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16 Apr 2018

US-China trade war would hurt global shipping business

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"The tit-for-tat exchange of tariffs between the United States and China gives the impression the world’s two biggest economies are headed down the road towards a trade war, which would have hugely damaging economic consequences. But this could be averted if they continue quiet backroom discussions to open up their markets, particularly China’s. The US imposition of tariffs on a range of Chinese imports – which amounts to a tax on imported goods – is the first step in a series of measures announced by the Trump administration. So far, China has responded by announcing tariffs on US imports. The next stage would be for the US to restrict Chinese investment into America. Presumably, if this happens, then China would respond in kind. In other words, the tensions between the US and China could go beyond taxes and directly disrupt global supply chains as investment is targeted. The Trump administration seems positive towards protectionism and that picture unfortunately became clear when the pro-trade US President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser Gary Cohn resigned on 6 March because of the tariffs imposed on steel and aluminium. The tariffs on steel and aluminium will have a limited impact on most international bulk trades. Nevertheless, they could trigger something bigger that would negatively impact global shipping in a much wider way including container shipping trades. Since 2009, implementation of trade-restrictive measures amongst global trading partners has become more widespread according to World Trade Organisation (WTO). Fortunately, trade-facilitating measures have kept up well to limit some of the damage done. Just yesterday, the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) proved to be the latest of its kind. Above all, transparency and predictability in trade policy remain vital for all actors in the global economy as the WTO puts it. BIMCO’s Chief Shipping Analyst Peter Sand comments: “Free trade provides prosperity and peace. It’s a fundamental principle to cherish and safeguard. All trade-restrictive measures are in principle bad for shipping. Open economies are all better off from trading, as they make use of their resources in the most optimal way. The result of a trade war is more expensive goods of lower quality and little variety. This goes for all products and commodities.” Steel and aluminium tariffs may be ‘dish of the day’ and the impact on shipping is still unknown, but soon major trade action against China is also likely to come from the US. Despite the fact that there is good reason – violation of intellectual property rights – the result is the same. It is damaging for the involved countries. The US is running large trade deficits with the EU as well as China. In addition to significant trade deficits in goods with Mexico, Japan and Canada. But starting a trade war is the wrong way to handle the situation. Any disruption to supply and distribution chains, which are a key part of world trade, could have a lasting impact. In the worst-case scenario, companies may have to relocate factories or distribution centres. Investment decisions affect employment and taxes raised, and are in some ways more disruptive than tariffs, which can be reversed more easily. This escalation would be damaging for the US and Chinese economies since global companies, such as Apple, invest in both countries. This would affect not only US businesses but also American consumers. Retailers such as Walmart import goods from China, so prices would go up and living standards would be squeezed. And since US goods are sold worldwide, if they are reliant on parts from China, consumers here in the UK and in the rest of the world would also be affected. The same applies to Chinese consumers and producers, particularly since about half of Chinese exports are made by enterprises with foreign investors. The US is targeting hi-tech manufacturers to disrupt President Xi’s flagship industrial strategy, the Made in China 2025 plan, which seeks to make Chinese manufacturing globally competitive by introducing more artificial intelligence and automation. The ability of emerging economies such as China to “catch up” with rich economies depends on their being able to access and adapt the best technology in the world. This lies at the heart of the problem. The US has launched these trade measures in retaliation for China’s poor record on intellectual property rights protection, which includes requiring foreign companies to transfer their technology as a condition of investing in China. So, there is a lot at stake for both countries. But a trade war wouldn’t result in better protection of US technology or give American firms better access to Chinese markets. Nor would it help China invest in America. A perennial Chinese complaint is that its companies are blocked, particularly in the technology sector, which is crucial for its economic growth. After an initial round of tariffs on steel and aluminium was unveiled, US and Chinese officials met to discuss ways to open markets wider and create a more level playing field. Opening up China would improve the US trade position. After all, its huge trade deficit could be reduced either by cutting back on imports – or, a much better option, expanding exports. China may be reluctant to open up its relatively closed markets to foreign competition. It firmly believes its industries need protection against the dominance of multinational companies. But it has some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Alibaba, Huawei, and Tencent. And more competition may well improve China’s growth prospects by increasing productivity, especially in sectors where there are less efficient state-owned enterprises. But far from the US and China coming to the table and forging an agreement to open up trade, more rounds of trade barriers could be announced with growing economic damage and no resolution in sight. President Trump may even show his dissatisfaction with the body that oversees international trade, the World Trade Organisation, which he has described as a “disaster”, and pull America out. That would potentially overturn the whole worldwide trading system with dire consequences. So it’s critical that a US-China trade war is avoided at all costs."

16 Apr 2018

Wholesale Price Index for ‘All Commodities’ for the month of March, 2018 rose by 0.2 percent

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"The official Wholesale Price Index for ‘All Commodities’ (Base: 2011-12=100) for the month of March, 2018 rose by 0.2 percent to 116.0 (provisional) from 115.8 (provisional) for the previous month. INFLATION The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 2.47% (provisional) for the month of March, 2018 (over March, 2017) as compared to 2.48% (provisional) for the previous month and 5.11% during the corresponding month of the previous year. Build up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 2.47% compared to a build up rate of 5.11% in the corresponding period of the previous year. Inflation for important commodities / commodity groups is indicated in Annex-1 and Annex-II. The movement of the index for the various commodity groups is summarized below:- PRIMARY ARTICLES (Weight 22.62%) The index for this major group declined by 0.5 percent to 127.4 (provisional) from 128 (provisional) for the previous month. The groups and items which showed variations during the month are as follows:- The index for ‘Food Articles’ group declined by 0.4 percent to 137.2 (provisional) from 137.8 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of egg (5%), gram, tea, coffee, poultry chicken and condiments & spices (3% each), rajma (2%) and fish-inland, masur, bajra, fruits & vegetables and beef and buffalo meat (1% each). However, the price of ragi (3%), jowar and fish-marine (2% each) and peas/chawali, moong, betel leaves, wheat, paddy and pork (1% each) moved up. The index for ‘Non-Food Articles’ group declined by 0.3 percent to 120.2 (provisional) from 120.6 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of guar seed (7%), niger seed (6%), floriculture (5%), raw cotton, cotton seed, skins (raw) and gingelly seed (3% each), copra (coconut) (2%) and linseed, castor seed, raw jute, groundnut seed and rape & mustard seed (1% each). However, the price of raw silk (7%), mesta and hides (raw) (5% each), sunflower (4%), soyabean (3%), fodder (2%) and raw wool, coir fibre and raw rubber (1% each) moved up. The index for ‘Minerals’ group declined by 2.0 percent to 119.7 (provisional) from 122.2 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of copper concentrate (14%) and phosphorite (1%). However, the price of iron ore (15%), chromite (13%), manganese ore (6%), limestone (5%) and zinc concentrate and lead concentrate (1% each) moved up. The index for ‘Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas’ group declined by 0.5 percent to 80.2 (provisional) from 80.6 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of crude petroleum (1%). FUEL & POWER (Weight 13.15%) The index for this major group declined by 0.1 percent to 98.0 (provisional) from 98.1 (provisional) for the previous month. The groups and items which showed variations during the month are as follows:- The index for ‘Mineral Oils’ group declined by 1.4 percent to 88.5 (provisional) from 89.8 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of LPG (6%), naphtha (3%) and HSD, bitumen, petrol and furnace oil (1% each). However, the price of petroleum coke (11%) and kerosene (2%) moved up. The index for ‘Electricity’ group rose by 2.9 percent to 105.4 (provisional) from 102.4 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of electricity (3%). MANUFACTURED PRODUCTS (Weight 64.23%) The index for this major group rose by 0.4 percent to 115.7 (provisional) from 115.2 (provisional) for the previous month. The groups and items which showed variations during the month are as follows:- The index for ‘Manufacture of Food Products’ group rose by 1.0 percent to 127.7 (provisional) from 126.4 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of processed tea (9%), vanaspati, palm oil, buffalo meat, fresh/frozen and rice bran oil (5% each), manufacture of macaroni, noodles, couscous & similar farinaceous products, honey and cotton seed oil (3% each), rice products (2%), manufacture of health supplements, spices (including mixed spices) and basmati rice (2% each) and coffee powder with chicory, soyabean oil, wheat bran, sunflower oil, ghee, manufacture of processed ready to eat food, manufacture of prepared animal feeds, ice cream and chicken/duck, dressed - fresh/frozen (1% each). However, the price of molasses (16%), salt (4%), condensed milk and processing & preserving of fish, crustaceans & molluscs & products thereof (3% each), gram powder (besan) and other meats, preserved/processed (2% each) and groundnut oil, mustard oil, rice, non-basmati, rapeseed oil, powder milk, sooji (rawa), butter, sugar and copra oil (1% each) declined. The index for ‘Manufacture of Beverages’ group rose by 0.4 percent to 119.8 (provisional) from 119.3 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of beer (2%) and wine (1%). However, the price of rectified spirit (2%) and country liquor (1%) declined. The index for ‘Manufacture of Tobacco Products’ group declined by 0.4 percent to 152.1 (provisional) from 152.7 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of cigarette (2%). However, the price of biri (1%) moved up. The index for ‘Manufacture of Textiles’ group rose by 0.4 percent to 114.1 (provisional) from 113.7 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of viscose yarn, manufacture of knitted & crocheted fabrics, synthetic yarn and weaving & finishing of textiles (1% each). However, the price of manufacture of cordage, rope, twine and netting and texturised and twisted yarn (1% each) declined. The index for ‘Manufacture of Wearing Apparel’ group declined by 0.9 percent to 137.8 (provisional) from 139.0 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of manufacture of wearing apparel (woven), except fur apparel and manufacture of knitted & crocheted apparel (1% each). The index for ‘Manufacture of Leather and Related Products’ group declined by 0.9 percent to 120.5 (provisional) from 121.6 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of belt & other articles of leather (6%), gloves of leather (3%), athletic/sport shoes and canvas shoes (2% each) and harness, saddles & other related items, leather shoe, vegetable tanned leather and travel goods, handbags, office bags, etc. (1% each). The index for ‘Manufacture of Wood and of Products of Wood and Cork ‘ group rose by 0.6 percent to 131.7 (provisional) from 130.9 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of lamination wooden sheets/veneer sheets (2%) and wooden splint and wooden panel (1% each). However, the price of wooden box/crate (1%) declined. The index for ‘Manufacture of Paper and Paper Products’ group rose by 0.8 percent to 120.9 (provisional) from 120.0 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of paper bag including craft paper bag (17%), duplex paper (3%), newsprint and paper carton/box (2% each) and map litho paper and laminated plastic sheet (1% each). However, the price of card board (6%), base paper (3%) and kraft paper and corrugated paper board (1% each) declined. The index for ‘Printing and Reproduction of Recorded Media ‘ group rose by 0.8 percent to 144.6 (provisional) from 143.5 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of hologram (3d) (3%) and journal/periodical and printed books (1% each). However, the price of printed labels/posters/calendars (2%) and sticker plastic and printed form & schedule (1% each) declined. The index for ‘Manufacture of Chemicals and Chemical Products’ group rose by 0.2 percent to 115.2 (provisional) from 115.0 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of hydrogen peroxide (16%), aniline (including pna, ona, ocpna) (6%), gelatine and organic surface active agent (5% each), plasticizer, carbon black and sodium silicate (4% each), acetic acid and its derivatives, catalysts and tooth paste/tooth powder (3% each), nitric acid, hair oil/body oil, polyester chips or polyethylene terepthalate (pet) chips, insecticide and pesticide, di ammonium phosphate, polyester film(metalized), xlpe compound, acrylic fibre, polyester fibre fabric, varnish (all types) and poly vinyl chloride (pvc) (2% each) and nitrogenous fertilizer, others, alkyl benzene, other inorganic chemicals, liquid air & other gaseous products, mosquito coil, powder coating material, mixed fertilizer, ethylene oxide, other petrochemical intermediates and viscose staple fibre (1% each). However, the price of sulphuric acid and creams & lotions for external application (4% each), caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) (3%), menthol, paint, aromatic chemicals, toilet soap, ammonium sulphate, agro chemical formulation, adhesive tape (non-medicinal), rubber chemicals and poly propylene (pp) (2% each) and polyethylene, fungicide, liquid, ethyl acetate, amine, phosphoric acid, fatty acid, detergent cake, washing soap cake/bar/powder, organic chemicals, alcohols, mono ethyl glycol, printing ink and polystyrene, expandable (1% each) declined. The index for ‘Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals, Medicinal Chemical and Botanical Products’ group rose by 0.2 percent to 121.0 (provisional) from 120.7 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of vaccine for hepatitis-B (8%), digestive enzymes and antacids (5%), anti cancer drugs (4%), antidiabetic drug excluding insulin (i.e. tolbutam) and antipyretic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory formulations (2% each) and plastic capsules and anti-retroviral drugs for HIV treatment (1% each). However, the price of vaccine for polio (3%) and sulpha drugs, antioxidants, simvastatin, vials/ampoule, glass, empty or filled and antiseptics and disinfectants (1% each) declined. The index for ‘Manufacture of Rubber and Plastics Products’ group rose by 0.5 percent to 107.8 (provisional) from 107.3 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of V belt (9%), rubber components & parts (6%), plastic box/container (3%), rubber moulded goods, plastic film, elastic webbing and condoms (2% each) and rubber crumb, plastic tape, plastic bag, plastic bottle, plastic button, acrylic/plastic sheet, tooth brush and thermocol (1% each). However, the price of rubber tread (4%), rubber cloth/sheet, tractor tyre, medium & heavy commercial vehicle tyre and conveyer belt (fibre based) (2% each) and 2/3 wheeler tyre, polypropylene film, plastic components, plastic tank, plastic furniture, polythene film, processed rubber, rubberized dipped fabric and motor car tyre (1% each) declined. The index for ‘Manufacture of other Non-Metallic Mineral Products’ group declined by 0.5 percent to 113.8 (provisional) from 114.4 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of toughened glass (4%), graphite rod (3%), clinker (3%), porcelain crockery (2%) and fibre glass incl. sheet, granite, ordinary portland cement, pozzolana cement, porcelain sanitary ware and lime and calcium carbonate (1% each). However, the price of plain bricks, ordinary sheet glass, ceramic tiles (vitrified tiles) and cement superfine (3% each), non ceramic tiles and slag cement (2% each) and marble slab, railway sleeper, cement blocks (concrete), opthalmic lens and stone, chip (1% each) moved up. The index for ‘Manufacture of Basic Metals’ group rose by 1.5 percent to 109.5 (provisional) from 107.9 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of stainless steel pencil ingots/billets/slabs (13%), gp/gc sheet and pig iron (4% each), other ferro alloys, ferrochrome, hot rolled (HR) coils & sheets, including narrow strip and alloy steel wire rods (3% each), angles, channels, sections, steel (coated/not), cold rolled (CR) coils & sheets, including narrow strip, silicomanganese, ms wire rods, stainless steel bars & rods, including flats, mild steel (MS) blooms and ferrosilicon (2% each) and ferromanganese, stainless steel coils, strips & sheets, galvanized iron pipes, stainless steel tubes, cast iron, castings, ms pencil ingots, aluminum foil, lead ingots, bars, blocks, plates and zinc metal/zinc blocks (1% each). However, the price of aluminium disk and circles (4%), alloy steel castings and steel cables (3% each) and copper shapes - bars/rods/plates/strips, aluminium shapes-bars/rods/flats and aluminium ingot (1% each) declined. The index for ‘Manufacture of Fabricated Metal Products, Except Machinery and Equipment’ group rose by 0.4 percent to 112.2 (provisional) from 111.8 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of sanitary fittings of iron & steel (14%), hand tools (4%), steel drums & barrels (3%), steel container and steel pipes, tubes & poles (2% each) and jigs & fixture and bolts, screws, nuts & nails of iron & steel (1% each). However, the price of forged steel rings, iron/steel cap and electrical stamping- laminated or otherwise (2% each) and copper bolts, screws, nuts, aluminium utensils, stainless steel utensils, metal cutting tools & accessories and pressure cooker (1% each) declined. The index for ‘Manufacture of Computer, Electronic and Optical Products’ group declined by 0.3 percent to 110.4 (provisional) from 110.7 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of x-ray equipment (4%) and colour tv, ups in solid state drives and capacitors (1% each). However, the price of electronic printed circuit board (pcb)/micro circuit, meter (non-electrical) and microscope (1% each) moved up. The index for ‘Manufacture of Electrical Equipment’ group rose by 0.1 percent to 109.5 (provisional) from 109.4 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of jelly filled cables (6%), light fitting accessories (5%), solenoid valve, electric switch gear control/starter and acsr conductors (2% each) and electric wires & cables, electric welding machine, rubber insulated cables, connector/plug/socket/holder-electric, fan, dry cells such as torch light batteries, copper wire, incandescent lamps, safety fuse, electrical relay/conductor and insulating & flexible wire (1% each). However, the price of fibre optic cables and a c motor (3% each) and aluminium/alloy conductor, washing machines/laundry machines, electrical resistors (except heating resistors), electric filament type lamps and domestic gas stove (1% each) declined. The index for ‘Manufacture of Machinery and Equipment’ group rose by 0.3 percent to 110.0 (provisional) from 109.7 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of printing machinery (8%), water purifier and cranes (5% each), chemical equipment & system (4%), loader, filtration equipment, air gas compressor including compressor for refrigerator and packing machine (3% each), open end spinning machinery, conveyors - non-roller type, pressure vessel and tank for fermentation & other food processing and solar power system (solar panel & attachable equipment) (2% each) and pharmaceutical machinery, moulding machine, mining, quarrying & metallurgical machinery/parts, deep freezers, clutches and shaft couplings, harvesters, material handling, lifting & hoisting equipment, air filters, mixing machine, machinery for plastic products-extruded, pneumatic tools and chillers (1% each). However, the price of precision machinery equipment/form tools (7%), hydraulic pump (3%), gasket kit, roller mill (raymond), oil pump and agriculture implements (2% each) and roller & ball bearings, manufacture of bearings, gears, gearing & driving elements, injection pump and lathes (1% each) declined. The index for ‘Manufacture of Motor Vehicles, Trailers and Semi-Trailers’ group declined by 0.1 percent to 111.0 (provisional) from 111.1 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of steering gear control system (3%), brake pad/brake liner/brake block/brake rubber, others and crankshaft (2% each) and minibus/bus (1%). However, the price of chain (4%), shafts of all kinds and release valve (2% each) and silencer & damper, chassis of different vehicle types, gear box & parts, filter element, engine and shock absorbers (1% each) moved up. The index for ‘Manufacture of Other Transport Equipment’ group declined by 1.3 percent to 110.6 (provisional) from 112.0 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of motor cycles (2%). However, the price of bicycles of all types and scooters (2% each) moved up. The index for ‘Manufacture of Furniture’ group rose by 2.7 percent to 123.9 (provisional) from 120.7 (provisional) for the previous month due to higher price of foam and rubber mattress (10%), steel shutter gate (2%) and iron/steel furniture (2% each) and wooden furniture and plastic fixtures (1% each). However, the price of hospital furniture (7%) declined. The index for ‘Other Manufacturing’ group declined by 2.5 percent to 104.1 (provisional) from 106.8 (provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of gold & gold ornaments and playing cards (3% each) and cricket ball and stringed musical instruments (incl. santoor, guitars, etc.) (1% each). However, the price of plastic moulded-others toys (1%) moved up. WPI FOOD INDEX (Weight 24.38%) The rate of inflation based on WPI Food Index consisting of ‘Food Articles’ from Primary Articles group and ‘Food Product’ from Manufactured Products group decreased from 0.07% in February, 2018 to (-) 0.07% in March, 2018. FINAL INDEX FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY, 2018 (BASE YEAR: 2011-12=100) For the month of January, 2018, the final Wholesale Price Index for ‘All Commodities’ (Base: 2011-12=100) stood at 116.0 as compared to 115.8 (provisional) and annual rate of inflation based on final index stood at 3.02 percent as compared to 2.84 percent (provisional) respectively as reported on 14.02.2018."

16 Apr 2018

Somalia can’t interfere in DP World’s port deal: Somaliland minister

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"Berbera (Somaliland): “Had you come a day earlier, you’d have seen us loading camels onto ships heading to the Middle East. Somalia as a whole has the world’s largest number of camels, at six million,” said Ali Esmail Mahmoud, Head of Operations at DP World Berbera, as he took visiting journalists on a tour of the port. “Since DP World took over the running of the port, there have been many changes,” Mahmoud said. “We’ve added a lot of equipment. We’ve ordered three mobile harbour cranes. Six reach stakers have been added, with three more on the way, along with empty container handlers, mobile cranes, internal terminal vehicles and forklifts.” He also said the port was using a new software, Sodiaz, which is also used in many other DP World ports. “People were trained on the software outside the country, including in Thailand.” In 2016, the Somaliland parliament voted in favour of granting DP World, the world’s fourth biggest port operator, a 30-year concession with an automatic 10-year extension for the management and development of the port at Berbera, in a move not recognised by the Federal Republic of Somalia. As per the deal, DP World will invest $442 million (Dh1.62 billion) in the port, controlling a 51 per cent stake in the project while the Somaliland government will control 30 per cent. As part of another deal announced last month, Ethiopia will become a 19 per cent stake holder in the port. That deal was also bitterly opposed by the Somali government in Mogadishu. Speaking to journalists, Somaliland’s Foreign Minister Dr Sa’ad Ali Shire said no one had the authority to interfere in a deal between Somaliland and DP World. “This is an economic and commercial deal that will benefit everyone in the Horn of Africa region. Somalia’s claims are baseless, and don’t change anything on the ground.” Somaliland is a self-declared independent republic that is not recognised by the international community but has all the trappings of a state, including its own parliament, judiciary, currency and armed forces. It also holds elections that are seen as being free and fair, and issues its own passports. The government of the region sees Somaliland as the successor state to the colonial-era British Protectorate of Somaliland. Somaliland is also far more politically and economically stable than Somalia. The port provides jobs to 780 local people. And has clearly benefited the economy of the region; the construction sector has been given a fillip due to the planned expansions and improvements already made to the port. “Land in the area is also going up in value,” Mahmoud said. “The infrastructure in the region is improving and many companies are coming here to do business.” The port’s annual capacity is 150,000 TEUs-twenty-foot equivalent units (container); 15 million MT (general cargo, bulk, ad break bulk); and 4 millon heads (livestock). Land in the area is also going up in value. The infrastructure in the region is improving and many companies are coming here to do business” - Ali Esmail Mahmoud | Head of Operations at DP World Berbera DP World Berbera also provides assistance to the tune of $4800 a month to the nearby Berbera Maritime and Fisheries Academy, which was established in 2012 and has graduated 85 students, including 12 women. The port has also donated $770,181 in the past 12 months to educational institutions, mosques and hospitals in the region and built five water wells for the community. Mahmoud added: “We are currently working on a three-phase basis: Phase zero, phase one, and phase two. As part of phase zero, we are developing the existing terminal. We’ve made many changes, including to infrastructure, electricity, training facilities etc. Phase one begins in five months, and is expected to be completed in 2020.”"

16 Apr 2018

New freight station opens at Khalifa port

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"Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) and Abu Dhabi Ports have announced the opening of a new freight station which will reduce trucking of EGA’s aluminium within Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) by over 290,000 kilometres per year. The new facility has been built close to EGA’s Al Taweelah site to load metal into containers for transfer onto ships for export, according to the statement issued by the two companies on Tuesday. Last year EGA shipped some 600,000 tonnes of aluminium from Khalifa Port, requiring over 17,000 truck movements from EGA’s site to the quayside."

16 Apr 2018

Milaha Takes Part in Qatar-India Business and Investment Conference

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"Milaha, a Qatar-based maritime and logistics conglomerate, is taking part in the Qatar-India Business and Investment Conference on 16-17 April 2018, which aims at strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries in light of the significant growth these ties have witnessed in recent years. Mr. Abdulrahman Essa Al Mannai, President and CEO of Milaha, said: "Qatari-Indian relations are historic and distinguished at all levels, and we are pleased to be represented at this important conference to discuss with our Qatari and Indian partners in the public and private sectors how we can further strengthen this cooperation through the exchange of investment opportunities and business partnerships to serve the interests of both countries." Mr. Al-Mannai added: “We, at Milaha, are proud to support the development of the bilateral ties through our enhanced direct feeder service which we launched in 2015 and which now has 5 weekly calls at 3 Indian ports, Nhava Sheva, Mundra, and Kandla. This service connects traders, importers, and exporters throughout India, Southeast Asia, and the Far East with their counterparts in the Arabian Gulf, which helps facilitate trade between these vital regions of the world.” In addition to its direct container shipping service between Qatar and India, Milaha’s bulk shipping vessels carried 320,000 tons of construction material from India to Qatar in 2017, while its Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) unit continues to facilitate the transport of cargo between the two countries. The NVOCC unit arranged the transport of 235,000 tons of cargo, 15,600 TEUs, and 1,400 reefer containers of perishable cargo between Qatar and India with a total of more than 170 vessel calls at Indian ports in 2017."

16 Apr 2018

Singapore Apex Court To Issue Grounds Of Decision Clarifying The Juridical Nature Of Shipping Liens Over Sub-Freights

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"Singapore Apex Court To Issue Grounds Of Decision Clarifying The Juridical Nature Of Shipping Liens Over Sub-Freights 14/04/2018 https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/singapore-singapore-apex-court-to-i... On 5 March 2018, a five-member Court of Appeal (comprising the Honourable Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and the Honourable Judges of Appeal Andrew Phang Boon Leong, Judith Prakash, Steven Chong and Tay Yong Kwang) heard the ship-owner’s appeal against the Singapore High Court’s decision in Duncan, Cameron Lindsay and another v Diablo Fortune Inc and another matter [2017] SGHC 172. This landmark decision has been closely watched because of its significance to the shipping industry. The liquidators, who had prevailed in the court below, were once again successfully represented in the appeal by Shook Lin & Bok’s partner Debby Lim (assisted by associate Cheryl Chong). Professor Hans Tjio of the National University of Singapore was also appointed as amicus curiae for the appeal. Essentially, the liquidators had filed an application in the Singapore High Court to void a lien over sub-freight for non-registration under section 131 of the Singapore Companies Act. The Singapore High Court had considered, for the first time in Singapore, the juridical nature of a lien over sub-freights. In a watershed decision by the Honourable Judicial Commissioner Audrey Lim, the High Court found that the lien over sub-freights was a charge that was void for non-registration under section 131 of the Companies Act. The Court also refused the ship-owner’s application for a stay of proceedings, and for an extension of time to register the charge. Subsequently, the ship-owner filed an appeal in relation to the issue of whether the lien over sub-freights was a charge that had to be registered. At the appeal, there was a fervent debate involving three different possible characterisations of a lien over sub-freights. The ship-owner argued that such a lien merely confers a sui generis personal contractual right to intercept sub-freights, primarily because there is no immediate proprietary interest granted with the lien. The liquidators on the other hand argued that the lien was an equitable assignment by way of security. The amicus curiae argued based on the Singapore Court of Appeal decision in Asiatic Enterprises (Pte) Ltd v UOB [1999] 3 SLR(R) 976, that the lien was a “springing security” or an agreement to give a charge in the future. On both the liquidators’ and the amicus curiae’s arguments, the lien was indeed registrable, however, there was a difference as to when the need for registration arose. The Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision – agreeing with the liquidator’s interpretation of how such a lien should be classified – and dismissed the ship-owner’s appeal immediately after hearing oral arguments, but indicated that it would issue grounds of decision at a later date. The Court of Appeal’s grounds of decision is much anticipated by both the admiralty and insolvency communities, as it will clarify a legal issue which has not been previously tested by an appellate court in a common law jurisdiction (there having only been a few English High Court decisions on the juridical nature of a lien over sub-freights). A further update will be provided upon the release of the written judgment. In the meantime, it will be prudent for ship-owners to register their lien(s) over sub-freights."

16 Apr 2018

The CMA CGM Group and Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise sign a Memorandum of Agreement to operate Lekki Port’s future container terminal (Nigeria)

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"* Lekki Port: Nigeria’s first deep sea port and Sub-Saharan Africa’s deepest port * A strategic choice for the development of CMA CGM’s operations in Africa’s largest economy and West Africa’s first consumer market * CMA CGM, second shipping company in Nigeria and on the African market The CMA CGM Group, a world leader in maritime transport, and Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise (LPLE), the promoters of Lekki Deep Sea Port, are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement to operate Lekki Port’s future container terminal. Located in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, the future Lekki Deep Sea Port will be developed, built and operated by LPLE, a joint venture enterprise led by the Tolaram Group, the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority. As the container terminal operator, CMA CGM, through its subsidiary CMA Terminals, will be responsible for marketing, operations and maintenance of the container terminal at Lekki Deep Sea Port. Lekki port, Nigeria’s first deep-sea port Upon completion in 2020, Lekki port will have 2 container berths and will be Nigeria’s first deep sea port. Speaking about this development, Navin Nahata, Chief Executive Officer of Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise, described the signing of the agreement with the CMA CGM Group as another step in the right direction towards the actualization of the Port, which would become the deepest port in Sub-Saharan Africa. “We are excited about this development because CMA Terminals is a world class port operator and can be relied upon to provide international port standard delivery services at par with most modern ports around the world to the Nigerian port customers” he said. On this occasion, Farid T. Salem, Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, declared: “We are pleased to sign this Memorandum of Agreement with LPLE to operate Lekki Port’s container terminal. As Nigeria’s first deep sea port, Lekki Port represents a strategic choice for the CMA CGM Group. Thanks to its position and capacity, Lekki Port will allow us to bring to Nigeria larger container ships from Europe and Asia to better serve our customers and pursue our commitment to the development of the entire region. With CMA CGM’s unique service offering and expertise combined with our logistics and inland services, our presence in Lekki Port will benefit the entire Nigerian supply chain and market as well as neighboring countries.” The Federal Government of Nigeria recently pledged its total support to the Lekki Port project during the official flag-off ceremony by President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. A strategic choice for the CMA CGM Group’s development in West Africa The choice of Lekki Port, which will aid the reduction of congestion in the port of Lagos, is fully in line with the CMA CGM Group’s development in the region. Lekki Port’s container terminal will allow the Group to develop its presence into West Africa’s first consumer market and will serve as a transshipment hub, especially to neighboring countries like Togo and Benin. Upon completion, the container terminal will be equipped with a 1,200-meter-long quay as well as 13 quay cranes and will have a capacity of 2.5 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units). With its 16-meter depth, it will allow the Group to deploy ships with a capacity of up to 14,000 TEUs. Operations are planned to start end of 2020. CMA CGM, a partner of the development of Sub-Saharan Africa The CMA CGM Group is highly committed to the development of port infrastructure on the African continent where it is the second largest shipping company. The Group is particularly present in Sub-Saharan Africa with a network of 75 agencies and nearly 1,400 experts. In the region, the Group operates 30 services thanks to a fleet of 87 ships calling at 248 ports."

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