistics chain, as well as serving as a multimodal distribution center. The beauty of the size of the site and diversity of its infrastructure is that Avondale Marine can truly grow into a multipurpose terminal, Anderson said.” Read more.
Senator Shelby Puts Spotlight on Port of Mobile Deepening
“The deepening and the widening of the Port of Mobile is a once-in-a-lifetime economic development opportunity,” Senator Shelby said. “This project has the ability to transform Mobile and our state’s economy for the next one hundred years.” Read more.
March 18, 2019
Trump Includes Port of Corpus Christi in Presidential Budget
President Donald Trump increased the amount of money allotted for the Port of Corpus Christi in his proposed budget, tripling the amount he included in last year’s federal fiscal wishlist. The 2020 President’s Budget includes $53 million for the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project. Read more.
Venezuela Production Woes Tightens US Supply Outlook, Pushing WTI to New High
Frontline WTI futures settled at a fresh four-month high Thursday as an ongoing crisis in Venezuela exacerbated supply concerns. NYMEX April WTI settled up 35 cents at $58.61/b while ICE May Brent finished down 32 cents at $67.23/b. Read more.
Middle East Sour Crude Trading Picks Up as Summer Requirements Emerge
Trading activity in the Middle East sour crude spot market for cargoes loading over May is expected to accelerate this week now that allocations from producers and feedstock requirements from refineries have been largely determined for the month. The market structure for benchmark Dubai crude spreads has remained rangebound, with the M1/M3 cash Dubai spread hovering within the 60-cents/b band for most of last week. Read more.
March 15, 2019
Baltic Exchange Under Fire from Anonymous Twitter Campaign
The Baltic Exchange has come under fire from an anonymous Twitter account, which has accused the institution of manipulating its markets and rigging indices to benefit charterers. Read more.
Iron Ore Prices Jump as Chinese Steel Production Ramps Up
Iron ore prices rose across the board on Thursday, encouraged by signs of strengthening demand in China, the world’s largest iron ore consumer. According to Metal Bulletin, the spot price for benchmark 62% fines jumped 2.9% to $87.26 a tonne, leaving it at a one-week high. Read more.
CERAWeek: Global Coal Supply Could Fall Short of Demand in Coming Years
Global thermal coal demand is expected to increase in the coming years, but whether supply will be there to meet it remains questionable, panel members said Thursday at CERAWeek by IHS Markit. The main concern is a lack of investment in new mine projects for a number of reasons, including decarbonization policies, declining liquidity in derivatives markets and a lack of capital. Read more.
Dueling US Oil Sanctions on Irania and Venezuela Give India Unexpected Leverage
By asking India this week to cut its Venezuelan crude oil imports, the US may be showing its willingness to ease Iran sanctions enforcement for the world's No. 3 oil consumer. India needs both Iranian and Venezuelan oil to run its refineries, but Iranian crude has the advantage of being closer, less expensive and potentially more reliable as Venezuela's infrastructure collapses. Read more.
Louisiana Rain, Part 3 – Evolving Crude Availability for Southeast Louisiana Refiners
Increasing U.S. shale oil production has benefitted many U.S. refineries, but along the Gulf Coast, the primary beneficiaries have been in Texas. As production increased in the Permian and Eagle Ford plays, new pipelines were built to supply refinery centers in Corpus Christi, Houston, and Beaumont/Port Arthur. Read more.
Roll with the Changes - Appalachia Leads Northeast Power Generation Shift to Gas
Appalachia — the U.S.’s leading gas production region — is also one of the last bastions of coal country in the broader Northeast. That dual reality makes it one of the remaining pockets in the region where there is significant potential for upside in natural gas demand for power generation. Read more.
March 14, 2019
Feature: US Propane Exports Renew Pace, Led by Japan's Draw
The US Gulf Coast propane cargo premium reached its highest level since July as traders look to tap into a freight glut and ship end-of-winter barrels overseas, mostly to Japan at a record-smashing pace. S&P Global Platts has assessed FOB USGC 7 cents/gal over Mt. Belvieu propane since Monday, the highest mark since a 7.25-cent premium on July 18, 2018. Read more.
Oil Prices Settle at a 4-Month High as U.S. Crude and Gasoline Supplies Drop
Oil futures rallied Wednesday to settle at their highest level since November as weekly data revealed a surprise decline in U.S. crude stockpiles and a bigger-than-expected drop in gasoline inventories. April West Texas Intermediate crude CLJ9, +0.53% rose $1.39, or 2.4%, to end at $58.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, near the session’s high of $58.44. Read more.
Fog Delays Houston-Area Ports for Seventh Day
Fog has delayed vessel traffic through the Houston Ship Channel every day in the past week, delaying shipments of crude, refined products and other commodities. The Ship Channel has been shut for part of nearly every day in March, for a total 133 hours, according to data from the US Coast Guard (USCG). This follows 232 hours of closures in February and 43 hours in January. Read more.
Perry Says Federal Coal and Nuke Bailout Not Dead, But Encourages States to Act
While the front lines of coal and nuclear debates have recently shifted to the states, Perry's Wednesday comments show discussions are still ongoing at the federal level. "We're looking for the answers to a question that vexes us at the moment," Perry said, reiterating his frequent argument that allowing the large generators to go offline could leave the power supply at risk of disruption. Read more.
March 13, 2019
Port of Virginia Boosting Efficiencies While Handling Burgeoning Volumes
As the Port of Virginia moves toward surpassing the 3 million 20-foot-equivalent container unit throughput milestone this year, the head of the Virginia Port Authority is most encouraged that vast infrastructure enhancements not only are supporting record activity but, moreover, that these historic volumes are moving with greater efficiency. Read more.
Trump Wants $130M for Deeper Savannah Harbor in Fiscal 2020
President Donald Trump has asked Congress for an additional $130 million to continue deepening the shipping channel to Savannah's busy seaport. Trump's budget request for fiscal 2020 would be the federal government's largest annual expenditure yet on the $976 million Savannah harbor expansion. Read more.
What did we learn from the first US LNG barge bunker?
Clean Jacksonville, a non-self-propelled, steel-hulled bunker barge with a capacity of 2,200 m3 of LNG, was constructed at Conrad Orange shipyard, a subsidiary of Louisiana-based Conrad Industries. The shipyard provided feedback on the project, which was detailed by GTT North America general manager Aziz Bamik during a seminar in Tokyo last year. Read more.
$400M Investment Will Boost Corpus Christi As Top U.S. Crude Oil Exporter
A Washington investment firm is making a $400 million bet that will allow Corpus Christi to regain and keep its status as the top U.S. crude oil exporter. The Port of Corpus Christi was the location of the first U.S. crude oil export in December 2015. Read more.
Trump Sets Aside $138M For Charleston Harbor Deepening Project
President Donald Trump included $138 million in his budget for the coming year to help deepen Charleston Harbor to 52 feet so it can handle heavier container ships. The project, in the works since 2011, had never been included in a president’s budget until now. Read more.
March 12, 2019
Exclusive: China Buys at Least 500,000 Tonnes U.S. Soybeans: Traders
The purchases were the first since U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Twitter that China had committed to buying an additional 10 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans during trade talks on Feb. 22. Read more.
Maritime Regulations, NOPEC, and What's Ahead for Crude Oil Markets
By 2020, new global pollution-control regulations to reduce sulfur use in marine fuels take effect, which may significantly boost container ships and other vessels' use of lower-sulfur light, sweet crude versus the heavy, sour crude types the industry relies on currently. Additionally, market watchers are keeping an eye on a recent passage of a bill in a U.S. House committee to make oil-producing and exporting cartels illegal. Read more.
U.N. Report: North Korea Evading Sanctions by Buying Oil, Selling Coal, Hacking Banks
The sanctions are designed to prevent Pyongyang from funding its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and thereby pressure the regime to abandon its arsenal, but North Korea has carved out new ways to flout the U.N. sanctions, including deceiving global banks, insurers and commodity traders, said the U.N. panel's report, which was reviewed by NBC News and was expected to be published Monday afternoon. Read more.
Ceraweek: Freeport LNG Poised to Export First Cargo in July as Market Looks to US
Freeport LNG should be ready to ship its first export cargo in July, nearly two years after flooding following Hurricane Harvey helped lead to the Texas facility's most recent startup delay, CEO Michael Smith said Monday. Read more.
March 11, 2019
Five Coal Ships Load at US' Dominion Terminal in Week Ending Friday, One More at Pier
Dominion Terminal Associates loaded and exported 277,669 st of coal on five coal carriers at its Newport News, Virginia, pier in the week that will end Friday, up from two that exported 110,746 st in the prior week, company data showed Friday. Read more.
Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Seeks Shipper Interest for New Expansion Serving US Northeast
Williams' Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line plans a further expansion to boost natural gas supplies to distribution companies and power generators in the US Northeast, the operator said Friday. Read more.
Coal Miners Celebrate Success of 2 Coal Tax Break Bills at Capitol
One bill offers severance tax incentives for companies to expand production. The other offers a phased severance tax break to steam coal, which hasn’t rebounded as well as metallurgical coal and faces competition from cheaper out-of-state coal. Read more.
Tariffs Didn’t Keep Houston From Strong Foreign Trade Growth, But Probably Slowed It
The Houston-Galveston Customs District handled more than 289 million metric tons of goods and commodities last year, a 9 percent increase from 2017. That translates to more than $233 billion worth of foreign trade, up 21.5 percent from the previous year. Read more.
March 8, 2019
Mississippi River Mayors Advocate Resilient Infrastructure Spending
Several Louisiana mayors are part of a group lobbying lawmakers in Washington D.C. this week to support infrastructure spending -- and with a particular focus on projects and programs aimed at addressing extreme weather events. Read more.
Freight Brokers See Shippers Ignoring Smaller Motor Carriers at Their Own Peril
If you wonder where the truck drivers are, look to smaller fleets as their driver numbers surged over the past eight years. But with customers only tapping this pool of drivers occasionally, shippers leave themselves exposed to volatile spot rates, according to freight brokers. Read more.
Prince Rupert Quietly Becomes a Trade Powerhouse
A consortium led by Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) has pulled back from a planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant at Prince Rupert, and Ottawa is selling the expanding Ridley terminal, but the northwest B.C. city’s bustling port expects an even bigger share of gas exports. Read more.
Evraz Gets $40 Million in Federal Money, Supporting Furnace Upgrades in Regina
The federal government is contributing $40 million to Evraz’s three-year, $112-million investment in its Regina and Red Deer facilities. Goodale said it will support 2,100 jobs in both communities as the industry grapples with devastating U.S. steel tariffs. Read more.
March 7, 2019
Natural Gas Trading Prices Increase on Colder Weather, Nuclear Outages North American natural gas trading has been relatively higher the last four trading sessions as colder weather and nuclear outages increased the market's reliance on gas to meet its needs. Read more.
FERC Moves Ahead on Environmental Reviews for Pennsylvania, Texas Pipeline Projects The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission plans an environmental assessment for two pipeline expansions in Pennsylvania that combined would move natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shales to markets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Read more.
Sunny Skies Over Houston Ship Channel Get Oil Barges Moving: Trade Barge congestion for light ends on the Houston Ship Channel eased under sunny skies Tuesday after several days of foggy weather and loading delays that stretched well past 10 days, up from the three to seven days typical outside major storage facilities, market sources said. Read more.
Port of Baltimore Handles 10.9 Million Tons of General Cargo in 2018, Another Record Year “There has been no better example of Maryland being open for business than the Port of Baltimore,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. “As one of our leading economic engines, the Port generates good-paying, family-supporting jobs for tens of thousands of Marylanders and will continue to create more jobs and economic benefits for our state.” Read more.
March 6, 2019
At Ag Conference in Richmond, Chinese Official Urges a Return to Normalcy in U.S.-China Trade Relations
Calling trade between the U.S. and China mutually beneficial, an official with the Chinese embassy to the United States urged a “return to normal” in trade relations during a speech in Richmond on Tuesday. Read more.
A Storm is Gathering Over Container Shipping
It used to be that you could measure confidence in the container-shipping industry by the ever-increasing scale of the carriers’ vessels and the size of their ship orders. These days, the hulking megaships that serve the world’s biggest trade routes look more than ever like monuments to brash corporate planning and projections built out of hopes rather than reality. Read more.
Jacksonville Inks $238 Million Deal for Port Expansion
Florida’s third-biggest seaport is expanding a major container terminal and deepening its shipping channel in projects costing hundreds of millions of dollars and aimed at positioning the port to handle a bigger share of U.S. ocean trade. Read more.
Port Report: Capesize Dry Bulk Rates May Be at Bottom After Series of Market Shocks
A plunge in the capesize dry bulk freight rate may now – possibly – be at an end, according to analysis from ship and freight broker Fearnleys of Norway. Fearnleys notes that the rate for a one-year time charter for capesize dry bulk ships has fallen below the freight rates for smaller vessels. Read more.
Maryland, CSX Apply Again for Federal Funding for Howard Street Tunnel Expansion in Baltimore
Maryland and CSX Transportation have submitted another application for federal money to heighten the Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore so it can fit shipping containers stacked two-high on freight trains — a project long sought by the port of Baltimore, officials announced Monday. Read more.
March 5, 2019
Crude Oil Futures Flat Amid Lowered Chinese Growth Expectations; ICE Brent Up At $65.78/B, NYMEX WTI $56.73/B
Crude oil futures were broadly flat during most of the European trading morning Tuesday, although they have started an upward swing despite potential bearish fundamental changes on the horizon, including a lowered Chinese economic outlook for 2019. Read more.
Stricter Clearance Procedures for Australian Coal Import at Chinese Ports: Sources
Various Chinese ports have implemented stricter clearance procedures for Australian cargoes, further dampening demand for Australian thermal coal, market sources said Tuesday. Read more.
First Argentina Beef Imports Since 2001 Land in U.S.
The first beef imported to the U.S. from Argentina in more than 17 years landed in Philadelphia on Friday, March 1, 2019. In November 2018, the U.S. lifted the ban on beef from Argentina that was imposed after a 2001 outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. Read more.
Port Security: If You’ve Seen One Port, You’ve Seen One Port
ARES Security Corporation’s sophisticated AVERT C-2 platform integrates hundreds of disparate sensors and information sources to keep first responders aware of their immediate environment in real-time. In today’s dangerous and digital business environment, that also comes ‘just in time.’ Read more.
India Is Consuming LPG Like Never Before! What's Driving This Phenomenon?
India is now the second largest consumer of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the world, with LPG consumption in the country posting an average growth of 8.4%. And a lot of the credit goes to the government's push to provide clean cooking fuel to every household through the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY). Read more.
March 4, 2019
Flooding and Ice Stall Barges at Busy Inland Grain Ports
Flooding and ice buildup on key rivers in the Midwest has stalled the movement of barges that supply export terminals at the Gulf of Mexico with grain and soy, barge and grain traders said. Read more.
Paducah Riverport Invests in COB
The Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority recently announced that it is preparing to launch the first container-on-barge (COB) service on the Ohio River and in the state of Kentucky. With COB service a priority, the port authority said it believes that containerized shipping is the future of freight transportation. Read more.
Busiest U.S. Grains Port Swamped by Flooding as Exporters Await China Deal
Flooding and ice buildup on key rivers in the U.S. Midwest has stalled the movement of barges that supply export terminals at the Gulf of Mexico with grain and soy, barge and grain traders said. Read more.
High Water, Flooding Halts Traffic on Rivers
This high-water season is threatening to break records along the whole length of several river systems. Higher-than-expected rainfalls in the last weekend of February caused high water in the Ohio River valley, and some flooding along the Cumberland and Tennessee River valleys. Read more.
VW, Audi, Bentley and Lamborghinis to Pass Through Tradepoint
Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley and Lamborghinis will soon pass through a new vehicle distribution center at Tradepoint Atlantic. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. said Wednesday it had signed a lease to process 120,000 luxury vehicles through the Port of Baltimore in a 115-acre facility to be built at the former Sparrows Point steel mill site. About 100 new full-time jobs are expected from the deal. Read more.
March 1, 2019
Infographic: The Changing Face of the Barrel
The dramatic rise in US shale output has transformed the quality of oil on the global oil market, adding a glut of light sweet crude. OPEC, Russia, and its allies - the bulk of which produce heavy sour crude - have tried to balance the market by making significant output cuts. Read more.
Pacific Basin Says New Environmental Rules Herald Positive Fundamentals for Shipping
Hong Kong's Pacific Basin Shipping said Thursday that major environmental regulations in shipping including the International Maritime Organization's global sulfur limit rule for marine fuels, its Ballast Water Management Convention as well as IMO's GHG emissions cut targets were likely to have a positive effect on supply and demand fundamentals in shipping. Read more.
Sen. Shelby To State Leaders: Port of Mobile Project ‘A Game-Changer’ for Entire State
“The deepening and the widening of the Port of Mobile is a once-in-a-lifetime economic development opportunity,” Shelby said. “This project has the ability to transform Mobile and our state’s economy for the next one hundred years.” Read more.
VW Plans New U.S. Gateway Port for Imports in Baltimore
A 155-acre auto terminal, part of a massive multimodal logistics center at the former Bethlehem Steel property on Sparrows Point, will be able to handle 120,000 VW, Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini vehicles per year, developer Tradepoint Atlantic said Wednesday. Read more.
February 28, 2019
Crude Oil Futures Fall Back on Record High US Production; ICE Brent Down to $65.88/B, NYMEX WTI $56.73/B
Crude oil futures fell Thursday in the late European morning despite a sizable draw in US crude stocks reported by the Energy Information Administration, as US crude production soared above 12 million b/d. Read more.
Feeding China's Appetite for LNG
In January, China imported a record 6.58M tonnes of LNG, surpassing December’s record volume of 6.29M tonnes. On a year-on-year basis, China’s LNG imports in January were up 27.8% from January 2018. Read more.
Thermal Coal's Share in China's 2018 Energy Mix Falls Below 60%: NBS
China's use of thermal coal in its energy mix has fallen to below 60% in 2018, as the world's biggest coal consumer aims to raise its use of cleaner fuels, the country's National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. Read more.
USDA Program Benefits Port’s Perishable Importers
Importers of perishables from South American countries can now move their cargo across the Port of Virginia, following the completion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Southeast In-Transit Treatment Pilot program, according to a press release. Read more.
February 27, 2019
Crude Oil Futures Higher on Bullish US Stocks Data, OPEC Cuts
Crude oil futures were higher during mid-morning trade in Asia Wednesday after the release of a bullish weekly US crude stocks report, while supply cuts by OPEC and its allies continued to add support. Read more.
Florida’s Atlantic Coast Ports Boosting Infrastructure to Handle Cargo Growth
Already handling record cargo volumes, ports along the Atlantic Coast of Florida are making extensive investments, including in deeper channels and larger cranes, to support efficient movement of even more business. Read more.
Zinc TC/RC Talks Center on $200/MT and Above: Sources
A wide range of numbers on the 2019 zinc benchmark treatment/refining charge was heard Tuesday between miners and smelters at the International Zinc Association conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, with sources reporting numbers above $200/mt. Read more.
Future of Savannah’s Port Expansion Hinges on Oxygen Injectors
A loud hum drones from a twisting array of machines and pipes connected to four towering metal cones that mix water from the Savannah River with oxygen filtered from the air before pumping it all back down to the river bottom at a rate of 30,000 gallons each minute. Read more.
February 26, 2019
The Future of Logistics is Racing Toward the Last Mile
Almost two decades into the 21st century, there is no doubt that e-commerce has radically and permanently altered the retail landscape for U.S. companies. But there is also no debate that e-commerce and mobile e-commerce are redefining what it actually means to be a U.S. company. Read More
Port of Virginia Completes USDA’s Cold-Treatment Pilot Program Clearing Way for More Refrigerated Fruit Imports
Following the successful completion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Southeast In-Transit Cold Treatment Pilot program, importers of perishables from South American countries can now move their cargo across The Port of Virginia. “We’re the U.S. East Coast’s leading vegetable exporter, and this designation positions us to achieve the same success with imported fruit,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. Read More
Oil and Gas Pipelines to Connect Permian Basin with Gulf Coast Clears Federal Hurdle
A pair of pipelines intended to carry crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the Permian Basin to exportation in the Gulf Coast cleared a federal hurdle this month, receiving a nationwide permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The move signified that all federal and state regulatory agencies approved of final construction for the lines, read a Feb. 6 news release from EPIC Midstream Holdings. Read More
Why Oil Tanker Rates Just Doubled
Tanker demand and freight rates are usually a reliable metric of oil demand patterns and trends. They are also among the factors that taken together might suggest what the future holds for the oil industry. Recently, tanker demand and rates have highlighted shifting supply patterns and have sparked a bit of a worry about OPEC’s compliance rates. This, however, is bound to be short-lived. Read More
February 25, 2019
Steelhead LNG Halts Project in Canada; CEO Points to Pipeline Difficulty
Canada's Steelhead LNG Corp. halted its plans for an LNG export project in British Columbia, the latest venture in Western Canada to be scuttled in the face of difficulties building natural gas infrastructure such as pipelines. Read more.
Corpus Christi Region on Shortlist for Steel Dynamics’ $1.8 Billion Steel Plant
To help win the $1.8 billion project, San Patricio County commissioners approved a 2,500-acre reinvestment zone Tuesday. Steel Dynamics on Nov. 26 said it was planning a flat-roll steel mill with access to three regional markets: northern and mid-Central Mexico, the West Coast, and Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Read more.
Get Used to Oil Tankers Hauling Seawater to America
Vessels only earn money when they’re full, so being able to haul cargoes in both directions across the seas makes a great deal of sense for ship owners. But soaring U.S. production, OPEC output cuts and sanctions on Iran and Venezuela are turning the global crude oil trade on its head. Read more.
Trump Tweets Oil Prices Getting 'Too High', Calls for OPEC to 'Relax'
Front-month Brent crude futures were trading at a three-month high of around $67.25/b earlier Monday, but fell back after the tweet to trade $0.92/b below Friday's settle at $66.20/b. Read more.
February 21, 2019
Steel, Aluminum Tariffs to Be Lifted in ‘Next Few Weeks’: Ambassador
David MacNaughton told reporters on Thursday he’s confident the end of the tariffs is drawing near. The 25 per cent tariff on steel and the 10 per cent tariff on aluminum were imposed by Trump in March 2018, and prompted Canadian counter-tariffs on a wide range of goods from ketchup to circuit breakers. Read more.
Jefferson Parish Re-Entry Court Gives Ex-Cons a Second Chance
For every 10 Louisiana inmates released from jail, five will end up back behind bars but a local program is working to drastically buck that trend. There's something different happening in Jefferson Parish where there is a success story, turning released felons around by giving them work and it's keeping them from heading back to prison. Read more.
Weekly Market Update: Volumes Slide Under Previous Year Values as Spring Approaches
National freight volumes dropped slightly over the past week with average volume running 0.16% less than the previous week. The national Tender Volume Index (TVI) fell from a value of 9563.6 to 9548.54 this week as the market continues to remain relatively stable. Read more.
Freight Rate Rise Increases Pressure on Dockside Scrap
An expected rise in freight rates for deliveries of ferrous scrap cargoes from Europe to Turkey could drive exporters to lower the dockside collection price in excess of the expected fall in Turkey's import price for April shipment. Read more.
February 20, 2019
New Big Backer for Tellurian's $15B LNG Project
A major Indian LNG buyer is throwing its weight behind a $15 billion LNG terminal proposed by Houston-based Tellurian Inc. Petronet LNG Limited INDIA is eyeing an investment in Tellurian's Driftwood project on the Gulf Coast after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Houston company, Tellurian announced Thursday. Read more.
Houston Company Seeks to Make Port of Corpus Christi Alternative LPG Export Hub
Houston marine terminal operator Moda Midstream is already exporting crude oil from its Ingleside facility, but the company is making multimillion dollar upgrades to use the twin storage tanks to ship propane and butane to customers around the world. Read more.
Port of Baltimore to Become Largest Importer of Forest Products After Nabbing Brazilian Contract
The Maryland Port Authority agreed to a six-month deal with Suzano Pulp and Paper as Baltimore looks to beat Philadelphia for market share. Read more.
U.S. Soy Supplies Surge, Winter Wheat Acreage Falls to 110-Year Low
U.S. soybean supplies as of Dec. 1 were the biggest on record as demand for the oilseed fizzled amid a trade war between the United States and China, the U.S. Agriculture Department said. Read more.
Crude Palm Oil Prices May Improve on Lower Inventory, Higher Exports: Research House
Crude palm oil (CPO) average selling prices may improve to 2,400 to 2,500 ringgit (about 588 to 613 U.S. dollars) per metric ton this year as inventory levels are expected to slowly decline with higher exports and consumption of palm oil products, a research house said. Read more.
Peabody to Ease Illinois Basin Coal Production This Year
Peabody Energy plans to “ease production” from its Illinois Basin coal mines this year, targeting a range of 17.5 million st to 18.5 million for 2019, slightly less than in 2018, Charlene Murdock, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis-based company, said Monday. Read more.
King Coal Retreats in Europe, But Still Powers Global Growth
Coal is having a bad time in Europe. Germany – the world’s fourth largest economy – has said it will phase out coal-fired power generation by 2038 while in the UK, the closure of another large coal plant was announced. Despite these setbacks, the fuel of the industrial revolution still has a vital role to play powering global growth in the future. Read more.
February 19, 2019
California Company Seeks to Build $1 Billion Refinery in Permian Basin
Meridian Energy Group announced plans on Monday that it has partnered with a subsidiary of the Houston energy conglomerate Winkler Companies and is seeking to build a 60,000 barrel per day refinery just north of the West Texas town. Read more.
Markets Heard for Illinois Basin Export FOB New Orleans
According to a recent report from Norfolk, Virginia-based shipping agency T. Parker Host, US coal exports through New Orleans have totaled 18 million mt this year compared with 11.5 million mt last year. Read more.
Nearly Half of U.S. Shale is Profitable at $45 Oil as Winners, Losers Emerge: Rystad
With the U.S. oil benchmark currently hovering above $53 a barrel, production levels have continued to rise to new, all-time highs and companies are only tightening the pursestrings somewhat. Read more.
Florida Terminal Makes Emissions History
Six Kalmar zero-emission Rubber-tired Gantry cranes (RTGs) will be supplied to South Florida Container Terminal (SFCT), LLC at PortMiami, enabling it to be the first container terminal in the US with 100% zero-emission RTG cranes. Read more.
GT USA Wilmington Launches New Infrastructure Investments
“GT USA Wilmington is immensely proud to have received a 50-year concession to operate the port and to provide $600 million to upgrade and expand the terminal,” new CEO, Eric Casey said. Read more.
Vineyard Wind Submits Offshore Wind Proposal in New York For Up To 1,200 MW
The 1,200-MW project, which is the most cost-effective option for New York ratepayers, would be one of the largest offshore wind projects in the world and would make a major contribution to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s objective of developing 9,000 MW of offshore wind energy to supply New York. Read more.
Worldwide Terminals Launches New Vessel Service at the Port of Fernandina, FL
The new service will be operated by SDW Shipping BV, a private shipping company based in the Netherlands. The first vessel call at Fernandina will commence in April of 2019. Read more.
February 15, 2019
Arch Coal Plans to Open W.Va. Mine, Add Nearly 600 Jobs
The St. Louis-based coal producer announced the plans in a news release Thursday. The Leer South mine in Barbour County is expected to produce an estimated 3 million tons of coking coal annually. The statement says Arch Coal expects to invest up to $390 million on the mine, which is scheduled to start production in late 2021. Read more.
Chinese Coal Imports Soar but was Lunar New Year Holiday the Cause?
China's coal imports soared in January, more than tripling from the prior month to 33.5-million tonnes, but there are compelling reasons to treat this outcome with caution, including weakness in benchmark Australian coal prices. January's coal imports were the highest in five years, rising 228% from the weak 10.23-million tonnes reported for December. Read more.
GT USA Wilmington Launches New Infrastructure Investments
GT USA Wilmington is on track with its first improvements at the Port of Wilmington after its first quarter managing the facility, according to its new CEO, Eric Casey. “GT USA Wilmington is immensely proud to have received a 50-year concession to operate the port and to provide $600 million to upgrade and expand the terminal,” Casey said. Read more.
Savannah Port Boosters: Fed Funding Safe Under National Emergency
Congressman Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, whose 1st Congressional District is home to the port, said he received assurances from the White House budget office that federal funding for the nearly $1 billion harbor dredging project would not be diverted to help finance the new barriers. Read more.
Houston Company Seeks to Make Port of Corpus Christi Alternative LPG Export Hub
A pair of spherical storage tanks located along the Corpus Christi Ship Channel may soon become an alternative hub for exports of propane, butane and other liquefied petroleum gases. Houston marine terminal operator Moda Midstream is already exporting crude oil from its Ingleside facility, but the company is making multimillion dollar upgrades to use the twin storage tanks to ship propane and butane to customers around the world. Read more.
February 13, 2019
Maersk Acquires U.S. Customs House Broker Vandegrift
Maersk says Customs House Brokerage is a key component in its strategy to become an integrated container logistics company, providing end-to-end solutions to customers. The acquisition will enhance Maersk’s commercial solutions pipeline and strengthen the logistics presence in the North America market, the company stated. Read more.
Grain Barge Tonnages Drop in 2018
In 2018, total annual grain barge shipments along the locking portions of the Mississippi, Arkansas, and Ohio rivers were 37.98 million tons, 7 percent lower than last year and 5 percent lower than the 3-year average. Read more.
Port of Beaumont OKs $30M in Bonds for Harvey Repairs
Repairs to damage caused by Tropical Storm Harvey at the former CB&I Island Park on Pine Street will soon begin. Port of Beaumont commissioners on Monday gave final approval for the sale of up to $30 million in bonds to fund the work. Port Director and CEO Chris Fisher said some utility restoration has already been done by Allegiant Industrial, which is leasing the facility from the port, but the bulk of the work will be funded and “kicked off” by the bonds. Read more.
U.S. Expects Record Oil Production In 2019, 2020, May Be Good Sign for Louisiana Oil Sector
The United States expects domestic oil production to reach new heights this year and next, and that prices — for both crude and gasoline — will be lower than they were in 2018. Government forecasters also are sticking to their forecast that the United States — already the world's biggest oil producer — will become a net exporter of crude and petroleum products in 2020. Read more.
D’Amico International Shipping Plans Share Capital Increase
D’Amico International Shipping S.A. convened the extraordinary general meeting of shareholders of the Company to be held on 11 March 2019 at 3 p.m. at the Company’s registered office at 25C boulevard Royal, L-2449, Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (“EGM”). The board of directors of the Company (the “Board of Directors”) proposes to the EGM to increase the authorised corporate capital by 750,000,000 shares to 1,750,000,000 shares with the intention of executing a capital increase. Read more.
February 12, 2019
The Competition to Export Permian Crude is Fierce and Controversial
The booming Permian Basin has been one of the most amazing creators of competition the oil industry has seen in modern times. Every oil boom inevitably creates conflict, as individuals and businesses race to be the first to get in the various "games" that surround oilfield development. But the Permian is so vast, its available resource so gigantic, that it often seems to have created more races than NASCAR. Read more.
World Trade & Transport Conference Scheduled for February 26–28 in New Orleans
The World Trade & Transport Conference schedule will start on a social note with a networking reception at the French Quarter’s Napoleon House the evening of February 26. The next morning, MVTTC will offer a golf tournament at City Park’s south golf course starting at 9 a.m. Also, of note, T. Parker Host will offer a bus tour of Avondale shipyard on February 27. Space is limited, and a bus will depart the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel around 3 p.m. Read more.
Xcoal Was Top US Met and Thermal Coal Shipper in 2018: Shipping Agency
Xcoal was the biggest shipper of US thermal and metallurgical coal in 2018 from ports on the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts serviced by shipping agent T. Parker Host, according to a recent report from the Norfolk, Virginia-based agency. The agency’s December 2018 report shows Latrobe, Pennsylvania-based coal marketer Xcoal shipped 14.3 million mt of coal in 2018, compared with 12.9 million mt in 2017. Read more.
Texas City Takes on Trading Giant in Testy Fight for Oil Exports
Port officials are urging Trafigura to scrap a proposed export terminal located 20 kilometres off the coast that would compete with an onshore expansion by the port. The proposals come at a time when analysts see US crude exports exceeding 8 million barrels a day after 2021, supported by a growing system of new pipelines now being built to serve the Permian Basin. Read more.
February 11, 2019
Analysis: US Flat-Rolled Steel Coil Lead Times Extend but Plate Retracts
US flat-rolled coil lead times increased on Wednesday while plate lead times shrunk, according to S&P Global Platts data. Average US hot-rolled coil lead times moved out by 0.3 to an average of 4.4 weeks from the past week. Lead times for HRC have averaged more than four weeks for the past two weeks after struggling to extend through the start of the year. Read more.
Free-Falling Freight Rates Spell Trouble for Shipping
A slowing global economy, coupled with weak demand from China over the Lunar New Year and from Brazil after Vale SA’s iron ore disaster, is dragging shipping rates to near record lows, and few in the industry expect things to improve any time soon. Read more.
Seattle in Line for US$300m Investment
More than US$300m in infrastructure improvements is being considered as part of a drive to grow international marine cargo to the Port of Seattle. To prepare for ever-larger container vessels, the port commissions of Seattle and Tacoma met at the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) managing member meeting to discuss recommendations for significant new investments, which also include a new tenant at Seattle’s Terminal 5. Read more.
Port Kembla Coal Terminal Workers Locked Out for Another Week
For the third time in four weeks, workers at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal have been locked out amid claims their concerns about job security aren’t being taken seriously. The workers were due to return on Friday morning after an earlier week-long lockout but the PKCT sent a notice late on Thursday that it would be extended until 7am on February 14. Read more.
PDVSA Points to Sanctions to Derail US Court Fight Targeting Citgo
Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA is arguing in US court that the latest sanctions imposed by the Trump administration should block any attempts by Venezuela's creditors to use the US justice system to auction off its Citgo assets. Read more.
February 8, 2019
US Coal Exports Take Record Share of Production – Consultant
US coal exports last year made up the largest share of production in 60 years, amid diminishing domestic consumption and growing Asian demand, the CEO of Doyle Trading Consultants (DTC) told Montel. “The percent of US coal going to the export market is essentially at an all-time high – it’s the highest level since the late 1950s, at 15.5%,” Hans Daniels said on the sidelines of the Coaltrans USA conference in Miami, on Friday. Read more.
Teck Warns Earnings Will Be ‘Significantly’ Below Consensus
Teck Resources Ltd., Canada’s largest diversified miner, warned that fourth-quarter earnings will be “significantly” below consensus estimates following “disappointing” results at its energy unit and trail operations, as well as on inventory valuations. Earnings will be reduced by 30 Canadian cents (23 cents) per share and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by C$195 million, it said in a statement. Read more.
Germany May Never Get a Natural Gas Boom Even with Coal Exit
The natural gas industry is eager to see a jump in demand now that Germany has come up with a plan to end electricity generation by burning coal. That might never happen, according to a report by one of the nation’s largest energy companies. The study, which hasn’t been made public, shows that gas demand in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the U.K. is expected to fall by as much as 16 percent by the end of the next decade from 2016 levels. Read more.
AK Steel will shut down all of Ashland Works
AK Steel, West Chester, Ohio, plans a permanent shutdown of its mostly idled Ashland Works, Ashland, Kentucky, where 230 people still work, by the end of 2019. The company will increase capacity utilization at its other U.S. operations; will offer employees open jobs at other facilities. Read more.
U.S. Steel Corp. Restarts Texas Plant That Closed in 2016
The No. 1 Mill was permanently idled in 2016 due to challenging market conditions for tubular products created by fluctuating oil prices, reduced rig counts and high levels of unfairly traded imports. But on Feb. 4 that plant was restarted. It will provide full-body normalized electric-welded pipe in size ranges 7” to 16” outside diameter for customers across the U. S., including the very active Permian Basin. Read more.
February 7, 2019
Port Finds Partner for Major Upgrade That Would Bring Huge Next-Generation Cargo Ships to Terminal 5
The Port of Seattle is one step closer to playing — or, at the very least, staying — in the big leagues of the global freight business. On Tuesday, officials with the Northwest Seaport Alliance, the joint venture between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, unveiled a tentative deal with Seattle-based Stevedoring Services of America Terminals (SSAT), one of the world’s largest terminal operators, to manage a planned “big ship” loading facility on Terminal 5, just west of Harbor Island. Read more.
Two Proposed Pipelines to Bring 1.3 Million Barrels of Crude Oil to Houston
Two proposed pipeline projects could bring a combined 1.3 million barrels of crude oil and condensate from multiple shale plays to refineries and export terminals in Houston by 2021. Plains All American Pipeline of Houston and Exxon Mobil of Irving said Wednesday that the two companies finalized a joint venture with Lotus Midstream to develop the Wink-to-Webster Pipeline, a project to move 1 million barrels of crude oil and condensate per day from the Permian Basin of West Texas to Houston. Read more.
Wyoming Lawmakers Seek Bigger Role in Coal-Export Litigation
Lawmakers expressed frustration Tuesday that Wyoming isn't being more aggressive with legal action involving a disputed coal-export facility and advanced a measure to pursue their own lawsuit against Washington state. The bill passed 7-2 by the House Judiciary Committee would authorize lawmakers, after the legislative session concludes in March, to consider suing Washington for denying a crucial permit for a proposed Pacific Ocean coal-shipping terminal. Read more.
Kinder Morgan Begins Weeks-Long Startup Process for Elba Island LNG
Houston pipeline and storage terminal operator Kinder Morgan has begun the weeks-long startup process at its Elba Island liquefied natural gas export terminal in Savannah, Ga. In an order handed down Friday, officials with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave Kinder Morgan permission to start introducing natural gas to test equipment at the $2 billion facility. Read more.
Overseas Demand Expansions Key to U.S. Ethane Export Growth
The U.S. started exporting ethane by ship less than three years ago, first out of Energy Transfer’s Marcus Hook terminal near Philadelphia and then from Enterprise Products Partners’ Morgan’s Point facility along the Houston Ship Channel. Good news for NGL producers, right? Well yes, sort of. Because while waterborne export volumes rose through 2016, 2017 and the first seven months of last year, they’ve been flat-to-declining ever since, with further ethane-export growth hampered primarily by a lack of international demand. Read more.
Port of Anacortes signs five-year deal with Shell
The Port of Anacortes has extended an agreement with Shell Oil US that port officials say will add and sustain family-wage jobs. At a special meeting Thursday, the port Board of Commissioners agreed to a five-year deal that will allow Shell to ship more petroleum coke at a reduced cost, providing for more jobs. Read more.
February 6, 2019
India Becomes World's 2nd Largest LPG Importer After China
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Wednesday that imports of LPG grew 12.5 percent over the past five years to 12 million metric tons (13 million tons) in 2018-19, surpassing Japan and putting India in second place behind China. India’s financial year runs from April to March. Read more.
Company Announces Plans for $80M Wisconsin Aluminum Plant
Aluminum manufacturer Matalco has announced plans to build a new $80 million plant in central Wisconsin for the production of aluminum billet. The company, which currently operates plants in Indiana, Ohio, and Ontario, Canada, said the proposed site in Wisconsin Rapids offered convenient access to its customers as well as a strong local labor force and quality of life, the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune reports. Read more.
ExxonMobil Announces ‘Game-Changing’ $10 Billion Investment in Gulf Coast Energy Development
Modernizing and expanding America’s infrastructure is a top priority for manufacturers to continue transporting goods to market and increasing economic growth – and the industry isn’t sitting on the sidelines. On Tuesday afternoon, ExxonMobil in partnership with Qatar Petroleum announced an incredible $10 billion investment in America’s energy infrastructure, a development plan that will transform the existing Golden Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Sabine Pass, Texas into a world-class LNG production and export terminal. Read more.
Reefer Ships Branded an Endangered Species
Analysts at Dynamar expect conventional reefer ships to become an “endangered species” in a new report. An ageing fleet, new IMO environmental regulations and encroaching volumes now shipped on container vessels have all transpired to make the reefer vessel a ship type on the wane. Last year, seaborne transport of fresh produce carried in both conventional reefer ships and refrigerated containers was estimated to have grown by around 5% to 116m tons. Read more.
Grain Exports Decline, Disrupting Its Maritime and Rail Supply Chain
The Grain Transport Report, a weekly publication by the Agricultural Marketing Service (a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) released information showing that total export inspections for grain (corn, wheat and soybeans) declined 22 percent from the previous week. Read more.
February 5, 2019
Drummond Extends Coal Mining Concession Contract of La Loma, Colombia
Alabama-based mining company Drummond announced Thursday it signed a deal with the National Mining Agency in Colombia to extend the mining concession at La Loma coal mine for 20 years, starting May 2019. Drummond, Colombia's largest thermal coal exports, said in a press release the contract represented 30% of the company's mining operation production in 2018 in Colombia. Read more.
One German Industry Is Digging Itself a Hole with Europe
For Germany, phasing out coal will be a very expensive affair and its approach might already be annoying other members of the European Union, who were enjoying record levels of revenue from selling carbon allowances. Utilities from RWE AG to Uniper SE will seek compensation to shut down lignite and hard-coal plants before the end of their lives, while the states where they’re located are demanding tens of billions of compensation. Read more.
Tradepoint Atlantic Hopes to Secure Offshore Wind-Related Lease This Year
The project is eventually expected to generate more than 10,000 direct jobs in the coming decade, and Tradepoint Atlantic hopes many of those jobs will come from the offshore wind industry. Read more.
Deepwater Rivalry: Competing Offshore Crude Oil Export Terminals Proposed Near Houston
Record crude oil production has three of North America’s biggest pipeline companies competing to build offshore oil loading terminals in the Gulf of Mexico just south of Brazoria County, where they hope to receive some of the largest tankers in the world and tap into a rapidly growing export market worth billions of dollars. Read more.
China Agrees to Buy 5 Million Mt of US Soybeans After Trade Talks
China will buy 5 million mt of soybeans from the US, China’s lead negotiator Vice Premier Liu He said during Thursday’s meeting in the Oval office with President Donald Trump. The initial offer from China did not provide further clarification and was issued after the close of CBOT soybean futures. Although, there was not an immediate reaction on pricing, traders looked for further details to qualify the original statement. Read more.
February 4, 2019
U.S. Tanker Abandons Plan to Load Venezuelan Oil and Sails Away
U.S. refiners are turning away from Venezuela -- literally -- after the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Petroleos de Venezuela SA and the state-owned oil company responded by demanding upfront payments for crude. A tanker booked by Valero Energy Corp. left the Jose oil terminal this week without loading crude, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. The Seanostrum was scheduled to load Wednesday, but has turned around and is heading away from Venezuela. Read more.
State of the Industry: Trade Uncertainty Still Dominates Outlook for 2019
Soybeans have been the most directly affected barged commodity. “There was an incredible drop in volume of beans that would have gone down Mississippi River system,” said Eriksen. Torsten Slok, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank, reported that U.S. soybean exports to China were down a stunning 98 percent in 2018 as a result of Chinese tariffs. Read more.
Expect Norfolk Southern to See Double Digit Earnings Growth in 2019 Led by Intermodal
Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) recently posted a better than expected Q4 performance with a 9% top line growth and over a 50% surge in the adjusted earnings, led by continued cost cutting measures, along with better pricing across its segments. Q4 growth was primarily led by its Intermodal segment, which saw double digit revenue growth. Read more.
Colombia's Carbocoque Sees Americas, Turkey Boosting Met Coke Contract Demand
Leading Colombian metallurgical coke producer Carbocoque sees increasing coke demand through 2018 in Brazil and Mexico, as well as in Turkey, raising export volumes, according to its CEO. Colombia has increased volumes and qualities in coke, and ranks as the third biggest global coke exporter, behind China and Poland, CEO Juan Manuel Sanchez Vergara said in an interview published Thursday by conference producer Smithers ahead of its Eurocoke event in April. Carbocoque is a subsidiary of coal trader and mining group AMCI. Read more.
America Is Producing the Wrong Kind of Oil
The shale boom has created a world awash with crude, putting a lid on prices and markedly reducing U.S. dependence on imported energy. But there’s a growing problem: America is producing the wrong kind of oil. Texas and other shale-rich states are spewing a gusher of high-quality crude -- light-sweet in the industry parlance -- feeding a growing glut that’s bending the global oil industry out of shape. Read more.
February 1, 2019
Weekly Market Update: Volumes Recover as End of Month Nears; Polar Vortex Heats Up Chicago
Freight volume bounced back this week after hitting a bottom seven days ago. The national tender volume index (OTVI.USA) has increased 4.5% since January 23. Weather has been the biggest disruption, especially in the Midwest, where temperatures have hit subarctic levels thanks to the polar vortex – Chicago hitting -25 degrees on Wednesday morning. Read more.
PDVSA’s Angry Creditors are Prowling the Caribbean for Oil to Seize
Laden with 400,000 barrels of Venezuelan oil, the Icaro sits in the azure waters of the Caribbean just off the Dutch island of Curacao. It’s been there more than a month, and it’s not going anywhere until state-owned oil company PDVSA pays its bills. Read more.
US Crude Exports to Asia to Swell in Mar, Apr on Cheaper Freight
US crude exports to Asia are set to swell over March and April as a drop in freight rates makes US cargoes more competitive against barrels from Asia or the Middle East, according to market participants and shipping fixtures Friday. Read more.
Exxonmobil Reports 90% Increase in Permian Shale Production
Fueled partly by a dramatic increase in Permian output, ExxonMobil announced Friday a 4% jump in liquids output in Q4 from the same quarter last year. ExxonMobil's net production of crude oil, natural gas liquids, bitumen and synthetic oil averaged nearly 2.35 million b/d in Q4, up from 2.25 million b/d in Q4 2017. US liquids production averaged 583,000 b/d in Q4, up from 525,000 b/d in Q4 2017, the company said. Read more.
January 31, 2019
USDA Announces Delayed Report Schedule
In a release Wednesday, the Agricultural Statistics Board of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) said it has begun rescheduling reports that were affected by the lapse in federal funding. During the government shutdown, NASS was not able to collect data or issue reports. USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) also announced the status on its weekly export sales reports. Read more.
Milestone LNG-Fuelled Tug Begins Trials
A major shipping group has commenced operations with the first LNG-fuelled tug in Japan to reduce emissions in a key port. Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) received tugboat Ishin earlier this month and it bunkered its first LNG fuel from a lorry in Sakai Senboku Port. This 43.6-m tugboat was built by Kanagawa Dockyard Co in Kobe, Japan for MOL. It was filled with LNG, supplied by Osaka Gas Co, in preparation for its sea trials. Read more.
Port Report: Growing U.S. Crude Oil Exports Means Bigger Ships to Call on Gulf Coast
The U.S. is on track to become one of the largest crude exporters in the world, but the issue is how to get that crude oil to the world. As FreightWaves reported, tanker trucks are a bridge solution for ferrying crude oil from remote West Texas oil fields to the Gulf Coast for loading on tankers. But new pipeline capacity is the long-term solution for bringing crude oil to export docks, with three major pipelines planned for feeding the Port of Corpus Christi, the largest crude oil export gateway in the U.S. Read more.
Trump to Sign Order Boosting Federal Purchases of Iron, Steel
President Trump on Thursday will sign an executive order designed to boost the amount of American steel and iron used in infrastructure projects. The order directs agency heads to “encourage recipients of new federal financial assistance awards to use, to the greatest extent practical, iron, steel, aluminum, cement and other manufacturing products produced in the United States,” White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told reporters on a conference call. Read more.
January 30, 2019
The Energy 202: 2020 Hopefuls Love Talking About a 'Green New Deal.' But They're Short on Specifics.
Last November, the “Green New Deal” was barely on the lips of any Democrat running for office. Fast-forward two months, and the phrase is all over the campaign trail. Potential presidential candidates who otherwise have starkly different political approaches — from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg — are talking in increasingly positive terms about forging a deal to curb climate-warming emissions. Read more.
What Soybean Politics Tell Us About Argentina and China
The vast majority of Argentina’s soy products are exported, mostly to China. Rising Asian demand — for soy sauce, tofu, animal feed — has fueled the explosion of the soybean industry across Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. The pattern is a familiar one for Argentina. Read more.
Prelude FLNG's Rise
When at plateau production, Prelude FLNG — the world’s largest floating producer of liquefied natural gas, or LNG — will fill one shipborne cargo every week. As production ramps up from test volumes, there’s the dawning realization of a dramatic shift in LNG markets. Criticized in Australia when gas glut threatened, Prelude FLNG plodded on from decision gate to first gas in December 2018, and now seems the master stroke that’ll ensure Australia remains atop world LNG sales. Read more.
The Oil and Gas Situation: 7 Key Things to Know About Oil and Gasoline
Gasoline is one of many products derived from crude oil at oil refineries. One good way to think of crude oil is as a complex soup with all kinds of ingredients floating around in it. The refining process basically takes the crude oil soup that comes up out of the ground through oil wells and separates all those ingredients out of it. Read more.
January 29, 2019
Savannah Positioned to Sustain ‘Stunning, Incredible’ Growth
Already consistently shattering activity records at North America’s busiest single container facility, the Port of Savannah is undergoing multibillion-dollar expansion and channel deepening that should ensure sustained gains for the port and its users. Read more.
Can the Surge in Spot and Time Charter Rates Continue?
The US shale gas revolution has changed the dynamics of the LNG shipping market. “The main impact, apart from adding substantial volumes of LNG to the global market, arises from the unusual structure of sales contracts that bring a large degree of flexibility to the trading of LNG,” Maritime Strategies International senior gas analyst David Bull told LNG World Shipping. Read more.
Ocean Logistics 2019: Digitization Continues to Lead Trends
Ocean logistics in 2019 are demanding advanced, comprehensive and reliable information to cohesively support logistics needs, especially in an era when technology solutions are becoming the standard to successful operations. The continuation of digitization is a trend that industry players are not only prepared for this year but eagerly anticipating and implementing with each new solution that presents itself. Read more.
Commodities on display at the 2019 Super Bowl
Are you ready for some football? American football, that is, with all due respect to the rest of the world that considers soccer as true football. If you're set to watch the big game on Sunday, February 3, you might want to look for some of the behind-the-action commodities. Read more.
January 28, 2019
Ingleside Oil Terminal Can Now Handle Largest Ships Ever in Corpus Christi
Moda Midstream bought the old U.S. Naval facility from Occidental Chemical a couple of years ago to turn the base into an oil exporting terminal. It was christened Berth 2-A Friday and will handle the VLCC tankers. Friday's ceremony was held in front of the biggest ship able to come into Corpus Christi Bay to transport oil from the Eagle Ford Shale and the Permian Basin. Read more.
USACE, Port of Virginia Ramp Up Norfolk Harbor Deepening Efforts
The “Wider, Deeper, Safer” dredging project will deepen the Inner Harbor channels to 55 feet, Chesapeake Bay’s Thimble Shoal Channel to 56 feet and Atlantic Ocean Channel to 59 feet. The Thimble Shoal Channel will also be widened up to 1,400 feet in select areas, allowing for ultra-large container vessel two-way traffic. Read more.
Product Tanker Owners’ Fortunes to Improve in Second Half of 2019 on New Refinery Additions
Product tanker owners could potentially see rates improving during the second half of 2019, as a number of new refineries will hit the market. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Gibson said that “according to a recent IEA report, 2019 is expected to see the largest wave of refinery capacity additions since the 1970’s. Read more.
France Will Make Decision on Replacing Coal with Biomass in Autumn
French utility EDF said on Monday it had reached an industrial milestone in the implementation of an ecological fuel process known as Ecocombust to replace coal in power generation, which could be used in the Cordemais and Havre plants. Read more.
January 25, 2019
Iron Ore Miners are Surprise Winners from a Shift Away from Scrap Steel
The net result of steel mills buying more iron ore is a lift in the benchmark price of the most commonly traded form of the ore, material grading 62% iron, to a 10-month high of $74.48 a ton, up the best part of $10/t over the past month and back to roughly where is was before the China-U.S. trade war started. Read more.
Armada of Giant New Tankers Lines Up to Ship Diesel Out of Asia
Five very large crude carriers, which typically carry about 2 million barrels of oil each, are currently positioned in the seas off China’s eastern and southern coasts, according to shipping intelligence and tracking company Kpler. Read more.
Port Report: Charleston Looks to Relieve Truck Traffic with Barge Service
South Carolina’s Charleston region is the latest coastal city looking to tap underutilized waterways for moving freight, and hopefully find more success than earlier projects. the Port of Charleston is looking to add a wharf space to the Wando Welch marine terminal for loading marine containers on barges. The barged containers would be brought to a new intermodal facility being developed in North Charleston from which containers could be hauled to nearby Norfolk Southern and CSX terminals for inland distribution. Read more.
US LNG Exports Rise as Corpus Christi Processing Unit Becomes Operational
U.S. liquefied natural gas exports hit record levels in November and December 2018 due in part to a new LNG processing unit — known as a train — at the Port of Corpus Christi, a new federal report says. Read more.
January 24, 2019
The Shutdown is Giving Giant Agriculture Traders an Edge
For the world’s largest agricultural-commodity traders, the longest-ever U.S. government shutdown feels like a flashback. In the absence of crucial government crop reports, the likes of Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., Bunge Ltd., Cargill Inc. and Louis Dreyfus Co., known collectively as the ABCDs, are tapping their wide networks and in-depth research to navigate markets. That’s giving them an edge, bringing back memories of when information didn’t travel as fast and they had a bigger advantage over rivals. Read more.
Atlantic Coking Coal: US Prices Stabilise
The Argus weekly fob Hampton Roads assessment for low-volatile coking coal is at $183/t today, down on the week by 50¢/t. The weekly fob Hampton Roads assessment for high-volatile type A (HVA) coking coal is down by $1/t at $194/t but the high-volatile type B (HVB) assessment has edged up $1.50/t to $158/t. Read more.
Reinventing Coal: Researchers Create Novel Materials from a Declining Energy Resource
Around 2007/2008, coal production topped out at roughly 1.2 billion tons. Since then, coal production has been falling, mostly due to the attractive pricing of natural gas resources for producing electricity. Read more.
Lack of Data Intensifies Pressure on Traders
When trading commodities, either physical, futures and/or options, access to data, analysis and market insight is critical, even if it may not significantly alter a trading position. For the grain processing and food industries, a highlight occurs annually in the second week of every January, when more data are released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture than on any week during the year. That didn’t happen this year. Read more.
US Refined Products Build Likely to Continue as Refinery Runs Remain Strong: Analysts
The buildup in US refined product stocks likely continued last week as refinery runs held substantially above historic averages, according to analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts. Read more.
January 23, 2019
Steel Dynamics Reports Record 2018 Results
Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI), Fort Wayne, Indiana, has announced fourth quarter and annual 2018 financial results, noting that it saw annual steel shipments of 10.6 million tons, net sales of $11.8 billion, operating income of $1.7 billion, net income of $1.3 billion, cash flow from operations of $1.4 billion and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in excess of $2 billion, all annual records. Read more.
Tallgrass, Kinder to Lift Oil Transport Capacity from Rockies
The project would combine Tallgrass's Pony Express pipeline and portions of Kinder's Wyoming Interstate Company and Cheyenne Plains Gas pipeline running from the Powder River and Denver-Julesburg basins to the companies' Deeprock terminal in Cushing. Read more.
Louisiana Rain - The Renewed Significance of the St. James Crude Hub
Throughout the middle and latter parts of the 2010s, crude oil production growth in major U.S. basins and in Western Canada — not to mention the end to the ban on most U.S. crude exports in December 2015 — has caused noteworthy shifts in crude flow patterns, stressed existing pipeline infrastructure, and highlighted the importance of crude storage and distribution hubs. Read more.
Rail Operator KSU Gets Approval for Port Arthur, Texas, Crude and Product Export Facilities: Regulator
Kansas City Southern has received the necessary permits from state regulators to go ahead with a long-planned project to export heavy and light crude as well as refined products from its Port Arthur, Texas, rail facilities, as it looks to capitalize on export opportunities for growing global demand for North American crude and refined products. Read more.
Enterprise Products Partners Executive Says Record Petroleum Exports Are at Risk
Traffic jams at the Houston Ship Channel caused by extra-large container ships are putting growing exports of crude oil, refined products, natural gas liquids and other petroleum products at risk, an executive with Houston pipeline and storage terminal company Enterprise Products Partners said Thursday. Read more.
Pin Oak Acquires Expansion Land in Corpus Christi
The newly acquired site is situated adjacent to the Kansas City Southern ("KCS") main rail line and Corpus Christi rail yard. The site can accommodate in excess of 10 million barrels of bulk liquids storage, as well as the construction and operation of a full unit train solution. Read more.
January 22, 2019
Court Rules Bill Koch Doesn't Have to Sell His Energy Business
Overturning a previous order from a lower court, the Delaware Supreme Court this week ruled that William Koch does not have to sell his Oxbow Carbon LLC business to allow two private equity firms to recoup their investment in the company. A Delaware Chancery Court last year ruled that Crestview Partners LLC and Load Line Capital LLC could force an exit sale of the business as part of a suit that stemmed from a decision to delay putting the company on the market. Read more.
Upcoming Changes in Marine Fuel Sulfur Limits Will Affect Crude Oil and Petroleum Product Markets
Set to go into effect January 1, 2020, the new International Marine Organization (IMO) regulations limit the sulfur content in marine fuels used by ocean-going vessels to 0.5% by weight, a reduction from the previous limit of 3.5% (Figure 1). The change in fuel specification is expected to put upward pressure on diesel margins and modest upward pressure on crude oil prices in late 2019 and early 2020. Read more.
Phillips 66 Partners Leads Joint Venture to Build ACE Pipeline System in Louisiana
The ACE Pipeline System will move crude oil from the market hub in St. James, Louisiana to nearby downstream refining destinations in Belle Chasse, Meraux, and Chalmette. Expected to have an initial throughput capacity of 400,000 barrels per day, the ACE Pipeline System will have the ability to be expanded and add Clovelly as a destination based on shipper interest. Read more.
Kansas City Southern Railway Lands Permit to Build New Marine Terminal in Port Arthur
During a hearing Tuesday morning in Austin, commissioners with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued Kansas City Southern a permit for a facility along the 7200 block of Texas 87 in Port Arthur. Located on 200 acres between Texas 87 and Sabine Lake, the facility is expected to include eight storage tanks for heavy crude oil, light, sweet crude, gasoline, ethanol and diesel as well as related infrastructure for loading rail cars and seafaring tankers with those products. Read more.
Seaway Activity Bursts Past 40 Million Tonnes in 2018
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) announced that tonnage on the waterway during the 2018 navigation season totaled 40.9 million tonnes. The highest result since 2007, much of the credit for the increase in tonnage can be given to healthy movements of grain, the best on record since the turn of the century. Read more.
Algoma Central Corporation Increases its Interest in Ocean Self-Unloader Pool
Algoma Central Corporation, a leading provider of marine transportation services, announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire the interest held by Oldendorff Carriers GMBH & Co. (Oldendorff) in the CSL International Pool (the Pool) including the three vessels owned by Oldendorff operating in the Pool. As a result of the transaction, Algoma’s interest in the Pool will increase to approximately 40%. Read more.
January 18, 2019
Maryland's Most Active Foreign Trade Zone to Expand into Howard and Queen Anne's Counties
“The Foreign Trade Zone program assists companies doing business globally by deferring certain taxes until their products are ready for the U.S. markets, therefore improving their cash-flow,” said William H. Cole, president and CEO of the BDC, in a statement. Read more.
United States Considers Hitting Venezuela with Oil Embargo
The White House National Security Council has told some US refiners that sanctions on Venezuelan crude exports are under consideration, S&P Global Platts reported, citing sources familiar with the issue. The effort would likely focus on the roughly 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude that Venezuela exports to the United States, according to Joe McMonigle, an analyst with Hedgeye Risk Management. Read more.
EU Countries Clear Steel Import Curb Until July 2021
European Union countries have backed a scheme to limit imports of steel into the bloc following U.S. President Donald Trump's imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium entering the United States, the European Commission said on Wednesday. Read more.
Grain Shipments Spike on St. Lawrence Seaway
The water-based highway that runs past Cornwall appears busier than ever to start the shipping season. Grain shipments through the St. Lawrence Seaway are up seven per cent this season, continuing the pace set last year when ships carried the largest volume of grain through the navigation system in 14 years. Read more.
January 17, 2019
Iron Ore Prices Lift Across the Board
Iron ore spot markets rose across the board on Wednesday, led once again by gains in mid and lower grades. According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines rose 0.7% to $74.31 a tonne, leaving it just shy of a two-month high. Read more.
Liner Companies Have Less Appetite for Mega-Ships
Fewer orders for ultra-large container ships make Drewry project "a much brighter" development between supply and demand in the container market. But there are still too many ships, and a trade conflict put a damper on growth. Read more.
Freight Rates in January Come Off by 2%
Freight rates are a good indicator of broad-based demand. An increase in freight rates can be considered as a good proxy for broad-based growth in economic activity in times of stable inter-modal mix given limited barriers to adding supply. Read more.
Epic Pipeline on Schedule to Move Permian Crude in Third Quarter
San Antonio pipeline company Epic Midstream Holdings remains on schedule to begin moving crude oil from West Texas' Permian Basin to the Port of Corpus Christi by this fall. As part of a plan originally announced in October, the company plans to temporarily use its natural gas liquids pipeline to temporarily ship crude oil starting in the third quarter. Read more.
Over 25 Oil Tankers Fail to Deliver Oil Products to Syria Due to Sanctions - Oil Minister
A total of 26 oil tankers failed to get to Syrian ports due to economic sanctions targeting Damascus, exacerbating the deficit of oil products in the Arab country amid an ongoing gas crisis, Syrian Oil and Petroleum Minister Ali Ghanem said on Wednesday. Read more.
January 16, 2019
Mining Powerhouse Vale Launches Artificial Intelligence Center
South American firm Vale, one of the world's largest mining companies, has opened an artificial intelligence (AI) center at its Tubarao site in Vitoria, Brazil. In an announcement Tuesday, the business said that the center was aiming to "leverage the adoption of innovative and disruptive technologies in all areas of the business." Read more.
Spot Truckload Freight Rates Climb as 2019 Gets Underway
The number of spot truckload freight posts jumped 18% during the week ending January 5, 2019, outpacing the 11% gain in the number of truck posts, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards. Read more.
Why Did US Steel's Stock Price Decline by 50% in 2018, In Spite of Tariffs on Steel Imports?
United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X), an integrated steel producer with major production operations in the US and Central Europe, saw a significant decline in its stock price in 2018. Ever since the tariffs on steel imports were officially implemented on June 1, 2018, the company’s stock has fallen from about $37 to $18 at the end of December 2018. Read more.
Baltic Dry Index Falls to 1055, Down 41 Points
Today, Wednesday, January 16, 2019, the Baltic Dry Index decreased by 41 points, reaching 1055 points. Read more.
January 15, 2019
Most Valuable Agricultural Export? Corn Takes a Run at Soybeans
Corn was one of the fastest-growing top U.S. exports in 2018. That's impressive given that 2018 will prove to have been a record-breaking year rich with fast-growing exports. Read more.
Lower Grade Iron Ore Prices are Soaring
Iron ore spot markets rose for a second session on Monday, helped by further gains in Chinese steel prices. According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines rose 0.5% to $73.80 a tonne, pushing back towards the multi-week high of $74.46 a tonne struck on January 8. Read more.
The Value of Second-Hand Tankers Dropped in Tough 2018
OPEC's output cap and weak markets made ship asset values for second-hand tankers decline in 2018. For container and dry bulk ships, the year developed differently, according to numbers from Maersk Broker. Read more.
SC, Federal Politicians Get Behind Charleston Ports Agency’s Barge Idea
The State Ports Authority last week took its plan to use barges to haul cargo containers at Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant to state lawmakers, who are asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to grant a permit allowing the project to move forward. It was the first of several community meetings the maritime agency plans to hold on the proposal. Read more.
Mobile, Alabama, May Become Export Hub
Alabama officials are optimistic that the Port of Mobile soon will be another arrow in the state's quiver of economic benefits to attract automotive companies. Alabama has become a manufacturing hotbed, with three auto makers—Honda, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz—producing vehicles there with support from hundreds of suppliers that have opened around the assembly plants since the late 1990s. Read more.
January 14, 2019
Self-Learning Computer Predicts Vessel Arrival
Computers recognise patterns in large data volumes much faster than people. Significant efficiency steps can also be taken in the maritime sector regarding big data and artificial intelligence. For instance, this technology is enabling the arrival times of vessels in sea and inland ports to be predicted earlier and with increased precision. Read more.
USGC-USAC Gasoline Arbitrage Off to Best Start in Years
“USGC refiners are processing too much, which is keeping differentials in the region under pressure the arbitrage positive. Thus [there are] the continued Line 1 allocations,” said a gasoline broker active along the USGC and USAC. Read more.
Iron Ore Prices Move Higher as Steel Markets Strengthen
Iron ore spot prices rose on Friday, helped by strength in Chinese steel markets. According to Metal Bulletin, the price for benchmark 62% fines increased by 0.1% to $73.45 a tonne, partially reversing declines seen in the prior two sessions. Read more.
FTZ at Port Everglades Makes Approvals Fast and Easy
“Our FTZ is unique because we act as a liaison between the users and CBP, eliminating barriers of entry for new FTZ users,” said Jorge Hernández, Port Everglades Director of Business Administration. "The Alternative Site Framework bolsters Broward County's plans to maintain an adequate supply of available FTZ-designated space for potential new growth." Read more.
Ship Owners with Larger Vessels Prefer to Install Scrubbers Ahead of IMO 2020 Rules
Moving forward, DNV GL expects demand for seaborne transportation to grow by 37% by 2050, which translates to a larger number of ships needed. Read more.
Why the US Imports LNG Despite Its Gas Exports Boom
More than a decade in and the US shale boom keeps breaking output records, with fields from Pennsylvania to Texas producing more natural gas than the country needs. That has triggered billions of dollars of investments to ship liquefied natural gas overseas. Read more.
January 11, 2019
Between Mont Belvieu and the Deep Blue Sea, Part 2 - More U.S. LPG Export Capacity on the Way?
NGL production rising steadily, 2019 is looking to be another banner year for LPG shipments to overseas buyers. The increasing volume of propane and normal butane — the NGL purity products generally referenced as LPG — is filling up the existing export capacity of the Gulf Coast’s six LPG terminals and spurring the development of a number of expansion projects. Read more.
Turn the Pipe Around - Will Crude Soon Be Flowing South on Capline?
The three owners of Louisiana-to-Illinois pipeline announced last week that this month they plan to initiate a binding open season for a reversed Capline system that would enable southbound flows starting in the third quarter of 2020 — only a year and a half from now. Read more.
PSEG Sells 2 Retired Coal Sites to Hilco Redevelopment Partners
PSEG Power, a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group, announced on Wednesday the sale its retired Hudson Generating Station, in Jersey City and Secaucus, and Mercer Generating Station, in Hamilton Township, sites to Hilco Redevelopment Partners, an operating company within Hilco Global. Read more.
How U.S. Manufacturers Can Mitigate the Impact of Steel & Aluminum Tariffs
On the basis of protecting U.S. national security, the U.S. imposed additional tariffs of 25 percent and d10 percent on steel and aluminum imports for almost all countries under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Read more.
Germany's Biggest State Wants at Least $11.5 Billion for Exiting Coal
North Rhine-Westphalia, one of Germany’s coal-mining states, is demanding at least 10 billion euros ($11.5 billion) in structural support if coal-fired power stations are phased out, its economy minister said. Read more.
High Water Slows Barge Traffic on U.S. Midwest Rivers
High waters in the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers are slowing the movement of grain barges to the U.S. Gulf export hub, grain traders said, adding another headache to a sector struggling with rising soy stockpiles and slowed exports due to a trade row with China. Read more.
January 10, 2019
Chinese Government Warns of Excess Alumina Capacity
Chinese authorities raised concerns about potential excess capacity across the alumina industry at the end of 2018, citing numerous projects in the pipeline. Factors, including the Rusal sanctions, the partial closure of Norsk Hydro's Alunorte alumina plant in Brazil, output addition at aluminium plants in North America and Europe, the strike at Alcoa’s Western Australia operations, pushed up alumina prices in 2018. This prompted many domestic firms to plan new alumina projects. Read more.
Former Avondale Shipyard Stirs to Life with First Sign of Commerce in Five Years
Avondale Marine, which bought the idle Avondale Shipyard property last fall, has yet to open for cargo operations. But already it’s in business. Read more.
U.S. Oil Prices Up an 8th Session to Score Highest Finish Since Mid-December
Oil futures rallied Wednesday, with the U.S. benchmark up an eighth session in a row to finish at its highest in nearly four weeks, on continued optimism over U.S.-China trade talks, a December output drop from major producers, and a weekly decline in domestic inventories. Read more.
Weekly Market Update: New Year Starts with Strong Volume
The Outbound Tender Volume Index (OTVI.USA), which normally troughs for about a week after a holiday period, has been clawing its way out ahead of schedule and hit 9,808 yesterday – it averaged 9,580 from December 1st to the 24th, 2.3 percent lower than its present value. Read more.
Goldman Warns Iron Ore's Jump Into the $70s ‘Is Not Sustainable’
While industry fundamentals have improved, current prices won’t last as more supply is on the way, Goldman analysts including Hui Shan said in a note received on Wednesday. The bank expects a decline to $60 in six months. Read more.
Dry Weather Casts Doubt Over Brazil Soybean Export Potential: ANEC
Recent dry weather conditions in several soybean planting areas in Brazil may cut volumes available for export in 2019, national grains exporters association ANEC said Wednesday. "We already know the trend for the crop is lower than last season. Our export estimates can be revised down due to weather issues," ANEC general manager Sergio Mendes said in an emailed statement. Read more.
January 9, 2019
High Ocean Freight Rates in December Foreshadow Expensive 2019
Although spot rates dropped in December 2018 compared to November, the figures remain far above what has been previously considered normal. If December in any way reflects one of the lowest price points for freight in the shipping cycle, as it has in previous years, the high rates this year bode poorly for shippers' budgets. Read more.
For JAXPORT, LNG Spells Success
Port Canaveral has spent the time preparing for the largest LNG powered cruise ship in the world to homeport at a newly constructed terminal. The ship from Carnival Cruise Line, named Mardi Gras after the first Carnival cruise liner, is due in 2020. Read more.
Fast-Growing Cargo Airport Getting Amazon Boost
The story of four of the five fastest-growing top 50 U.S. "ports" in 2018 can be told with just one word: Oil. The fifth would take a few more words. But one necessary word is "Amazon." Read more.
Port of Baltimore Receives $2.4 Million from EPA to Help Promote Clean Air
“Our administration is committed to growing Maryland’s economy while protecting our environment,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “This federal funding will support growth at one of our state’s top economic engines, while significantly reducing emissions and building on the clean air progress that we have made.” Read more.
Former Avondale Shipyard Stirs to Life with First Sign of Commerce in Five Years
Avondale Marine, which bought the idle Avondale Shipyard property last fall, has yet to open for cargo operations. But already it’s in business. Read more.
January 8, 2019
Port of Virginia Installs Four Cranes to Handle Cargo Growth
Once operational, these 170-foot-tall cranes will be the largest on the U.S. East Coast and will be able to service the ultra large container vessels (ULCVs) calling at Virginia International Gateway (VIG) for decades to come, the Norfolk, Va.-based port said. Read more.
Outlook 2019: Growing LNG Marketplace to Drive Spot Shipping Rates in 2019
The global LNG shipping spot market is expected to remain strong in 2019 on the back of higher spot LNG demand and trading volume growth outpacing LNG vessel supply, according to analysts and ship brokers. Read more.
Increased Truck Driver Pay Lowers Turnover Rates in 2018
American Trucking Associations released its quarterly turnover rate numbers for the trucking industry, showing a decline of 11 percentage points in the third quarter for large truckload carriers. Read more.