Freight & Bunkers News

May 20 - WAF, USGC Suezmax markets still adjusting to Russian crude displacement
Both the West African and Americas Suezmax markets experienced a spike in early April, with rates recording substantial gains.

May 20 - India considers allowing wheat shipments trapped at ports
India is considering allowing traders to ship out some of their wheat sitting at ports after a sudden ban on exports of the grain prevented dealers from loading cargoes, trade and government sources said on Thursday. New Delhi banned wheat exports on Saturday, as an intense heat wave hit output and domestic prices hit a record high.

May 20 - South Korea’s NOFI buys 69,000 T South American corn in tender - traders
South Korean animal feed maker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) has bought an estimated 69,000 tonnes of animal feed corn to be sourced from South America in an international tender which closed on Thursday, European traders said. The corn was bought at an estimated premium of 245.16 a bushel c&f over the Chicago September 2022 corn contract for arrival in South Korea around Sept. 1 plus a $2 a tonne surcharge for additional port unloading.

May 19 - Japan March bonded bunker exports down 15% on year to 2.69 mil barrels
Japan's bunker supply in March was tight as the country's largest refiner Eneos suspended taking fresh orders from Mizushima refinery, market sources said.  

May 19 - Singapore 180 CST HSFO cash differential sinks to near 1-year low on rising supply
Traders attributed the weakness in the HSFO cash differential to an uptick in supply because of rising output from the Middle East and the likelihood of an increase in Russian flows to the East.

May 19 - Platts ex-wharf Zhoushan marine fuel 0.5%S bunker premium hits new high on tight supply
China has been ramping up domestic low sulfur fuel oil production, while still importing 0.5% sulfur fuel oil mainly from Singapore to meet its bunker demand.  

May 19 - Singapore marine fuel 0.5% cargo cash differential hits near 28-month high on tight supply
The premium was last higher at $30.54/mt on Feb. 5, 2020, data from S&P Global Commodity Insights showed.

May 19 - Iraq's SOMO offers straight-run HSFO for June loading
Straight-run fuel oil cargoes from the Middle East used to move to Asia but they have been heading to the US after sanctions on Russia, market sources said.  

May 19 - Neste launches new eco-marine fuel
The refiner is partnering with bunker fuel supplier Nordic Marine Oil, which will provide the fuel as of May from its storage tanks and bunker barges located at key ports across Denmark, Neste said in a statement May 17.  

May 19 - JAPAN DATA: Oil product exports fall 16% on week to 2.87 mil barrels over May 8-14
High sulfur fuel oil exports also declined 20.8% week on week to 635,202 barrels in the week to May 14, while low sulfur fuel oil exports rose 15.7% on the week to 295,844 barrels in the same week.

May 19 - Taiwan’s MFIG buys about 55,000 tonnes corn - traders
Taiwan's MFIG purchasing group bought about 55,000 tonnes of animal feed corn to expected to be sourced from South Africa in an international tender which closed on Wednesday, European traders said. The corn was purchased at an estimated premium of 248.39 U.S. cents a bushel c&f over the Chicago December 2022 corn contract, they said.

May 19 - Japan to import 440 tonnes feed barley via tender
Japan will import 440 tonnes of feed-quality barley for livestock use via a simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) auction that closed late on Wednesday, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said. The ministry had sought 70,000 tonnes of feed wheat and 40,000 tonnes of feed barley to be loaded by August 31 and arrive in Japan by October 27.

May 18 - Ukraine sea access vital for grain despite land efforts - minister
Ukraine is making progress in developing grain exports over land to the EU but will need to regain sea access blocked by Russia's invasion to avert a worsening crisis for food importing countries, its deputy economy minister said on Tuesday. Administrative and logistical delays were being resolved at transit points at Ukraine's western borders with European Union states, notably for rail freight, Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka told the GrainCom conference in Geneva.

May 18 - About 300,000 T of wheat bought by Egypt stranded in Ukraine - trade
About 300,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat booked by Egypt's state grains buyer for delivery in February and March is yet to be shipped, with one cargo stuck in port and four others still to be loaded, four traders said. Egypt's General Authority For Supply Commodities (GASC) has granted an extension to secure the cargoes but is not offering trading companies any force majeure release from contractual obligations, according to traders.

May 18  - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)
- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) increased 14% to $13,935/FEU. This rate is 97% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) were unchanged at $15,963/FEU, and are 113% than rates for this week last year.

- Despite efforts to restart manufacturing, the seven-week lockdown in Shanghai has sent export volumes plummeting. In response to dropping demand for freight, ocean carriers have continued to cancel a significant number of sailings out of Asia. This additional reduction in capacity may have contributed to Asia - US West Coast rates climbing this week, though prices remain 16% lower than before the lockdown in early March, and Asia - North Europe rates remain 21% lower, both at levels not seen since last summer.

- But authorities in Shanghai have just announced that the city will begin reopening in the coming days with aims for a gradual return to normal by late June. Some in the industry think a gradual reopening will be manageable, and some ocean carriers are already reporting a general decline in demand independent of the situation in Shanghai.  Meanwhile, many observers anticipate that the reopening will open up floodgates of pent up demand, and send a surge of ships and containers to already-congested European and West Coast US hubs – with Canadian and East Coast alternative ports already stretched thin and with peak season rapidly approaching.  

- Both scenarios for the reopening are likely to renew at least some upward pressure on rates and cause some increase in delays, but like so much else that has been unpredictable over the course of the pandemic, the degree of the impact will remain to be seen.

May 17  - Fujairah Bunker sales fall to two-month low in April
Total sales came to 670,063 cu m in April, down 3.8% from March and 1.4% lower than a year earlier, according to Fujairah Oil Industry Zone data compiled by S&P Global Commodity Insights.

May 18  - S&P Global Commodity Insights eliminates use of 'hand blends' in trades reported through US MOC process for 0.5%S marine fuel
S&P Global understands that the stricter sulfur requirements imposed by the IMO 2020 regulations for 0.5%S marine fuel has resulted in trades that are often close to the maximum specifications compared to HSFO, and feedback suggests that hand blends may have a higher likelihood of specification and quality issues.

May 18  - Shipping integral to net zero fuel ambition: ICS
S&P Global Commodity Insights assessed the lowest cost of hydrogen production via alkaline electrolysis in Qatar at an average of $2.59/kg in April, or 20% of highest priced region -- the UK -- at $13.14/kg.

May 17 - India's surprise wheat export ban traps 1.8 mln T at ports-trade
India's wheat export ban has trapped some 1.8 million tonnes of grain at ports, leaving traders facing heavy losses from the prospect of selling onto a weaker domestic market, four dealers told Reuters. New Delhi banned wheat exports on Saturday, just days after saying it was targeting record shipments of 10 million tonnes this year, as a scorching heat wave curtailed output and domestic prices hit a record high.

May 17 - Russian wheat prices up, export pace slows
Russian wheat export prices rose last week with higher wheat prices in Chicago, analysts said on Monday, adding that the country's exports were slowing down due to seasonal factors. Prices for wheat with 12.5% protein content for supply in May from Black Sea ports were at $390 free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, up $5 from a week earlier, the IKAR agriculture consultancy said.

May 17 - EMEA Middle Distillates: Key market indicators
While flat prices have remained volatile, European middle distillates markets have been broadly stable amid relatively tight supply of cargoes of jet fuel, 0.1% gasoil and ultra low-sulfur diesel -- especially in the Mediterranean -- but thin buying appetite to bring barges from ARA to inland demand centers.  

May 17 - AMERICAS BUNKERS: Key market indicators May 16-20
Volatility continues to be the main factor in pricing for bunkers in Latin America, with participants reacting cautiously and in a lagging way to the steep day-to-day changes seen in global oil markers.

May 17 - Glencore forced to halt Russian diesel delivery to UK by protesters
The Greek-flagged Andromeda vessel loaded 33,000 mt cargo of ultra-low sulfur diesel at Russia's Baltic Sea port of Primorsk from Tatneft May 10, according to shipping analytics provider Kpler.

May 17 - No Azeri Light crude barrels to load for June at Black Sea port of Supsa
Azerbaijan's state energy group Socar, which produces the crude, confirmed that no loadings were to take place in Supsa. This was also the case for the May loading program.

May 16 - Egypt says government purchases exempted from India’s wheat exports ban
Any agreements by Egypt's government to purchase Indian wheat will not be affected by an export ban announced by New Delhi, Egypt's supply minister said on Sunday. "For India, we are talking with them on the basis of a government agreement. The ban exempts governments including the government of Egypt," minister Ali Moselhy said at a news conference.

May 16 - Romanian port races against clock to move Ukrainian grain to global markets
Pressed into emergency service by the blockade of Ukraine's seaports by Russian invaders, neighbouring Romania is racing against time to move Ukrainian grain to global markets before the next harvest triggers bottlenecks.  Ukraine, the world's fourth largest grain exporter, has been forced by Russia's invasion to re-route shipments by train via its western border into neighbouring Poland, Slovakia and Romania or on barges through its small Danube river ports.

May 14 - Tight HSFO inventories to buoy Shanghai bunker premiums: traders
S&P Global started assessing Shanghai-delivered 380 CST HSFO on Nov. 2, 2009, while premiums have been at all-time highs since May 5, according to the data.

May 14 - SINGAPORE DATA: April bunker sales fall 12% on year to 3.74 million mt: MPA
Market participants said higher bunker prices had also led to quicker utilization of credit lines, preventing some owners from taking larger stems.

May 13 - Midsize tanker volatility an 'ongoing feature' amid geopolitical environment: Teekay CEO
Freight for midsize Suezmax and Aframax tankers have been in flux since late February as European crude buyers look to replace Russian crude with US Gulf Coast origin barrels.
May 13 - Panama Canal Authority suspends Neopanamax locks 49.5-foot draft restriction
Maximum draft at Neopanamax locks had previously been reduced to 49.5 feet. 

May 13 - Tongaat Hulett suspends Zimbabwe sugar cane pre-payments over lending freeze
South African sugar producer Tongaat Hulett Ltd's Zimbabwean subsidiaries have suspended advance payments for cane deliveries after the Harare authorities told banks to stop lending, the company said on Thursday, exposing farmers to possible cashflow problems. Tongaat Hulett's two Zimbabwe subsidiaries, the 50.3%-controlled Hippo Valley Estates Ltd and the wholly-owned Triangle Limited operate the only sugar mills in the country, with private growers - mostly smallholder farmers - contributing about 40% of the total sugar cane milled.

May 13 - Grain ships stuck in Tunisian port due to non-payment - union official
Two grain ships have been stuck in the port of Sfax in Tunisia since last month due to non-payment of dues, a union official told Reuters on Thursday. Adel Marzouk, the official in the union of Grain Office added that two other ships have been waiting since the beginning of this month as well.

May 12 - Ukraine calls for moves to unblock ports and prevent global food crisis
Ukraine's president said on Monday that trade at the country's ports was at a standstill and urged the international community to take immediate steps to end a Russian blockade to allow wheat shipments and prevent a global food crisis. Volodymyr Zelenskiy made the comments after speaking to European Council President Charles Michel, who was visiting Odesa - the major Black Sea port for exporting agricultural products where missiles struck tourist sites and destroyed buildings on Monday.

May 12 - Brazilian government cuts import tax on steel rebar to 4% from 10.8%
Brazil's government reduced the import tax on steel rebar to 4% from 10.8% to put the tariff in line with other countries' practices, the Economy Ministry said on Wednesday. Ana Paula Repezza, executive secretary of the Foreign Trade Chamber at the ministry, stated that the new rate corresponds "to the world average for these types of products".

May 11  - Ship entry into the Sulina canal restricted in order to offload pressure (AgriCensus)
- The agency overseeing operations along a key Black Sea canal has temporarily halted vessels moving towards the key Ukrainian and Romanian ports of Reni, Izmail or Giurgiulesti amid a huge backlog. The Sulina Canal has emerged as a key link in the supply chain moving Ukrainian agricultural produce via the River Danube towards Black Sea export facilities and has reported a major increase in activity as a result.

- That has forced the canal's administrators to temporarily limit vessels going into Reni, Izmail and Giurgiulesti ports won't be allowed to enter the canal in order to prevent further queues building up amid a lack of pilots available to guide ships along the canal's length.
“As before, the Sulina administration decided in yesterday's meeting that they will not allow more than three ships waiting in the anchorage at nautical mile 36, three more at nautical mile 44, three at Reni roads and two at Giurgiulesti roads,” a note seen by Agricensus said.
“In order to avoid blockage, ships going to Reni/Giurgiulesti will not enter Sulina canal until these areas are clear; the same will be applied for Izmail port,” the note said, explaining that one stage already has four ships waiting and no further will be admited until the number drops below three.

- The ship tracking service Marine Traffic showed there are already up to 70 vessels waiting for the entrance to be re-opened. Sulina canal links the shallow water Ukrainian and Romanian ports with the Black Sea, and has proved to be unready for the sharp increase in product flows from Ukrainian ports amid the blockade of Ukraine's deep sea ports after Russia started the war.  The congestion also comes along with an ongoing restriction of grain wagons moving into the port of Reni by rail.

- Thus, situations are starting to happen where a vessel has already arrived into port but the grain that it is expecting to load has not yet reached the terminal, thus bringing even more delays. At the same time, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has again urged the international community to stop the Russian blockade of the deep seaports of Ukraine citing the threat to world food supply.

May 11  - FBX weekly Overview ( Freightos )
- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) decreased 3% to $12,217/FEU. This rate is 67% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) were stable at $15,982/FEU, and are 115% higher than rates for this week last year.

- COVID case numbers in Shanghai fell to a six-week low this week, but restrictions in many areas of the city are getting tighter, and expectations are that the eventual reopening will be gradual. Asia -US West Coast rates fell 3% this week while Asia -North Europe prices were unchanged, though rates on both lanes have decreased by more than 20% since the first lockdown began in Shenzhen in March. The upcoming removal of capacity could stabilize rates even as demand remains suppressed.

- With available exports still way down as manufacturing and trucking remain significantly impacted, the major ocean carrier alliances have announced cancellations of at least a third of their scheduled sailings out of Asia through early June, affecting Asia-Europe services more than transpacific.
- Similarly, Freightos Air Index air cargo rates out of Shanghai to N. Europe have fallen 46% to $6.33/kg since the lockdown began in early April, and marketplace rates show Shanghai - US West Coast rates have fallen by 20%, but prices on both lanes remain well above normal level as carriers have reduced capacity by canceling flights.
- Despite inflation, still-elevated shipping costs, the Shanghai disruptions and signs of a shift to spending on services, the latest NRF data show no sign of slowing US demand for ocean imports. March set a new record for monthly container imports, and though volumes from April through August are expected to be below that level, imports this summer are projected to be higher than they were last year.
- These volume increases may reflect the pull forward of peak season demand as importers try to get ahead of both the delays experienced last year and the possibility of additional slowdowns at West Coast ports in July when an important dockworker labor contract expires – negotiations for which got underway this week.

May 11 - As Black Sea supplies fall, India sells record 1.4 mln tonnes wheat in April
India exported a record 1.4 million tonnes of wheat in April, four trade sources said, providing some relief to grain markets as buyers scramble for alternatives to Black Sea supplies hit hard by the war in Ukraine. April is the first month of the fiscal year. India, the world's second biggest wheat producer, exported a record 7 million tonnes of the grain in fiscal 2021-22.

May 11 - Iran faces second year of big wheat imports after drought, says grain union
Iran will need to import at least 7 million tonnes of wheat in the year to March 2023, marking a second year of high imports as drought continues to affect domestic production, the chairman of Iran's Grain Union said on Tuesday. Kaveh Zargaran gave the forecast in a conference presentation, extracts of which were passed to Reuters by his office.

May 11  - Hi-5 spread shrinks as EU's Russian oil embargo plan threatens HFSO supply
Current Hi-5 level is still well above 2021 average of $110/mt.

May 10 - Ukraine calls for moves to unblock ports and prevent global food crisis
Ukraine's president said on Monday that trade at the country's ports was at a standstill and urged the international community to take immediate steps to end a Russian blockade to allow wheat shipments and prevent a global food crisis. Volodymyr Zelenskiy made the comments after speaking to European Council President Charles Michel, who was visiting Odesa - the major Black Sea port for exporting agricultural products where missiles struck tourist sites and destroyed buildings on Monday.

May 10 - World Bank approves $150 mln food security loan for Lebanon
The World Bank on Monday approved a $150 million loan to help Lebanon fund wheat imports and keep bread prices stable for nine months, the country's economy minister told Reuters. The program, known as the Lebanon Wheat Supply Emergency Response Project, still needs approval by the country's cabinet and parliament, said Amin Salam.

May 10 - Fuel oil loadings from Russia's Novorossiisk seen at 173,500 mt in May
The expected uptick in loadings out of the Black Sea comes amid a notable drop in fuel oil swaps trading last month. The volume of European fuel oil swaps traded during the Platts Market on Close assessment process by S&P Global in April was 80,000 mt, down 35,000 mt from March to the lowest volume since January.

May 09  - Nearly 25 mln tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine, says UN food agency
Nearly 25 million tonnes of grains are stuck in Ukraine and unable to leave the country due to infrastructure challenges and blocked Black Sea ports including Mariupol, a U.N. food agency official said on Friday. The blockages are seen as a factor behind high food prices which hit a record high in March in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, before easing slightly in April, the FAO said on Friday.

May 09  - Canada to help Ukraine find options to export grain to ease supply worries  - Trudeau
Canada will help Ukraine work out options on how to export stored grain to uphold global food security that has been shaken by Russia's invasion of the country, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said late on Sunday. Nearly 25 million tonnes of grains are stuck in Ukraine and unable to leave the country due to infrastructure challenges and blocked Black Sea ports including Mariupol, a U.N. food agency official said last week. Mariupol has endured the most destructive fighting of the 10-week war.

May 07  - Global markets maintain strength amid backwardation, competition for supply
Global marine fuel 0.5% markets maintain strength amid backwardation.

May 06 - Ukraine exports 46 mln T of grain, including 132,000 T so far in May - ministry - Reuters
Ukraine's grain exports have reached 46 million tonnes so far in the 2021/22 July-June season, the agriculture ministry said on Thursday. The ministry said the volume included 132,000 tonnes exported in May. It did not give a final figure for April but had exported 763,000 tonnes through April 29.

May 06 - Tunisia buys soft wheat, feed barley in tender - traders - Reuters
Tunisia's state grains agency is believed to have purchased about 100,000 tonnes of soft wheat and 75,000 tonnes of animal feed barley in an international tender which closed on Thursday, European traders said. The grains can be sourced from optional origins but excluding the Black Sea region, they said. Ukraine and Russia had before the outbreak of war been major grains suppliers to Tunisia.

May 06  - FBX weekly Overview ( Freightos )

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 19% to $12,596/FEU. This rate is 104% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) decreased 7% to $15,973/FEU, and are 144% higher than rates for this week last year.

- The ongoing lockdown in Shanghai – as well as China’s Labor Day holiday that saw many factories across the country closed over the first half of this week – continued to make exports scarce.  Meanwhile, COVID case counts climbed in Beijing and other cities raising the possibility of additional lockdowns.  Government data released this week showed that manufacturing levels in April were at their lowest levels since just after the initial outbreak in 2020, and that national-wide freight volumes declined 15% compared to last April.

- Some ocean carriers announced additional blanked sailings for the end of May and into June, including to the US East Coast, but are attributing them to growing delays and congestion instead, as opposed to a response to falling demand for freight. Meanwhile, Robert Khachatryan, CEO of freight forwarder Freight Right reports that – for shippers with goods to ship – transpacific “capacity has improved dramatically. We have no issues finding space from Asia to the US.”

- As demand falls and space becomes available, ocean rates continued to fall this week. In addition, the past few weeks has seen the removal of many of the premium surcharges required for securing capacity. As a result, Asia – US West Coast rates dropped 19% to $12,596/FEU – their lowest level since July – and Asia - N. Europe rates decreased 3% to $10,565/FEU.

- Despite significant cancellations of Shanghai flights, air rates likewise have fallen due to the decrease in demand. Freightos Air Index Shanghai - North Europe rates have fallen 38% since the end of March to $7.37/kg, though this rate is more than triple pre-pandemic norms for this time of year.
- The continued lull in ocean volumes will be a welcome chance for destination ports to clear some of the existing backlogs. But longer the lockdown lasts, the larger and the more concerning the coming surge of containers will become for those already-congested ports.

May 05 - India is not moving to curb wheat exports, official says
India is not moving to curb wheat exports, the top official at the food ministry said on Wednesday, following an earlier report that the world's second biggest producer of the grain was mulling restrictions after a heat wave damaged crops. Food and farm ministry officials said on Wednesday that India can still easily export at least 8 million tonnes of wheat in the current fiscal year that began in April, and that the government would only consider export curbs after any sudden, unexpected surge in overseas shipments.

May 05 - Taiwan’s MFIG buys about 55,000 tonnes corn - traders
Taiwan's MFIG purchasing group bought about 55,000 tonnes of animal feed corn to expected to be sourced from South Africa in an international tender which closed on Wednesday, European traders said. The corn was purchased at an estimated premium of 219.79 U.S. cents a bushel c&f over the Chicago September 2022 corn contract, they said.

May 04 - Ukraine grain exports face unreasonably high Danube port tariffs -official
With Ukraine's Black Sea ports blocked by Russia, grain exporters looking to use Danube ports face a rapid and unjustified increase in tariffs, an interior ministry official said on Tuesday. Since Moscow launched what it calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine in late February, the country has been forced to export grain by train over its western border or from its small Danube river ports rather than by sea.

May 04 - Nigeria buys emergency Canadian potash to replace lost Russian supply
Nigeria had to buy emergency supplies of Canadian potash in April after the country was unable to import the key fertilizer from Russia due to the impact of Western sanctions, the head of Nigeria's sovereign investment authority NSIA said. Uche Orji, the head of NSIA, declined to comment on prices.

May 03 - Suppliers ship higher-quality ULSD to fill Argentina's 18-cargo HSD tender
Suppliers ship ULSD to fill Argentina's 18-cargo HSD tender

May 03 - US distillate draws likely extend for fourth week amid strong exports to Latin America
US distillate inventory draws likely extended in the week ended April 29 

May 03 - Ukraine formally closes seaports captured by Russia
Ukraine has formally closed its four Black and Azov sea ports, which Russian forces have captured, the Ukrainian agriculture ministry said on Monday. The Azov Sea ports of Mariupol, Berdiansk and Skadovsk and the Black Sea port of Kherson were closed "until the restoration of control", the ministry said in a statement.

May 03 - Thailand mulls suspending corn, wheat import curbs over animal feed shortage
Thailand's commerce ministry proposed new measures on Monday to boost imports of animal feed ingredients for a three-month period, a move aimed at shoring up domestic supplies following disruption caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Thai feed mills have complained for months of a shortage of grains used in animal feed mix, such as wheat and corn, urging the government to ease import controls designed to protect local farmers.

May 02 - EU cuts 2022/23 wheat crop forecast, still sees record exports
The European Commission cut its forecast for the 2022/23 European Union wheat harvest on Friday, but maintained its projection for record EU exports as war disrupts supply from Ukraine. In monthly cereal supply and demand estimates, the Commission cut its outlook for usable production of common wheat, or soft wheat, in the July 2022 to June 2023 season to 130.1 million tonnes from 131.3 million tonnes previously.

May 02 - First Ukrainian corn cargo leaves Romanian Black Sea port
A cargo carrying over 71,000 tonnes of Ukrainian corn finished loading in the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta on Thursday, the first since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the manager of port operator Comvex said. With Ukraine's sea ports blocked since the war started more than two months ago, the world's fourth-largest grain exporter has been forced to send shipments by train via its western border or through its small Danube river ports into Romania.

Apr 30 - Bangladesh's HSFO imports to fall in May on lower demand, resumption of gas output
Bangladesh is likely to reduce its HSFO imports in May by around 11.1% from April on the back of lower consumption during Eid-ul-Fitr holidays and resumption of natural gas production from the country's largest gas field Bibiyana, market sources said in the week started April 24.

Apr 30 - Canadian Pacific cautious but hopeful of Mexico fuels transport business
Canadian Pacific is cautious about the outlook of its cross-border fuels transport business, which has been hit by increased scrutiny in Mexico, but remains hopeful as some of its clients become more optimistic, the company said April 27.

Apr 30 - Primorsk May ULSD exports to drop 29.5% on month to 1.1 mil mt in May
Exports of ultra low sulfur diesel from the Russian Baltic port of Primorsk are set to fall 29.5% on month to around 1.1 million mt in May, as Russian refiners reduce run rates amid downward pressure on margins, according to market participants April 29.

Apr 30 - Larger-than expected US gasoline stock draw firms prices
Bunker prices strengthened in the week to April 28 as escalating tensions with Russia and a larger-than-expected drawdown of US gasoline stocks stoked supply concerns.

Apr 30 - ARA fuel oil stocks rise 1.4% on week at 967,000 mt: Insights Global
Fuel oil stocks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region climbed for the third straight week to April 28, rising 1.4% to 967,000 mt following a slight increase of 0.6% in the previous week, Insights Global data showed.  

Apr 30 - Ukraine faces fuel shortages, expects fresh supplies
Ukrainian regions are experiencing shortages of gasoline and diesel fuel due to recent missile strikes by Russia targeting fuel depots, First Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said April 29.

Apr 30 - Brazil March refined product sales advance 2.8% on year as demand recovers

Brazil registered a 2.8% year-on-year advance in refined product sales in March amid strong demand for gasoline and jet fuel on greater urban mobility fueled by a broad retreat in coronavirus infections, the National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, said April 29.

Apr 29  - Singapore Residual fuel stocks drop 17% on week to near 7-month low on higher exports
Singapore's residual fuel stocks dropped 17.1% week on week to 19.144 million barrels, or 3.01 million mt, April 21-27, Enterprise Singapore data showed late April 28, amid a leap in exports.

Apr 29  - Bangladesh's HSFO imports to fall in May on lower demand, resumption of gas output
Bangladesh is likely to reduce its HSFO imports in May by around 11.1% from April on the back of lower consumption during Eid-ul-Fitr holidays and resumption of natural gas production from the country's largest gas field Bibiyana, market sources said in the week started April 24.

Apr 29  - Larger-than expected US gasoline stock draw firms prices
Bunker prices strengthened in the week to April 28 as escalating tensions with Russia and a larger-than-expected drawdown of US gasoline stocks stoked supply concerns.

Apr 29  - Ukraine marks first panamax corn to load since Russian invasion (AgriCensus)
- The first panamax-sized bulk carrier to carry Ukrainian corn since the Russian invasion began on February 24 has completed loading in the Romanian port of Constanta, with the shipment built from a trickle of smaller volumes that have passed across the border over the last few weeks. The vessel, carrying 71,200 mt of corn, is thought to be heading to Spain and was completed by Ukrainian Ukrlandfarming agricultural holding (ULF) and Arabian Al Dahra.
“On the origination side, it takes a couple of weeks to originate Ukrainian corn in Constanta, but ULF brought in a lot of barges in a short time,” the Al Dahra team told Agricensus.

- There are more big fleet vessels expected to be loaded with Ukrainian corn and plan to be shipped from the same port in the coming few weeks, sources said. That comes along with the Ukrainian government’s agreement with Bulgaria on the transportation of Ukrainian grains via the Bulgarian port of Varna in what is a small, but symbolic, victory for the Black Sea nation.

- Currently, Ukraine can only load coaster-sized vessels from its shallow ports in the extreme south of the country. In order for it to continue to export larger volumes, exporters will have to deliver the grains to the nearest deep sea ports across the EU in a move that requires more time and imposes greater costs amid a range of logistic difficulties. Ukraine has been reliant upon rail to move volumes to the borders and on to export locations, with offers heard on a DAP basis at the border with Poland or other countries.

- Two ports - Izmail and Reni - in the extreme south of the country bordering Romania have been able to load small coaster size vessels, but the larger panamax volumes are key in connecting Ukrainian supply with Asian destination markets.

Apr 29  - Labor issues, idle trains leave U.S. grain and food stranded  - shippers
Rail backlogs in the United States are delaying shipment of grains as well as processed flour and corn syrup, contributing to the national problem of inflation, food and grain companies said at a hearing this week. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has increased prices of wheat, corn and vegetable oils after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains, and rail delays could further add to costs that are weighing on consumers.

Apr 29  - Port of Antwerp overcoming loss of Russian shipping export trade  - CEO
The Port of Antwerp is adapting to losing shipping trade with Russia and its merger with the neighbouring Port of Zeebrugge is set to boost overall volumes in coming years, the group's chief executive said on Thursday. Global shipping companies including leading container lines have cut business ties with Russia due to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and the imposition of Western sanctions.

Apr 28  - Transatlantic MR freight buoyed on back of dual arbitrage for ULSD, gasoline
A double open arbitrage opportunity for ultra-low sulfur diesel and gasoline shipments to the US Atlantic Coast from both the UK-Continent and the Mediterranean caused Medium Range tanker rates to spike to multi-year highs on April 28.

Apr 28  - Scorpio Tankers sees improving spot market for product tankers in Q1
Oil products carrier Scorpio Tankers saw rising average spot rates in the first quarter on the back of easing coronavirus restrictions and improving refining margins, the company said April 28.

Apr 28  - Wartsila reports weak Q1 demand for scrubbers amid low HSFO supplies
Wartsila said that interest in scrubbers had increased during the quarter, but added that decision making has been delayed, by geopolitical concerns over availability of the high-sulfur material.

Apr 28  - Trans-Atlantic crude export drive prompts tanker class intertrade, sinks rates
Charterers looking to cover trans-Atlantic crude stems were heard to have been looking at both Suezmax and Aframax options, all of which ultimately chose a Suezmax vessel and fixed at Worldscale 80.

Apr 28  - Low western cargo inflow from West to support Singapore MF 0.5%S in May: traders
Singapore is estimated to receive 1.6 million-1.7 million mt of LSFO from the West in May, similar to levels in April, when 1.5 million-1.8 million mt of LSFO cargoes were expected to arrive, fuel oil traders said.

Apr 28  - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) were level at $15,552/FEU. This rate is 162% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) were also unchanged at $17,148/FEU, and are 176% higher than rates for this week last year.

- As the lockdown in Shanghai stretches on – and restrictions increase in Beijing and elsewhere –   the availability of exports continues to be a major factor impacting trade flows. Though authorities are trying to jumpstart production, manufacturing continues to drag. And with the city’s trucking capacity down an estimated 45% it is difficult to get imported materials from the ports to the factories or available shipments from factories to ports. These factors have led to an estimated 20-30% drop in export volumes out of Shanghai since the lockdown began and a two-day wait for arriving vessels – up from 12 hours before the lockdown, but below the 3+ day wait during peak season last year. Many shippers are diverting exports to Ningbo where export volumes have increased 14% and congestion has worsened.

- Though some carriers are omitting Shanghai port calls or canceling some upcoming services, with the ports still open most ships continue to arrive.  Together with the decrease in available exports, this trend is one factor in the decrease in ocean rates since the lockdown: transpacific rates have fallen 5-7% since mid-March, and Asia-Europe rates have dropped almost 20% to $10,836/FEU – their lowest level since June – though prices on both lanes remain extremely elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels.

- The period between Lunar New Year (LNY) and peak season is typically slow in ocean freight so seasonality could be a factor contributing to the more dramatic Asia-Europe drop as rates have steadily declined 27% since late January.  But rates fell only 12% after LNY last year, which could mean that inflation is impacting European demand as well. Meanwhile the lack of significant drop in transpacific rates post-LNY (this year and last year) or since the Shanghai outbreak points – despite more initial signs that consumer demand is starting to ebb – to the strength of underlying demand from the US including some pull-forward of peak season volumes.  

- Expectations are that Shanghai will reopen by mid-May at the earliest. The rebound will cause a surge in ocean volumes that will certainly increase congestion, delays and ocean rates. But some experts are optimistic that the resulting disruptions won’t be as extreme as some seen in the last two years.  Diverted shipments and empty container shortages were major factors in the extent to which previous lockdowns in China disrupted logistics. But with ports operational throughout and most vessels still making Shanghai port calls, imports needed for manufacturing and empty containers needed for exports will already be in place which could speed the recovery and mitigate some of the knock-on effects.

Apr 28 - UK imports of ULSD from Russia plunge 66% on month in April
Volumes of ultra-low sulfur diesel imported from Russian Baltics ports into the UK looks set to plunge at least 66% on month to around 101,179 mt in April and 79% from April 2021, according to Kpler data and loading programs.

Apr 28 - Russian supply enables Greece to offer cheapest HSFO in Mediterranean
Piraeus was offering the cheapest high sulfur fuel oil in the Mediterranean, with supplies in the Greek port boosted by a surge in Russian imports, Kpler shipping data showed.

Apr 28 - Shell tightens requirements for buying non-Russian oil products in Europe
Shell has tightened its requirement for buying non-Russian oil products in Europe in a move set to close a loophole that allowed the company to acquire cargoes of Russian fuels blended with non-Russian alternatives.

Apr 28 - Japan Feb bunker sales down 1.2% on month to 2.67 mil barrels
Japan's bunker suppliers received strong demand in February, especially from term-contract customers, according to market sources.

Apr 28 - Fujairah Oil product stocks drop after rare fuel oil shipment to US
Stocks of heavy distillates and residues used as fuels for power generation and marine bunkers declined 7.4% over the same period to 11.068 million barrels, the first decline in five weeks.

Apr 28 - EU to suspend tariffs on Ukraine imports for one year, Kyiv grateful
The European Commission proposed on Wednesday a one-year suspension of import duties on all Ukrainian goods not covered by an existing free trade deal to help the country's economy during the war with Russia. The measures will apply in particular to fruit and vegetables, subject to minimum price requirements, agricultural products facing quotas, and certain industrial goods, tariffs on which were only due to be phased out by the end of 2022.

Apr 28 - Russian attacks on key bridge may affect Ukraine's grain export plans
Russia launched two missile strikes and damaged a strategic bridge in Ukraine's Odesa region, state railways and local officials said on Wednesday, an event that could affect Ukrainian plans to expand exports through Danube ports. The bridge links mainland Ukraine with part of the Odessa region near the mouth of Danube.

Apr 27 - S&P Global to include Phoenix Star FSU in Singapore fuel oil cargo, ex-wharf bunker MOC from June 1
Any offer of oil from vessels accredited for the FOB Singapore cargo and ex-wharf bunkers MOC process for Marine Fuel 0.5% and 380 CST HSFO would be on FOB FSU basis. Sellers cannot unilaterally nominate an approved vessel as a loading point in FOB Straits trades.  

Apr 27 - Germany's Uniper loads bunker biofuel blend for Great Eastern Shipping
The fuel is of B20M specification, which consists of 20% biofuel and 80% very low sulfur fuel oil.  

Apr 27 - South Korea's S-Oil sells 75,000 mt straight-run fuel oil for end-April
S-Oil regularly sells slurry oil but seldomly sells straight-run fuel oil.

Apr 27 - Romania seeks to revive Soviet-era rail line to boost Ukraine shipment
Romania has issued a tender to rehabilitate a Soviet-era train line connecting its port of Galati on the Danube river to Ukraine to help boost grain exports, its transport minister said on Tuesday, adding he expected the work to take two months. Ukraine's sea ports have been blocked since Russia invaded the country two months ago and the major agricultural producer has been forced to export by train via its western border or via its small Danube river ports into Romania.

Apr 27 - Algeria buys durum wheat in tender – traders
Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC is believed to have purchased between 230,000 to 250,000 tonnes of durum wheat in a tender which closed on Tuesday, European traders said on Wednesday. Mexico expected to be a main origin.

Apr 26 - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Port had 31% jump in 2021 container volume
Bulk and general cargo volume climbed 15% during the year, it said.  

Apr 26 - Dutch Q1 products throughput at Rotterdam down on lower Russian exports
Exports of Russian feedstocks, such as naphtha, fuel oil and VGO, have been significantly curtailed after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in late February.  

Apr 26 - Greenpeace tries to block tanker delivering Russian fuel to ExxonMobil in Norway
Registered in Hong Kong and leased by the Russian oil company Novatek, the Ust Luga tanker is loaded with 95,000 mt of jet fuel, according to Greenpeace.  

Apr 26 - Zhoushan ex-wharf marine fuel 0.5%S bunker premium hits near three-month high
Market sentiment for low sulfur fuel oil bunker demand throughout April remained buoyant, fueling greater expectations for May, according to Zhoushan-based traders, especially after a strong performance during the first quarter.

Apr 26 - Russian wheat prices rise as exports continue
Russian wheat export prices rose last week amid ongoing shipments from the country's Black Sea ports, analysts said on Monday. Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, continues to export despite difficulties with logistics and payments caused by Western sanctions on Moscow over what Russia terms its "special military operation" in Ukraine.

Apr 26 - Floating mines hit Danube traffic - APK-Inform
Ukrainian border guards last week closed several shipping lanes at the mouth of the Danube river due to drifting mines in Black Sea, analyst APK-Inform said on Monday. Ukrainian Danube ports of Izmail and Reni last week remained the only sea routes for Ukrainian grain exports after seaports were blocked due to the Russian invasion.

Apr 25  - Ukraine extends temporary curbs for farm exports by rail
Ukraine's state-owned railway company has extended temporary restrictions on the transportation of some agricultural goods over the border to Poland, analysts and officials said on Friday. Ukraine, a major agricultural producer, used to export most of its goods through seaports but since Russia's invasion in February has been forced to export by train via its western border.

Apr 25  - Indian aluminium producer NALCO faces coal scarcity due to train shortage
Indian state-run aluminium producer National Aluminium Co Ltd (NALCO) is facing a coal supply shortfall, due to supplies being diverted to priority electricity generation and a shortage of trains to deliver fuel to NALCO's power plants. Daily supplies to NALCO were falling short of requirement by at least 5,000 tonnes due to the train shortage, a senior company official told Reuters, adding that the company had coal inventories that would last only four days.

Apr 23 - Australia to ban imports of Russian crude oil, refined oil products from April 25
While market participants noted that Australia has become more dependent on ultra-low sulfur diesel and jet fuel import flows following the closure of two domestic refineries -- ExxonMobil's Altona and BP's Kwinana facilities -- over the course of the pandemic, the country has usually turned to regional outlets such as Northeast Asia's China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan and Southeast Asia's Singapore and Malaysia for oil product supplies.

Apr 23 - USGC HSFO swap backwardation widens amid potential summer tightness
Much of the movement for the USGC HSFO swap was specific to the US, sources said.

Apr 23 - US port ban on Russian-affiliated ships seen as largely symbolic
The UK and Canada previously blocked access to their ports by Russian-affiliated ships, and the EU has proposed a similar measure in response to the war in Ukraine.

Apr 22 - Argentina's major grains ports operating as normal despite strike, says port official
Argentina's major inland grain ports around Rosario were operating normally on Thursday despite a strike by maritime unions, a port official said, with the strike expected to be lifted in the afternoon following government intervention. The planned 24-hour protest that began at midnight is being carried out by the Maritime, Port and Naval Industry Federation (Fempinra) in protest over what it says are delays in awarding river and port tenders to the sector.

Apr 22 - Taiwan buys 47,120 tonnes wheat of U.S.-origin in tender - traders
The Taiwan Flour Millers' Association purchased an estimated 47,120 tonnes of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender which closed on Thursday, European traders said. The wheat was bought in one consignment comprising various wheat types for shipment from the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast between June 7 and June 21.

Apr 21 - Russian-flagged oil tanker seized off Greek coast: ministry
The EU has not sanctioned imports of Russian energy, such as oil, but the European Commission proposed a ban April 5 on Russian shipping from EU ports, following the invasion of Ukraine Feb. 24.

Apr 21 - Singapore delivered, ex-wharf 380 CST HSFO spread at 29-month high on prompt supply tightness
Fewer suppliers were actively offering for April delivery dates after quality concerns were raised at the world's largest bunker hub of Singapore in March, market sources said. 

Apr 21 - Cheap Indian wheat faces quality checks, high freight cost for Egypt export
Indian wheat could offer a cheaper option for top importer Egypt but will have to overcome quality controls set by the country's agriculture ministry as well as higher freight costs. Last week, Egypt's agriculture ministry announced it had approved India as a wheat import origin but has placed several conditions including inspection for pests prior to export and the use of only a specific pesticide, according to a ministry document seen by Reuters.

Apr 21 - Serbia restricts exports of grains and cooking oil
Serbian government said on Wednesday it has restricted the quantities of wheat, corn, flour and cooking oil slated for export to confront risks of market disturbances caused by the rise of demand on the international and local markets. Last month, Serbia banned exports of basic food staples to counter price increases caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine but then gradually started to make exceptions under pressure from the Serbian trade chamber and wheat producers, who complained they could lose traditional markets.

Apr 20  - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 2% to $15,552/FEU. This rate is 162% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) were level at $17,148/FEU, and are 176% higher than rates for this week last year.

- Despite widespread efforts to contain the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the Shanghai lockdown continued this week as thousands of new positive cases are reported each day.
- Export volumes from China have dropped significantly since the start of the lockdowns, and authorities have announced measures to reopen hundreds of factories and improve trucking availability in Shanghai in the hopes of keeping the supply chain moving until the wave passes. In the meantime, shippers are looking to alternative ports like nearby Ningbo, though congestion is growing there and additional restrictions have been introduced in the area.

- Though some carriers are omitting some Shanghai port calls, so far there has not been widespread cancellations of ocean services. With capacity still in place and available exports dwindling, ocean rates out of China have fallen moderately since the start of the lockdowns.
- Asia - US West Coast prices fell 2% this week and have dipped 5% since the outbreaks in March to $15,552/FEU, while rates to North Europe have fallen 14% to $11,657/FEU as inflation has also been dampening European demand.

- This lull in volumes and rates is expected to be followed by a surge in pent up demand and volumes – and possibly rates as well – once Shanghai reopens.  And while congestion at destination ports like LA/Long Beach has improved somewhat, it is still a major problem. The ports are rushing to resolve a growing rail backlog, and expect congestion to worsen once delayed orders start arriving from Shanghai and coincide with US retailers already bringing in peak season orders early to get ahead of expected delays.

- Air cargo diversions away from Shanghai are clogging up area airports. And despite a significant decrease in available exports, the cancellation of an estimated 40% of air cargo capacity out of Shanghai is helping to keep air rates elevated. Freightos Air Index China - N. Europe rates have increased 40% since the start of the lockdowns to $8.69/kg last week.

Apr 20 - Japan's MOL, Trafigura to provide biodiesel for MOLCT - operated ships
Last June, MOL Group announced a target of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with several initiatives underway to "adopt clean alternative fuels" to help achieve this target, and positioning biodiesel fuel (BDF), as an effective alternative to fossil fuels.

Apr 20 - European VGO loadings fall 27% in week to April 15 - Kpler
Sources spoke of some demand for Russian VGO in the Eastern Med, with reports of cargoes originating in the Black Sea.

Apr 20 - Ukraine grain storage shortage adds to farmers' woes
Ukraine has insufficient storage capacity even for its reduced 2022 grain harvest, the United Nations' World Food Programme said on Tuesday, with the country struggling to export existing stocks during the invasion by Russia. Jakob Kern, the World Food Programme's emergency coordinator in Ukraine, cited estimates that 20% of planted areas in Ukraine will not be harvested in July and that the spring planting area will be about a third smaller than usual.

Apr 20 - Brazil's Parana ports face unusually busy fertilizer import season
Ports in one of Brazil's biggest farming states are handling an unusual amount of fertilizer after importers rushed to secure supplies amid fears that sanctions on Belarus and Russia would curtail trade, the Parana port authority said. Brazilian importers are keen to secure crop nutrient supplies even if they have nowhere to store them as Brazil relies on imports for 85% of its fertilizer needs.

Apr 19 - Argentina grains truck activity rebounds after strike lifted
Argentine grains trucking activity has rebounded to near normal levels after a major strike last week, according to transport data and port sources, a relief to exporters in the world's no. 1 shipper of processed soy and no. 2 for corn. Truckers agreed late last week to end a strike that had paralyzed grains transport in the South American nation and seen the number of trucks arriving at port hit almost zero, right in the middle of the busy soy and corn harvest.

Apr 19 - Ships carrying Russian fertilizers find way to Brazil despite sanctions
Despite concern that sanctions against Russia would cause a shortfall of fertilizer in Brazil, preliminary shipping data shows orders being fulfilled and vessels heading for Brazil, potentially allowing a normal grain planting season. At least 24 vessels carrying almost 678,000 tonnes of Russian fertilizers from ports in the country are expected to reach Brazil in the next weeks, according to preliminary shipping data compiled by Agrinvest Commodities and seen by Reuters on Monday.

Apr 19  - Fujairah Bunker sales rebound 12.79% on month in March from record low

Apr 19  - USGC refiners lean on Mexico to replace heavy Russian barrels

Apr 19  - S Korea-Singapore delivered 380 CST HSFO spread narrows to over seven-year low

Apr 19  - Crude extends rally as market eyes Libya shut-ins, potential Russian energy sanctions

Apr 18  - Ukraine says grain on ships in blocked Black Sea ports may deteriorate
Around 1.25 million tonnes of grains and oilseeds are still on commercial vessels blocked in Ukrainian seaports due to Russia's invasion and part of the cargo may deteriorate in the near future, Ukraine's farm minister was quoted as saying on Friday. Ukraine used to export almost all its grain and oilseeds via seaports and now is forced to find new routes as its ports are blocked.

Apr 18  - Truckers in Argentina end protest that threatened grains transport
  - ministry
Argentinian truckers agreed on Thursday night to call off a strike that had paralyzed grains transport in the country since Monday, the transport ministry said. Truckers represented by the Federation of Argentine Carriers (FETRA) had been demanding higher freight rates and talks with the government on Wednesday failed to make progress.

Apr 14 - Bunkerworld INDEX: Demand tapering as prices firm on rising crude
- Poor outlook for Singapore HSFO sales

- High MGO prices expected in ARA

- High prices dampening demand in North America  

Apr 14 - India's MRPL offers marine fuel for early May loading
MRPL is a regular exporter of marine fuel 0.5%S from its Mangalore refinery.  

Apr 14 - Greenpeace confronts tanker delivering Russian fuel oil to the UK's Immingham port
The tanker's fuel oil cargo is thought to be destined for the nearby, 108,000 b/d Lindsay refinery, owned by the Prax Group, Greenpeace said.

Apr 14 - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) were unchanged at $15,817/FEU. This rate is 169% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) were also level at $17,148/FEU, and are 181% higher than rates for this week last year.

- The lockdown in Shanghai – meant to end on April 5th – stretched on this week as COVID cases continue to rise. Even with air and ocean ports open, the length of the shutdown could make this iteration the most significant logistics disruption since the start of the pandemic.  
- Manufacturing shutdowns, closed warehouses and severe disruptions to trucking capacity – despite government steps to ease road restrictions –- are causing the availability of exports to plummet. Air and ocean export volumes are sinking with them.  
- As a result, air carriers have announced widespread cancellations, and some ocean carriers are already skipping Shanghai port calls. If the lockdown continues, carriers will likely cancel some ex-Asia sailings altogether. Congestion continues to build at the nearby port of Ningbo which is facing its own increase in positive cases in the area.  Reports of outbreaks and travel restrictions at major inland ports like Nanjing in the east and Guangzhou in the south could lead to full lockdowns there as well.
- In the meantime, some vessels skipping or departing less full from Shanghai and elsewhere due to the slowdown in available shipments have more capacity free for other stops on their loops, which together with the decrease in demand from the shutdown regions could explain the dip in overall ex-Asia rates.  
- Asia-US East Coast rates have fallen 7% since the outbreaks in March. But even if the lockdown persists and demand drops significantly, ocean carriers will likely reduce capacity which could keep rates from plummeting, just as they were able to do in the first few months of the pandemic when ocean volumes fell significantly but transpacific rates declined by less than 15% and were about level year on year.

Apr 14 - Argentina trucker strike talks fail, threatening grains exports
Argentine grain-truck drivers, industry groups and government officials failed to make a breakthrough in talks on Wednesday to end a strike, raising a threat to corn and soy exports during the key harvest season. Truckers who haul grains have been on strike since Monday, which has brought to a near halt the transport of soy and corn to the South American country's main grains ports. The truckers are demanding higher freight rates to offset rising fuel prices.

Apr 14 - India allows duty-free imports of cotton until Sept to cool prices
India on Wednesday allowed duty-free imports of cotton until Sept. 30 as prices in the local market jumped to a record high because of a drop in the production, the government said in a notification. The world's biggest producer of the fibre also removed the Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) on the imports, the government said.

Apr 13  - Singapore March bunker sales rise for the first time since Oct, up 7.7% on month
Sales of both low and higher sulfur fuel oil bunkers in March reversed double-digit declines from the previous month, MPA data also showed, amid steadier demand towards end-March onwards.

Apr 13  - NWE HSFO prompt swaps market moves into contango as tightness eases

Traders reported an increase in the production of non-Russia HSFO, with refineries in Turkey, Greece and Italy named as the main sources within Europe.

Apr 13  - Singapore's MPA mulls additional bunker fuel checks after contamination
Preliminary investigations conducted by the MPA found the affected fuel -- a blended product -- was supplied by Glencore Singapore Pte Ltd, the MPA said in a statement.

Apr 13  - Atlantic tanker freight rates hit two-year highs as Russia crisis disrupts crude flows

With refiners across Europe reluctant to take Russian barrels, a lot of crude from West Africa and US is filling the void as supply from the Baltic and Black Sea ports gets squeezed.

Apr 13 - USGC HSFO-marine fuel 0.5%S spread widens since Russia's invasion
Backwardation from the May-December 2022 contracts was assessed down from $15.35/b March 9.

Apr 13 - Sri Lanka resumes HSFO bunker supply after two-month hiatus
The port of Colombo reportedly resumed HSFO bunker supply during the week that began April 11, after a two-month hiatus despite earlier expectations that disruptions would last no more than a month, according to local traders.

Apr 13 - Prompt HSFO availability at Indian ports to boost demand amid expansions:
Hindustan Petroleum Corp.'s foray into supplying high sulfur fuel oil bunkers has expanded beyond Mumbai and Kandla ports and ensured prompt availability, industry sources said. 

Apr 13 - Argentine grains truck traffic grinds to a halt as strike hardens
Argentine truck owners extended a grains transport strike on Tuesday, bringing grains haulage traffic to a virtual halt at the peak of the harvest season in the world's leading exporter of processed soy and number two shipper of corn. The protest, demanding higher freight rates as inflation spirals, started on Monday, leaving important roadways for carrying grains for producers to the ports without the normal jam of trucks which occurs every year from around April.

Apr 13 - S.Africa's Transnet suspends Durban port operations due to floods
South Africa's state-owned logistics firm Transnet suspended its Durban port operations from 1930 local time on Monday due to heavy rains that have damaged the roads into the port, a key hub for shipping containers and metals such as copper. In a statement on Tuesday, Transnet said shipping has been suspended until further notice as a result of damage caused by the adverse weather, and vessels on berth are on standby.

Apr 12 - Traders reroute coffee bound to Russia, demand hit from war seen
Traders are diverting coffee shipments that were initially expected to go to Russia, and some have stopped selling to that market altogether, attendees at a U.S. coffee conference said. Although food trade is not included in sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, difficulties in processing payments from Russian importers and concerns about the safety of ships in the Black Sea have cut shipments of coffee and other goods to the country.

Apr 12 - Argentine grain truckers strike, threatening exports amid harvest
Truckers in Argentina began an open-ended strike on Monday to demand higher rates for transporting grain and livestock, an action that could hit grain exports during a key part of the harvest. Argentina, the world's leading exporter of soy derivatives and second-largest corn exporter, recently started harvesting both grains, which will be key for tight global markets amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Apr 11 - Hong Kong-Singapore delivered marine fuel 0.5%S spread widens to near 10-month high
Reduction of LSFO supplies is expected for the rest of April though inventory levels are still ample, market sources said.

Apr 11 - India MRPL sells marine fuel for mid-May loading to BP

Apr 11 - Singapore overtakes Rotterdam as world cheapest source of marine fuel
Premiums for high- and low-sulfur fuel oil and marine gasoil reached $46/mt, $82/mt and $250/mt, respectively.

Apr 11 - S&P Global launches restricted origin CIF NWE ULSD cargo assessments April 11
ULSD 10 ppm Cargoes CIF NWE restricted origin spread

Apr 11 - VPS identifies large quantity of bunker fuel contamination in Singapore
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has taken steps to ensure that the situation does not further escalate while the issue is being brought under control.

Apr 11 - Ukraine export corn prices fall as conflict blocks ports - APK-Inform
Export prices for Ukrainian corn have fallen due to large stocks and limited demand for the grain, which due to Russia's invasion can only be exported by rail across Ukraine's western border, analyst APK-Inform said on Saturday. One of the world's leading grains suppliers, Ukraine used to ship most of its agricultural goods via Black Sea ports, but with war raging along much of the coast, traders have been scrambling to transport more grain by rail.

Apr 11 - Algeria tenders to buy soft wheat for shipment to two ports only - traders
Algeria's state grains agency OAIC has issued an international tender to buy soft milling wheat for shipment to two ports only, European traders said on Sunday. The tender sought a nominal 50,000 tonnes but the shipment to two ports generally indicates a small purchase is planned, traders said.

Apr 8 - Thousands of goods railcars stuck at Ukraine’s border as war hits exports
In western Ukraine, some 1,100 train wagons carrying grain are stuck near the main rail border crossing with Poland, unable to transport their cargo abroad. They are just some of the 24,190 wagons carrying various goods for export, including vegetable oil, iron ore, metals, chemicals and coal, that were waiting to cross Ukraine’s Western border as of Tuesday, according to data from the state-run railway company that hasn’t previously been reported.

Apr 8 - Sales of Brazil 2021/2022 soy crop lag compared with last season
Sales of Brazil's 2021/2022 soybean crop reached 55% of estimated output through April 1, a considerable advance from the past few weeks but below last year's record level of 71.5% at this time. According to a statement on Thursday from Datagro, an agribusiness consultancy, Brazil will have an estimated soy production of 125.11 million tonnes in the current cycle.

Apr 7 - Russian wheat sales climb as buyers seek lower-cost options
Russia's wheat exports are picking up pace after an initial slowdown following the country's invasion of Ukraine, with lower prices than many of its rivals helping secure sales. Global wheat prices rose sharply following Russia's invasion of its European neighbour on Feb. 24, driven by fears that the conflict could deprive the world market of supplies from the two countries, both of whom are major grain exporters.

Apr 7 - Indonesia, Australia face limits in coal exports to Europe ahead of Russian ban
Indonesia and Australia, among the world's top coal exporters, have hit their production limits and are unlikely to meet Europe's demand for additional supplies if the European Union bans Russian coal imports, mining executives said on Wednesday. The European Commission proposed on Tuesday new sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, including a ban on buying Russian coal and on Russian ships entering EU ports, and said it was working on banning oil imports too.

Apr 6 - India's top utility NTPC's annual coal imports expected to hit 8-year high
India's top electricity producer NTPC Ltd's coal imports this financial year will be the highest in eight years despite near-record prices, two senior officials at the company said, as it looks to address a domestic shortage. The state-run utility, which produces over a quarter of India's power output, will import 16 million tonnes for blending with domestic coal during the year ending March 2023, the officials said.

Apr 6 - Floating mines in Black Sea endangering grain, oil trade – officials
The risk of coming across floating mines in the major Black Sea shipping route is adding to perils for merchant ships sailing in the region, and governments must ensure safe passage to keep supply chains running, maritime officials say. The Black Sea is key for shipping grain, oil and oil products. Its waters are shared by Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia and Turkey, as well as Ukraine and Russia, which have been at war since President Vladimir Putin invaded his southern neighbour on Feb. 24.

Mar 05 - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) were stable at $15,817/FEU. This rate is 168% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) fell 3% to $17,148/FEU, and are 192% higher than rates for this week last year.

- The two-phase lockdown in Shanghai that was meant to end today is being extended indefinitely as the latest outbreak is not contained and a massive testing campaign continues. The extension of the Shanghai shutdown is resulting in a larger disruption than anticipated. Though Shanghai’s air and ocean ports remain open, labor shortages are slowing operations. In addition, the availability of goods has dropped significantly as manufacturing and warehouses are closed, and trucking is increasingly limited due to quarantine rules and travel restrictions.  

- With limited goods available to ship, air cargo demand out of Shanghai is decreasing quickly. In response, air carriers are canceling flights.  Despite the drop in demand, the reduction in ground handling and capacity appear to be enough to push rates up: Freightos Air Index (FAX) Shanghai - N. Europe rates hit $11.92/kg last week, a 43% increase compared to just before the recent outbreaks and well above the pre-pandemic norm of about $2.35/kg

- In ocean logistics, Shanghai ports like Yangshan are reportedly operating at only 50% capacity both because of labor shortages and a lack of available goods. As a result, some shippers are shifting to alternate ports like Ningbo when possible, and there are reports of carriers omitting Shanghai port calls. These developments are resulting in growing backlogs of ships not only in Shanghai, but in Ningbo as well. Last year’s outbreak at Shenzhen’s port of Yantian slowed operations by more than 70% there for nearly a week, and resulted in a 20% spike in ocean rates to the US and Europe.

- So far, ocean rates to the US have remained stable, down by just 3% since the outbreaks began. This dip could be due to the drop in available goods. When operations rebound, we can expect some surge in shipments and possibly an increase in rates – though in the Yantian example ocean prices began to climb shortly after the shutdown began. Most indications are for strong transpacific volumes in the coming months, including some pull forward of summer demand to get ahead of peak season congestion and fears of West Coast labor disruptions. But there are also growing signs that consumer demand – the underlying driver of congestion and sky-high rates – is beginning to wane as a result of inflation.

- Spiking costs already appear to be contributing to a decrease in European demand. Since late January, even with worsening congestion at major European ports, Asia - N. Europe prices have decreased 20% to $12,050/FEU – the lowest level since July.

Apr 5 - Bunker demand at Shanghai subdued amid COVID-19, customs office closures
Bunker demand expected to subdue in Shanghai amid COVID-19 related protocols
Apr 5 - Global markets spike as suppliers struggle to meet demand
Rising prices in marine fuel markets as supply tightened and the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its second month

Apr 5 - London marine insurers label all Russian waters high risk
London’s marine insurance market on Monday added all of Russia’s waters to its list of areas deemed high risk, an advisory showed, which is likely to raise the cost of shipping and adds to the logistical pressures on Moscow. Guidance from the Joint War Committee, which comprises syndicate members from the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) and representatives from the London insurance company market, is watched closely and influences underwriters’ considerations over insurance premiums.

Apr 5 - Saudi Arabia says buys 625,000 tonnes wheat in tender
Saudi Arabia's main state wheat buying agency the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) has agreed to buy 625,000 tonnes of wheat in an international tender, SAGO said on Monday. SAGO said it made the purchase at an average price of $422.47 a tonne.

Apr 04  - Ship fuel suppliers stop serving Russian vessels in the Med  - sources
Marine fuel sellers have stopped serving vessels flying the Russian flag at major European hubs including Spain and Malta in another blow to Moscow's exports, five industry sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Losing access to refuelling points in the Mediterranean Sea poses major logistical problems for Russian oil tankers going from Baltic ports to Asia and also creates safety concerns over potentially being stuck at sea with flammable cargoes, shipping sources say.

Apr 04  - India starts supplying rice to Sri Lanka in first major food aid
Indian traders have started loading 40,000 tonnes of rice for prompt shipment to Sri Lanka in the first major food aid since Colombo secured a credit line from New Delhi, two officials told Reuters on Saturday. The Indian Ocean island nation of 22 million people is struggling to pay for essential imports after a 70% drop in foreign exchange reserves in two years led to a currency devaluation and efforts to seek help from global lenders.

Apr 01 - Ukraine crisis has raised shipping transit fees -Suez Canal chairman
The war in Ukraine has lead to an increase in shipping transit fees, Suez Canal Authority Chairman Osama Rabie told Asharq television on Thursday. The canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

Apr 01 - Algeria bought about 600,000 T of wheat in tender - traders
Algeria's state grains agency OAIC is believed to have purchased about 600,000 tonnes of optional-origin milling wheat in an international tender on Wednesday, European traders said in updated assessments on Thursday. The price paid for the wheat was estimated at about $448 a tonne c&f, they said.

Apr 01 - Tanker group Euronav halts operations with Russian clients, eyes higher bunker costs
Russia supplies global bunker markets with 20% of demand, including 0.5% sulfur fuel oil, 3.5% sulfur fuel oil and marine gasoil markets, Euronav said.  

Apr 01 - Zhoushan delivered MF 0.5%S bunker premium nears four-month high on tight stocks
The strengthening of low sulfur fuel oil bunker sales since late-March have steadily lessened cargo availability, according to Zhoushan-based bunker suppliers March 31.  

Apr 01 - Singapore delivered 380 CST HSFO bunker premium nears six-month high
HSFO bunker demand was said to be average amid fluctuating demand with slower days throughout March, local traders said, while the quality risks that recently surfaced have heightened buyers' anxiety to secure ISO compliant cargoes.

Mar 31  - Algeria starts buying milling wheat in tender, price low  - traders
Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC has started buying optional-origin milling wheat in an international tender with initial purchase prices reported to be low, European traders said in initial assessments on Wednesday. Initial estimates of purchase price were around $448 a tonne c&f, described as very cheap, traders said. Negotiations continue and are expected to go on into Thursday, they said.

Mar 31  - Taiwan buys 40,000 tonnes wheat of U.S.-origin in tender 
- traders
The Taiwan Flour Millers' Association purchased an estimated 40,000 tonnes of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender which closed on Wednesday, European traders said. The wheat was bought in one consignment comprising various wheat types for shipment from the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast between May 14 and May 28.

Mar 30  - Fujairah Oil product stocks drop for second week after big naphtha export
Heavy distillates stocks stood at 10.187 million barrels March 28, up 0.6% from a week earlier and up 43.18% year on year. The category includes marine bunkers and fuel used for power generation.

Mar 30  - Asia high-sulfur bunker market tightens amid fuel quality concerns: sources
The rally in the Asia fuel oil market began as buyers scrambled to find quality fuel in the world's largest bunkering hub of Singapore after reports that certain cargoes were found to contain high levels of organic chlorides that could potentially affect operations of ship engines and damage fuel systems.

Mar 30  - Ukraine - Russia war risk impact on the freight market (IHSmarkit)
- With the expected decline in shipments from the Black Sea and Russia Atlantic ports, many vessels are reluctant to go to the Atlantic region, freight rates for backhaul routes stay at premium

- As of 29 March 2022, backhaul freight rates remained the strongest routes for small-geared bulkers, indicating the continued demand for alternatives to offset the loss of cargo from the Black Sea. Strong container market continued to reduce available tonnage supply for the Pacific-Atlantic routes. While Russia and Ukraine accounted for just 1.8% and 0.1%, respectively, of the world GDP in 2021, the two countries play an outsized role in the production of oil, natural gas, wheat, corn, sunflower oil, fertilizer, lumber, neon gas, aluminum, nickel, titanium, palladium, iron, and steel. Since many vessels are reluctant to go to the Black Sea or Atlantic region and few owners are willing to stay in Atlantic basin, and instead many ships are looking to reposition to Pacific area, trans-Atlantic voyage and fronthaul rates differential narrowed down to almost similar level for mid-size Panamax segments.  

- With relative weakness to the smaller vessel segments, Capesize owners having vessels opening in the Atlantic area are looking at Panamax coal and iron ore stems from the United States, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, and South Africa, heading to Europe. Since Brazilian iron ore exports are not yet fully recovered from weather-related disruptions in the previous months, we expect the competition between Capesize and Panamax for similar coal and iron ore stems will continue in the near term. Also, once mainland China returns to normal after COVID-19 lockdown measures, Capesize rates are likely to return to the natural ratio (1.5x) against Panamax earning with much upside potential in May and June 2022.

- The key topic again is whether and when key Russian commodities find alternative destination. We assumed that most of key energy and grain cargo will eventually find new market, mostly from neutral trading partners with more competitive pricing. Our assumption is that no seaborne exports will leave Ukraine for at least the next three to six months as our base case scenario assumes conflict to persist in region in the short and medium term. While Ukrainian corn exports have been suspended, our Bulkers at Sea data show a growing number of Handysize vessels to Russian Black Sea ports indicating grain shipments from Russia have resumed to some extent.

- Our forecast models predict that rates in the next quarter will remain well supported by strong backhaul demand and a change in trade pattern resulting in longer tonne-days. Although the Pacific market looks to be better supported by the increasing backhaul shipment, some pressure will be alleviated from the Atlantic with fewer ballasters to the region and many vessels in the continent fixing Brazilian TA business. Disruption to the Black Sea wheat export season in the third quarter presents real downside risks for the Atlantic market. Commodity prices are expected to remain high in the short term, while longer-term higher inflation may result in demand destruction, specifically for container related minor bulk trade.

Mar 30  - Tunisia tenders for 150,000 T wheat, 100,000 T barley - traders
Tunisia's state grains agency has issued international tenders to purchase an estimated 150,000 tonnes of soft wheat and 100,000 tonnes of animal feed barley, European traders said on Tuesday. The origin was optional. The deadline for submission of price offers in the tender is Wednesday, March 30.

Mar 30  - Turkey trims corn import tender purchase to 100,000 T, traders say
Turkish grain board TMO booked about 100,000 tonnes of corn in an international tender for imported supplies on Monday, scaling back an initial volume of 300,000 tonnes, traders said. The tender sought about 325,000 tonnes for shipment from optional origins to a series of Turkish ports between April 8 and May 5.

Mar 29  - Bangladesh to raise HSFO imports in Apr on higher temperatures
Bangladesh is likely to import about 450,000 mt high sulfur fuel oil in April, up from 375,000 mt in March, to meet mounting needs for running power plants as the country starts experiencing hot summers, market insiders said in the week started March 27.

Mar 29  - Tanker market to take 2-3 months to recalibrate following Ukraine invasion: executive
About 750,000 b/d od Russian crude goes via pipeline to Europe and 600,000 b/d via pipeline to China, leaving around 3.2 million b/d to travel by sea.

Mar 29  - Japan delivered 380 CST HSFO bunker premium slumps to over 4-month low
The bunker premium for Japan-delivered 380 CST HSFO against benchmark Singapore 380 CST HSFO cargo assessments slumped to over a four-month low of $90.46/mt March 28, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights data, amid easing inventory tightness and subdued bunker demand.

Mar 29  - Singapore ex-wharf marine fuel 0.5%S bunker premium nears 4-month high
Cutter stocks with 0.2%-0.3% sulfur are in tight supply as it gets diverted to the much stronger gasoil market instead, market sources said.

Mar 29  - Singapore HSFO viscosity spread surges to near 14-year high on strong 180 CST
While the Asian HSFO market has been strong overall, the value of 180 CST grade is even stronger than the 380 CST grade due to increasing values in gasoil crack spread.

Mar 29  - FBX weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 1% to $15,811/FEU. This rate is 168% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) increased 2% to $17,638/FEU, and are 205% higher than rates for this week last year.

- Though Shenzhen’s manufacturing and logistics continue to recover after the city’s lockdown ended last week, what started as targeted restrictions in Shanghai have now progressed to a full lockdown. The closure in Shanghai will be in two phases – the city’s eastern side will lockdown until Friday and then the western side will close from April 1st to the 5th. This strategy – which like in Shenzhen will keep ports open – aims to minimize disruptions to manufacturing and trade. The recent example at Shenzhen suggests that with ports open the impacts will likely not be as severe as the shutdown of Yantian a year ago which created a significant backlog and sent ocean rates spiking. But even with the world’s largest port open (and factories that create a “bubble” for workers allowed to operate too), the closure of many warehouses, the drop in manufacturing and the serious disruption to trucking in, out and within the city are expected to cause a significant drop in the availability of goods and port output.  

- The dip in available exports is already leading some airlines to cancel flights out of Shanghai. marketplace data shows Shanghai-US air cargo rates have climbed about 10% in the last two weeks, though the combination of lower demand and removal of capacity could keep air cargo rates level.

- And though ocean carriers haven’t announced plans to skip Shanghai’s ports yet, some volumes could shift to nearby Ningbo. Destination ports in the US and Europe could expect some lull in volumes in the coming weeks followed by an increase that would be another challenge to already congested ports.

- Ex-China ocean rates went largely unchanged this week, though a slowdown in available goods normally will drive a dip in ocean rates before a rebound. An inflation-driven decrease in European demand for imports, however, had Asia - N. Europe prices – even with worsening congestion at major European hubs – falling even before the disruption to available goods. Since the end of January, Asia - N. Europe rates have decreased 20% to $12,050/FEU – the lowest level since July. So it’s unlikely a lull and surge of containers will impact Asia - Europe rates significantly.    

-In the US, any additional delay will be unwelcome for many importers. The relative stability (though still extremely elevated level) of transpacific rates since Lunar New Year may point not only to sustained consumer demand, but also to retailers pulling some summer demand forward. Many US importers are rushing to avoid peak season delays as well as the prospect of even more West Coast disruptions this summer as a key port worker’s union contract will expire at the end of June.

Mar 29  - Turkey buys 300,000 T of corn in import tender, traders say
Turkish grain board TMO provisionally bought about 300,000 tonnes of corn on Monday in an international tender for imported supplies, traders said. The tender sought about 325,000 tonnes for shipment from optional origins to a series of Turkish ports between April 8 and May 5.

Mar 29  - Algeria issues wheat tender - traders
Algerian state grains agency OAIC has issued an international tender to buy milling wheat, traders said on Monday. The deadline for bids is on Wednesday, they said.

Mar 28  - European 3.5%, 0.5% fuel oil paper markets hit record backwardation on tight Russian supply
The availability of the 0.5%S and 1%S fuel oil grades was tight due to a lack of low sulfur cracked fuel oil amid meagre high sulfur vacuum gasoil supply because of the war, market sources said.

Mar 28  - Fujairah's April term ex-wharf bunker premiums rise on dwindling stockpiles
Refiners at the Middle Eastern bunker hub of Fujairah were heard unable to import requisite volumes of straight-run fuel oil products for blending operations, amid lackluster arbitrage economics, local traders said.

FOB Rotterdam 0.5%S marine fuel barges were assessed at $860.25/mt March 25, up $96/mt week on week as the crude oil market fell.

Mar 28  - Asia residual fuels: Key market indicators for March 28-April 1
Market sources said cutter stocks with a 0.2%-0.3% sulfur content is in short supply as gasoil strength has attracted the cutter stock to the middle distillate market.

Mar 28  - Zhoushan delivered, ex-wharf MF 0.5%S bunker spread widens to three-month high
The uptick in bunker demand followed a steep outright price drop as buyers sought to meet requirements, traders said.

Mar 28  - Singapore HSFO viscosity spread widens to 6-month high on strong 180 CST demand
Bangladesh is buying 180 CST HSFO actively amid rising temperature, industry sources said, while Pakistan State Oil bought 65,000 mt of 180 CST HSFO for the first half of April delivery from Vitol, S&P Global reported previously.

Mar 28  - Ukraine's grain export situation worsening by the day, says agriculture minister
Ukraine's new agriculture minister Mykola Solskyi on Saturday said Ukraine's ability to export grains was getting worse by the day and would only improve if the war with Russia ends. Speaking in a televised briefing, Solskyi said Ukraine, one of the world's top grain producers, would normally be exporting 4-5 million tonnes of grain per month - a volume that has fallen to just a few hundred-thousand tonnes.

Mar 28  - Turkey buys 175,000 T of corn in domestic tender, traders say
Turkish grain board TMO provisionally bought about 175,000 tonnes of corn on Friday in a tender for supplies already at warehouses in Turkey, traders said. The reported purchase was in line with the volume TMO had sought in the tender.

Mar 25  - European VGO loadings plunge 31% on week as Russian exports evaporate
VGO loadings in Europe have taken a significant hit as Russian-origin VGO becomes increasingly off limits to many buyers, boosting the proportion of intra-European trade flows.

Mar 25  - ARA fuel oil stocks drop 5.42% on week to 979,000 mt:
Insights Global
The low sulfur complex was reported to be tight on March 25 due to a lack of low sulfur cracked fuel oil in the market caused by tight supply of high sulfur vacuum gasoil, a market source said.

Mar 25  - Bunker prices rise as Russia-related supply restrictions bite

- Zhoushan braces for less supply in Q2
- Genoa supplier reports no product
- US markets expect reduced availability of VLSFO

Mar 25  - Singapore Residual fuel stocks fall 4.1% to 22.4 mil barrels
Bunker suppliers were keen to move oil in March and limit volumes rolling over into April, traders said.

Mar 25  - USGC-Transatlantic tanker rates surge as majors replace Russian crude with US barrels
Aframax and Suezmax USGC-UKC freight levels were last seen reaching w190 and w92.5, respectively, in April 2020, when the pandemic-related global lockdowns prompted steep contangoes on the oil markets and put over 200 million barrels of crude and products into floating storage.

Mar 25  - Russia simplifies sugar import permit procedures after demand rush
Russia's agriculture ministry has simplified procedures for obtaining permits for white sugar imports after a jump in domestic demand, it said in a statement on Thursday. Many Russians have rushed to buy sugar and other staples after Western sanctions imposed on Russia for what Moscow calls "a special military operation" in Ukraine sent food prices higher in March. The authorities have repeatedly told people there is no need to stockpile food products.

Mar 25  - Russian shipping firm Sovcomflot in choppier waters after UK slaps on sanctions
Russia's top shipping company Sovcomflot (SCF), already struggling to find berths to discharge cargoes, is facing fresh pressure after the UK on Thursday joined countries that have slapped sanctions on it, with implications for insurance and certification. With a modern fleet of ships, state-run SCF is a key transporter of Russian oil and liquefied natural gas but also carried cargoes previously from other countries such as the United States.

Mar 24  - UK adds Gazprombank, Sovcomflot, Alfa-Bank to Russian sanctions list
Sovcomflot, Russia's largest shipping company, was already facing strong headwinds from customers avoiding its vessels on the spot market, industry sources said March 2.

Mar 24  - Singapore-Zhoushan delivered marine fuel 0.5%S spread narrows to near 3-month low
Soaring international crude oil benchmarks and market volatility in light of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict have led shipowners to minimize the parcel sizes that they purchase and delay the delivery of their procurement in Singapore.

Mar 24  - Japanese Oil products output falls 4.1% on week over March 13-19
Low sulfur fuel oil output slumped 25.7% week on week to 0.57 million barrels in the week to March 19, while high sulfur fuel oil production rose 13.3% week on week to 1.24 million barrels.

Mar 24  - Brazil's BRF gets approval to export pork meat from Mato Grosso plant to Vietnam
Brazilian meatpacker BRF SA was authorized by Vietnam to export pork meat from a Mato Grosso plant and now plans to double its shipments to the Asian country, the company said on Wednesday. The authorization will allow BRF to grow in a strategic geographic market, in line with its plan to increase its relevance in major global consumer centers, BRF's manager for institutional relations, Luiz Tavares, told Reuters.

Mar 24  - Turkey buys 455,000 T milling wheat in tenders, traders say
Turkey's state grain board TMO bought 245,000 tonnes of wheat imports and 210,000 tonnes of wheat delivered from warehouses inside Turkey in tenders that closed on Wednesday, traders said. TMO had issued separate tenders with wheat shipment for imports sought between April 1-April 30 and delivery from warehouses is also sought in the same period

Mar 23  - Suez Canal to raise crude tanker tariffs May 1 following freight hikes
Ballast crude tankers will see a 5% rise in transit fees, the canal authority said on its website March 22. The decision followed the "significant growth in global trade, the improvement of ships' economics" and the enhanced transit services, the canal authority said.

Mar 23  - Crude loading at Caspian CPC sea terminal fully suspended: operator
Earlier this week, CPC reported storm damage to loading facilities at the Russian port of Novorossiisk. The network shipped 1.5 million b/d in February, the majority of which was produced in Kazakhstan but also included some Russian volume.

Mar 23  - Zhoushan ex-wharf-delivered MF 0.5%S bunker spread widens on tight delivered market
Zhoushan bunker suppliers have capped the volume they are offering to shipowners as suppliers are unable to secure the requisite amount of money needed for cargo procurement, with marine fuel prices having surged in line with international crude markers.

Mar 23  - Egypt pays top dollar for major soyoil purchase
Egypt's state grains buyer said on Tuesday it had bought 80,000 tonnes of soyoil in an international tender for arrival May 5-25, making its biggest and priciest oils purchase in months. This tender marks the first attempt by Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities to purchase vegetable oils internationally since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with the state buyer paying 14% more per tonne of soyoil than it did in its last tender in February.

Mar 23  - Canada's CP Rail to resume operations after arbitration agreement

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd will resume operations on Tuesday as it agreed to settle a labor dispute with the union representing its conductors and engineers through arbitration, averting more pain to firms battling supply-chain disruptions. The railroad said the agreement with Teamsters Canada Rail Conference ends the work stoppage that began early Sunday when it locked its workers out over a dispute on pensions, pay and benefits.

Mar 22  - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) decreased 2% to $15,908/FEU. This rate is 170% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) increased 1% to $17,318/FEU, and are 200% higher than rates for this week last year.

- COVID outbreaks in Shanghai and Shenzhen, so far, have not caused yet another major supply-chain disruption, though some impacts are being felt. Shanghai has avoided a lockdown, though restrictions are still evolving. Ocean logistics remain unimpacted, though road transport – especially in or out of the region – is becoming complicated.

- Passenger flight restrictions as well as decreased capacity and higher fuel costs caused by the war in Ukraine continue to push Shanghai cargo rates up. Freightos Air index (FAX) Shanghai to N. Europe rates climbed 4% to $8.66/kg last week, a 39% increase compared to the end of February. Shenzhen’s full lockdown began on March 14th, closing manufacturing and warehouses, and limiting trucking availability because of driver quarantines and restrictions on entering or exiting the region. The closure was lifted by the start of this week as planned, and several districts even re-opened early.

- Most importantly, despite the lockdown area ports remained operational avoiding any significant backlogs like those seen during the outbreak at the port of Yantian in May. There are reports of some reduction in port productivity due to labor impacts, trucking availability, and a drop in available exports due to factory closures. The resulting uptick in the number of waiting ships and the expectation that trucking will take longer to recover has led Maersk to omit some Shenzhen area port calls. Last year the Yantian closure sent ocean rates spiking by 20%. But so far, the added delays and congestion that could push rates up – or at least prevent them from falling – have not been severe enough to do so.

- Inflation caused by climbing oil prices and made worse by the war in Ukraine appears to be curbing European demand for imports. Rates from Asia-N. Europe have declined 17% since the end of January. The outbreaks in China have not stopped that trend as prices fell 6% since the start of the lockdown to $12,564/FEU, its lowest level since July. Capacity taken up by growing congestion at European hubs and rail to ocean conversions caused by the war have likewise not stopped the rate slide, with some carriers already reducing capacity in response.

- Transpacific rates also fell slightly this week to $15,908/FEU to the West Coast, but are within 6% of the $15k/FEU neighborhood they’ve been in ever since the close of peak season in November.

- While the temporary dip in available supply of exports could explain the slight easing, all signs point to continued elevated volumes and rates in the coming months.  This strength – despite the disruptions in China and initial signs that inflation and some return to spending on services could start curbing demand for imports – may point to importers pulling some demand forward to avoid the delays experienced during peak season last year and to get ahead of a possible West Coast dock worker strike in July.

Mar 22  - Canadian Pacific Railway labor strike ends after two days
Strike came amid global supply chain disruptions from the ongoing pandemic.

Mar 22  - Platts to amend Worldscale basket rates for clean, dirty tanker routes from April 1
Following a Worldscale Association update on the introduction of new marine terminal assistance fees at Ras Tanura port, S&P Global Platts will amend the Worldscale flat rate baskets for several routes from April 1, 2022.

Mar 22  - Singapore ex-wharf 380 CST HSFO March premiums rise on leaner inventories
Traders attributed the strengthening ex-wharf grade premiums to the sentiment of leaner cargo availability in April, even as upstream HSFO stockpiles were balanced against downstream demand for the delivered grade.

Mar 22  - Japan bunker fuel supply tightens further as earthquake affects refinery production
Prior to the earthquake, supply was already crimped as the country's two largest refiners ENEOS and Idemitsu had stopped accepting fresh nominations for March due to low inventories.

Mar 22  - Russia exports more wheat via Black Sea, domestic grain prices rise
Russia is exporting more wheat via its Black Sea ports as Azov Sea routes remain restricted, analysts said on Monday, while domestic prices for the grain rose last week because of the weakening rouble. "Exports are active. If the weather permits - it is currently unstable in the Black Sea due to strong wind - Russia will export more than 2 million tonnes of wheat in March," said Dmitry Rylko, the head of the IKAR agriculture consultancy.

Mar 22  - Iran said to have bought wheat in tender last week - traders
Iran's state Government Trading Corporation (GTC) is believed to have purchased milling wheat in a tender that closed last week, European traders said on Monday. Some traders estimated that about 195,000 tonnes may have been purchased in three consignments of about 65,000 tonnes.

Mar 21  - Singapore marine fuel 0.5%S cash differential surges to 2-year high on tight supply
Market sources attributed the surge to support from steep backwardation from crude oil, gasoil.

Mar 21  - Thailand expected to exceed rice export target of 7 mln tonnes this year
Thailand expects to export more than 7 million tonnes of rice this year, exceeding its initial target, an exporters association said on Monday. Rice exports are expected to be boosted by competitive prices due to the weak Thai baht, said Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association.

Mar 21  - Argentina raises 2022-2023 wheat export quota to 10 mln tonnes
Argentina said on Saturday that it was increasing its annual wheat export quota for the 2022-2023 season by 8 million tonnes to a total of 10 million tonnes to take advantage of high international prices. Argentina, a key producer of grains, limits exports of wheat in a bid to ensure domestic supply and to avoid local price hikes.

Mar 18  - European VGO loadings fall to 336,200 mt across 13 ships in week to Mar 18
VGO loadings in Europe are increasingly being dominated by intra-European trade flows, according to traders, as the market continues to shun Russian-origin VGO. The reluctance to buy Russian-origin product has created a market with two product flows, said one European feedstock trader.

Mar 18  - ARA fuel oil stocks down slightly on week at 1.032 mil mt: Insights Global
Russia is the main supplier of fuel oil to Europe, accounting for 35 million mt in 2021, so supply disruptions from Russia are likely to have an impact on fuel oil prices.

Mar 18  - Japan utilities seek prompt LNG, fuel oil supplies on earthquake-led power outages: sources
The incremental fuel demand came to light as some earthquake-hit power plants were already being restarted.

Mar 18  - V-Bunkers deliver bio-fuel blended VLSFO in Singapore
Some of Singapore's licensed bunker suppliers have broached plans to penetrate the biofuel bunkering space but are likely to defer arrangements amid the recent rise and volatility in the prices of conventional bunker fuel, which has slowed demand, industry sources said.

Mar 18 - Strategie Grains raises EU wheat export outlook on Ukraine conflict
Some 11 million tonnes of wheat will be lost from the global market in the 2021/22 season because of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Strategie Grains said on Thursday as the consultancy raised its estimate for European Union exports. The closure of Ukrainian ports and sanctions imposed on Russia after it invaded its neighbour have disrupted shipments through the Black Sea, sending grain prices to record highs.

Mar 18 - Turkey buys 270,000 T milling wheat in import tender 
- traders
Turkey's state grain board TMO has provisionally bought 270,000 tonnes of wheat in an international import tender on Thursday, traders said, with no further purchases expected. Some wheat is expected to be sourced from Russia, with the Russian port of Novorossiysk open and shipments slowly coming from the Azov Sea, traders said.

Mar 17 - Iran's SLAL tenders for 60,000 T each barley, corn soymeal  - traders
Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL has issued an international tender to purchase up to 60,000 tonnes of animal feed barley, 60,000 tonnes of feed corn and 60,000 tonnes of soymeal, European traders said on Wednesday. The deadline for submission of price offers in the tender is believed to be Wednesday, March 16, they said.

Mar 17 - Philippines tenders for about 270,000 tonnes feed wheat  - traders
Two importer groups in the Philippines have issued separate tenders to purchase together a total of around 270,000 tonnes of animal feed wheat, European traders said on Wednesday. The deadline for submissions of price offers in both tenders is Wednesday, March 16. Offers are still being considered and no purchases have yet been reported.

Mar 16 - India boosts fertiliser imports from Canada, Israel as Russian supply disrupted
India is boosting fertiliser imports from nations including Canada and Israel to ensure sufficient supplies for the coming summer sowing season after the disruption of shipments caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. India is a leading importer of fertilisers for its huge agriculture sector, which employs about 60% of the country's workforce and accounts for 15% of the $2.7 trillion economy.

Mar 16 - French wheat cargo loads for Egypt as war curbs Black Sea supplies
A vessel is loading about 30,000 tonnes of wheat in France bound for Egypt, according to shipping data, in what traders said was a rare French sale to Egypt's private sector as Russia's invasion of Ukraine squeezes supplies. Disruption to Ukrainian and Russian exports has left buyers seeking alternative supplies, with EU wheat seeing a wave of demand despite record prices.

Mar 15  - FBX Weekly Overview ( Freightos )

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) decreased 1% to $16,242/FEU. This rate is 209% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) fell 8% to $17,063/FEU, and are 199% higher than rates for this week last year.

- Just as global trade is coping with impacts from the war in Ukraine, new covid outbreaks in the major Chinese export hubs of Shanghai and Shenzhen, has the supply chain bracing for the latest in a too-long series of shocks. So far, Shanghai has not entered a full lockdown, though new rules may slow trucking operations, and international passenger flights have been canceled for the next six weeks, which will impact cargo flows and rates.

- Tight capacity and rising fuel costs resulting from the war had already been pushing air cargo rates up, with Freightos Air index (FAX) Shanghai-US East Coast rates climbing to more than $16/kg last week, a 42% increase so far this month. Rates from Europe to Asia are also rising, with prices from Frankfurt, for example, increasing 17% to Shanghai and 110% to Hong Kong as it struggles with its own surge. The removal of Shanghai’s passenger capacity will only put more pressure on rates.

- In the tech and electronics manufacturing hub of Shenzhen, however, a full lockdown closing all manufacturing, warehouses and commercial activity has begun and is set to last until March 20th. The dip in ex-Asia ocean rates since last week (8% to the US East Coast, 6% to N. Europe) may already reflect that decline in available shipments. But the pause in manufacturing will likely cause a surge in freight demand once factories reopen, and the degree of impact on ocean logistics will depend on how long the lockdown lasts, and the extent to which the ports are affected.

- Shenzhen-area ports, including the critical Port of Yantian  – which is responsible for about 25% of US-bound, Chinese origin ocean volumes and 50% of Shenzhen’s total exports – officially remain open and carriers have yet to cancel port calls, though an update from Seko Logistics indicates that the port will not handle any new exports next week. If the ports stay open, the lull in manufacturing (and available trucking) could be an opportunity to clear some of the ports’ export backlog, though with warehouses and factories closed, finding space for arriving empty containers could be a challenge. If some of the ports close, US and EU destinations could experience a welcome lull of arrivals in the coming weeks, followed by an unwelcome surge as pent up demand is rushed out.  

- The outbreak at the port of Yantian last May and into June saw operations decrease by about 75%. It took about three weeks to recover, causing a backlog of ships at Yantian and congestion at alternate area ports. Capacity idled by congestion also led to ocean rate increases of more than 25% from Asia to the US, and a 21% rise to Europe. But rates from Asia to the US West Coast are already 86% higher than they were even after the June increase pushed rates to $9k/FEU, and Asia-N. Europe rates of $13,283/FEU are 21% higher than last June.

- The latest indicators suggest that transpacific demand remains strong, and current rates are still about 20% below the records set during the height of peak season in September. So, depending on the extent of the current disruption, it could be enough to send transpacific prices up once again, though perhaps not to the same degree as last spring.

- Asia-Europe demand, however, appears to be waning. With rising costs and inflation made worse by the war, and some additional ocean capacity as carriers boycott Russian cargo, ocean rates have fallen more than 8% since the start of the year. So the impact of closures in China may not result in a spike, but could be enough to keep Asia-Europe rates from falling or drive a more moderate increase than last time.

Mar 15  - EU's fourth sanctions package to curb new investment in Russia's energy sector
The measures include a "far-reaching ban on new investment across the Russian energy sector, with limited exceptions for civil nuclear energy and the transport of certain energy products back to the EU" the EC said in a statement.

Mar 15  - Singapor's bunker fuel sales seen steady over coming months after Feb's drop
Higher HSFO bunker sales will possibly somewhat offset the drop in Singapore's low sulfur fuel oil demand due to lower regional LSFO prices in Zhoushan and ready supply in South Korea.

Mar 15  - Fujairah delivered marine fuel 0.5%S premium nears 26-month high on tight stocks
Weak arbitrage economics gradually lessened LSFO stockpiles at Fujairah since the first quarter, while the recent economic sanctions slapped on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine added new dimensions that has intensified shortages, local bunker suppliers said March 15.

Mar 15  - Japan delivered 0.5% sulfur bunker premium hits 3-month high on supply tightness
Bunker traders said the country's second-largest bunker supplier Idemitsu Kosan was grappling with a technical glitch at its Aichi refinery in central Japan that has resulted in a shortage of bunker fuel supply.

Mar 15  - Russia temporarily bans grain exports to ex-Soviet countries
Russia on Monday temporarily banned grain exports to ex-Soviet countries and most sugar exports, but a senior minister said it would keep on providing special export licences to traders within its current quota. Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter with Egypt and Turkey among the main buyers. It competes mainly with the European Union and Ukraine.

Mar 15  - Canada OKs imports of beef and pork from Brazil
Canada has approved the importation of beef and pork from Brazil, which had been blocked over health concerns, authorities from both countries said on Monday. "We are in Ottawa and have just left the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture with ... great news: the opening up of the country's pork and beef market," Brazilian Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias tweeted.

Mar 14  - Ukraine bans fertiliser exports - agriculture ministry
Ukraine, a major global producer of agricultural products, has banned exports of fertilisers given the Russian invasion, the agriculture ministry said on Saturday. Ukraine has already banned exports of some agricultural commodities and introduced licenses for its key export goods - wheat, corn and sunflower oil.

Mar 14  - Tunisia buys soft wheat and feed barley in tender
- traders
Tunisia's state grains agency is believed to have purchased about 125,000 tonnes of soft wheat and about 100,000 tonnes of animal feed barley in an international tender that closed on Friday, European traders said. The wheat was bought in five consignments each of about 25,000 tonnes. Trading house Casillo sold four at $491.68, $499.69, $505.68 and $508.89 per tonne c&f. Cargill sold one at $497.25 a tonne c&f, traders estimated.

Mar 11  - ARA fuel oil stocks drop 1.4% on week to over 1 million mt: Insights Global
Demand for bunker fuel at ARA ports continued to rise on the week, as increased volatility in the delivered oil complex led to price spikes across all grades.

Mar 11  - Rotterdam marine gasoil, 0.5%S bunker fuel record highest day-on-day drops
Bunker prices had been moving up at an unprecedented rate since Feb. 23 -- the day before Russia's invasion of Ukraine began -- and the March 10 drops reflect the volatility seen across the global bunker markets.

Mar 11  - Shipping industry urges safe passage for trapped ships and crews in Ukraine
Shipping industry officials called on Thursday for safe passage for hundreds of seafarers and their ships stuck in Ukraine after Russia's invasion.
Ukrainian maritime officials have told Reuters there are around 100 foreign-flagged vessel and hundreds of mariners stranded in Ukrainian ports by the fighting.

Mar 11  - India's Russian coal imports could be highest in over two years in March
India's coal imports from Russia in March could be the highest in more than two years, data from research consultancies showed, as Indian buyers continue buying the fuel from a market that is now increasingly isolated by sanctions. Vessels carrying at least 1.06 million tonnes of coking coal, mainly used for steelmaking, and thermal coal, used primarily for electricity generation, are set to deliver the fuel at Indian ports in March, the highest since January 2020, data from consultancy Kpler showed.

Mar 10  - Bunker prices rocket amid soaring freight rates, credit issues
With bunker prices at EMEA ports soaring to unprecedented levels, all grades of bunker fuel at ports in both Rotterdam and Gibraltar have reached their highest prices since Platts assessments from S&P Global Commodity Insights began.

Mar 10  - Maersk signs fresh sustainable methanol supply contracts but climate goals remain ambitious
The company has announced agreements with six suppliers of renewable methanol, which together will deliver 730,000 mt/year to Maersk by the end of 2025, Maersk said in a statement March 10.

Mar 10  - Singapore's MPA outlines Maritime Singapore Decarbonization Blueprint

It outlines seven key areas of focus. This includes port terminals that will transit to a low-carbon future through the adoption of cleaner energy, automation, and digitalization from 2005 levels by 2030 as well as net zero emissions by 2050.

Mar 10  - Hong Kong fuel oil imports fall 21% on year to 2.4 mil barrels in January
Most of Hong Kong's fuel oil imports are consumed by its bunker fuel market as it relies on coal and LNG for electricity, industry sources said.

Mar 10  - India's wheat exports surge as world prices soar
Indian traders have sewn up deals to export half a million tonnes of wheat in recent days, and dealers are expected to sign more contracts to take advantage of record-high global prices, boosting shipments from the world's No.2 producer of the staple. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has fanned fears over supply disruptions from the Black Sea region, which accounts for 30% of global wheat exports. That has sent global wheat prices to a 14-year high this week.

Mar 10  - Algeria buys milling wheat in tender, traders say
Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC has purchased optional-origin milling wheat in an international tender, European traders said in initial assessments on Wednesday. Initial estimates of the purchase price were around $485 a tonne c&f, traders said. More detailed assessments of prices are expected later.

Mar 09  - EU sidesteps ban on Russian shipping in latest sanctions on Moscow
There have been calls from within the bloc to consider a ban on Russia-linked vessels calling at EU ports since the UK imposed such a ban March 1.

Mar 09  - Europe, US seek non-Russian origin feedstocks as VGO prices rise
In 2021, Russia exported 17.3 million mt of VGO, about 60% of global exports, with shipments of 9.5 million mt to Europe and 4,8 million mt to the US, according to Kpler shipping data.

Mar 09  - Singapore delivered, ex-wharf MF 0.5%S spread hits near 10-month low
Bunker suppliers are offering delivered low sulfur fuel oil bunkers more competitively as strong premiums have slowed demand.

Mar 09  - Fujairah faces more bunkering competition as Saudis, Qatar, Oman enter fray
Qatar has started supplying marine fuels for its own LNG fleet and is now probably the second-largest bunkering hub in the Middle East after Fujairah, Holloway told the Middle East Bunkering Convention in Dubai.

Mar 09  - FBX Overview/Freightos Weekly Update  - Ocean rates stable, but air soaring from war impacts.

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) increased 2% to $16,403/FEU. This rate is 196% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) climbed 1% to $18,452/FEU, and are 241% higher than rates for this week last year.

- So far, ocean container spot rates from Asia to Europe and to the US have not increased as a result of the war in Ukraine and the resulting boycott of Russian shipments by a number of ocean carriers. Transpacific lanes ticked up by 1-2% this week, while Asia-Europe lanes even fell slightly. There are already reports of added congestion at European hubs as Russia-bound cargo stops getting moved, and worsening congestion and delays at already overwhelmed ports will slow operations and decrease available capacity. Some Asia-Europe rail volumes will likely start shifting to ocean as a result of sanctions, boycotts or shippers wary of moving containers through Russia.  

- Though there are alternative rail routes, this shift could also increase demand for Asia-Europe ocean freight.
- However, the share of Russian ocean freight handled by carriers now suspending bookings is significant (estimates range from less than 30% to 50% of Russian ocean freight), which could mean that additional capacity will be available to the rest of Europe (or US East Coast) on the Asia-Europe lanes, offsetting some or all of the changes in demand.

- Other price pressure could come from increased fuel costs passed on to shippers as oil prices climb. The already-announced fuel surcharges for Q2 from Asia to the US West Coast, for example, are expected to be $80/FEU higher than current rates, and emergency surcharges could add to that total. But even so, with Asia-Europe rates already at $13,495/FEU, the fuel component is a relatively small part of the total cost.

- Carriers who continue to service ports in the region may introduce War Risk Surcharges for these shipments. But ocean WRSs in recent years meant an additional $40-$50/TEU for shippers – another upward pressure, but not a huge factor given rates already 10X pre-pandemic levels. So taken together, it is not surprising that we’re already seeing some disruptions in the region without major spot rate hikes. In fact, since mid-February, Asia - N. Europe ocean rates have fallen 6%.

Air cargo is a different story.
- Reciprocal airspace bans have effectively grounded some Russian carriers, and is leading to either cancellations or to longer, more costly, routes that avoid Russian airspace by European carriers affected by the ban but still flying Asia-Europe lanes.
- The capacity decrease, fuel cost increases as well as War Risk Surcharges already announced by some carriers were already reflected in last week’s climbing air cargo rates. The Freightos Air Index (FAX) Shanghai - N. Europe benchmark has increased 34% so far in March to $8.37/kg, compared to the about $2.35/kg pre-pandemic norm.
- The latest marketplace data show that air rates are also spiking on Asia-US lanes by 40% or more. Due to COVID restrictions, there is a major shortage of trucking access to Hong Kong from mainland China. So some of this rate climb could be due to increased demand at mainland airports as Hong Kong is increasingly inaccessible.
- Transpacific air prices may also be feeling the impact of increased fuel costs, and of the overall decrease in capacity affecting the industry as a result of sanctions on Russia. Though Russia has yet to officially close its airspace to US carriers, some are already rerouting Asian flights, and an official ban would also close the preferred China-US route that passes over Russian polar territory.  
- Finally, the latest demand projections for US ocean imports once again suggest no let up in the spending on goods that is ultimately driving the persistent port congestion and sky-high ocean rates. Some observers, however, think that the war and its impact on oil prices and inflation could slow that spending and start to ease ocean volumes for the first time in nearly two years.

Mar 09  - Ukraine says it will issue grain export licences within 24 hours
Ukraine, which has introduced export licensing for its main agricultural products, said on Tuesday that licences should be issued within a day of being requested by exporters. The country, which is among the world's leading producers and exporters of grain and vegetable oils, said on Sunday it had introduced export licences for wheat, corn and sunflower oil, as well as poultry and eggs.

Mar 09  - Argentina has sold 16.6 million tonnes of corn - Agriculture Ministry
Farmers in Argentina have sold 16.6 million tonnes of corn during the 2021/22 season as of March 2, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Tuesday. According to the Ministry, the country recorded a 687,500 tonnes of corn sold between Feb. 23 and March 2, two times the volume registered in the same period one year ago, boosted by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine that has cut the global supply of the grain.

Mar 08  - Ukraine crisis jeopardises Middle East's Black Sea wheat supply
Wheat importers face a threat to delivering politically sensitive bread supplies across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) after Russia's invasion of Ukraine closed off access to the lower priced Black Sea grain they depend on. The ensuing conflict has halted shipping from Ukraine's ports, while financial sanctions have put payments for purchases of Russian wheat in doubt, traders and bankers say, adding another to the risk for governments in the MENA region already struggling with import costs, economic crises or conflict.

Mar 08  - Iraq to create strategic wheat reserve by importing 3 mln tons - minister
Iraq will allocate $100 million to urgently purchase wheat and create a strategic reserve by importing 3 million tons of the grain, the commerce minister said in a statement on Monday. "The ministry has a plan to achieve food security for citizens and to address the global rise in food prices due to the recent crisis between Russia and Ukraine," the statement quoted minister Alaa al-Jubouri as saying.

Mar 07  - Asia residual fuels: Key market indicators for March 7-11
The Asian fuel oil market was expected to firm further over March 7-11 from the prevailing heady highs as the market pushes increasingly into trading for April-loading cargoes.

Mar 07  - Aframax rates jump on risk-premium fears as EU eyes shipping ban on Russia
The cost of chartering Aframax tankers to transport crude or oil products hovered at multiyear highs March 7 as the EU and Norway continued to eye a ban on Russian shipping and 'self-sanctioning' efforts to sideline Russian exports continue to curb demand for its seaborne oil.

Mar 07  - Japan's ENEOS suspends new low sulfur bunker orders at Mizushima
ENEOS, Japan's largest refiner, suspended accepting fresh orders for 0.5% sulfur bunker fuel oil at its Mizushima refinery in West Japan March 5 due to a technical glitch, a company source said March 7.

Mar 07  - Norway considers ban on Russian vessels, following UK move
Norway shares a far northern land border with Russia and the two countries delineated their sea border in the Barents Sea in 2010, helping foster economic collaboration, including a limited role for Russian companies in Norway's oil and gas industry.

Mar 07  - Americas Bunkers: Key market indicators March 7-11
The volatility and soaring prices in crude futures and other global markers are expected to impact bunker fuel values in the Americas and might take them to new highs, as the war in Ukraine continues to unfold.

Mar 07  - UK 'urgently reviewing' ban on Russian oil, gas imports after curbs on Russian shipping
Lord Callanan's comments came soon after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that Europe needed Russian energy to ensure security of supply, saying Europe had "deliberately" excluded sanctions on the sector.

Mar 07  - Wartsila, Peninsula join list of maritime companies halting business with Russia
A lot of traders have avoided purchases of Russian energy products amid financial sanctions on Russian banks, while bunker suppliers have also come out openly to turn their back on Russian businesses to condemn the country's move.

Mar 07 - Ukraine introduces export licences for key agricultural commodities
Ukraine has introduced export licences for its key agriculture commodities wheat, corn and sunflower oil, Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted a government resolution as saying on Sunday. The document said that traders would also need licences to export poultry and eggs, the agency said.

Mar 07 - China's Jan-Feb coal imports slide 14% on supply disruption
China's coal imports in the first two months of 2022 dropped 14% from a year earlier after Indonesia, its biggest overseas supplier of the fuel, banned exports for a period in January, delaying shipments of dozens of cargoes. China, the world's biggest consumer of the polluting fuel, brought in 35.39 million tonnes of coal during the January-February period, compared to 41.13 million tonnes in the same period in 2021, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Monday.

Mar 04 - VLSFO, MGO prices hit highest recorded levels at EMEA ports
The price increase follows anticipated tightness across all fuel oil grades over the coming weeks at ports in the Mediterranean and Europe.

Mar 04 - ARA fuel oil stocks rise 6.89% on week to 1.055 mil mt:
Insights Global
This first time in four weeks that stocks have risen.

Mar 04 - Ukraine crisis throws Egypt's wheat purchases into doubt
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has left Egypt's wheat import prospects in turmoil, with two cargoes purchased by Egypt's state buyer stuck at Ukrainian ports, other deliveries at risk, and prices soaring, traders say. However, Egypt's reserves mean it is not in a rush to buy as it assesses prices of the grain from outside Ukraine and Russia, the deputy supply minister said in an interview.

Mar 04 - Algeria to allow French wheat imports due to Ukraine conflict - traders
Algeria will allow French wheat imports in March because of disruption to Black Sea shipments, traders said on Thursday, overturning a recent exclusion that had hit the EU's biggest wheat exporter. Relations between France and its former colony were damaged in October when President Emmanuel Macron questioned whether there had been an Algerian nation before French colonial rule, accusing it also of rewriting the history of its colonisation.

Mar 03 - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) increased 4% to $16,155/FEU. This rate is 204% higher than the same time last year.

- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) climbed 2% to $18,250/FEU, and are 218% higher than rates for this week last year.

- For logistics, the most widespread impact across all modes will likely be rising fuel costs. As oil prices soar, we can expect carriers to pass increased costs on to shippers.

Air Cargo

- Ripples from the war are disrupting air cargo – especially Asia-Europe operations – in several ways beyond rising oil prices. Fighting has grounded much of the Ukrainian Antonov freighter fleet, removing that capacity from the market, and has destroyed the world’s largest freight aircraft. But the bigger disruption will come from the European Union, US and multiple other countries banning Russian air carriers from using their airspace – and Russia returning the favor (they are expected to ban US carriers soon).
- This development effectively removes the Russian all-freighter carrier AirBridgeCargo from the European market, including its Asia-Europe capacity. Without being able to fly over Russia, some carriers may cancel their Asia-Europe services, further restricting already tight supply.
- European, American and other carriers who do fly will take alternate, longer, more costly routes. Carriers will pass along the additional fuel costs, and the weight of the additional fuel could also reduce the amount of cargo they can carry, further reducing capacity. Some carriers are also already introducing War Risk Surcharges to compensate for the costs of adjusting operations. Cargolux, for example, announced a $0.20/kg surcharge for all their Asia cargo.
- These multiple factors reducing capacity and increasing costs for shippers were already reflected in climbing Asia-Europe air cargo rates at the end of last week. Freightos Air Index (FAX) data shows China - Europe rates climbed more than 80% last week to $11.36/kg.

Ocean Freight

- On the regional level, most ships near Ukraine were diverted to alternate nearby ports at the outset of the hostilities. Many of the top ocean carriers have also suspended new bookings to or from Russia. These developments could increase volumes at other regional ports and are already resulting in pile-ups at origin ports in Europe and elsewhere, possibly causing congestion and increasing rates on these lanes.
- As container rates were stable this week across most major lanes, the conflict has yet to be reflected in ocean prices. But in addition to higher fuel costs from climbing oil prices that are expected to be felt by shippers across the globe, carriers who continue to service ports in the region may introduce War Risk Surcharges for these shipments. Ocean WRSs in recent years meant an additional $40-$50/TEU for shippers.
- Also, approximately 10k TEU travel across Russia by rail from Asia to Europe each week. If sanctions or fear of disruption shifts significant numbers of containers from rail to ocean, this new demand will also put upward pressure on Asia-Europe rates as more shippers compete for already scarce capacity.
- Finally, multiple examples in the last few years prove that logistics providers are not immune to cyber attacks. If Russia deploys these types of measures on the supply chain in response to tightening sanctions, they will only further disrupt operations, resulting in further delays, less capacity and higher costs.

Mar 03  - China buys U.S. soybeans on good profits, despite peak Brazil export season
China bought soybeans from the United States on Tuesday as American cargoes were competitive against Brazilian shipments, despite it being the peak period for South American soy export. China booked at least five cargoes, around 300,000 tonnes, of U.S. soybeans for shipment in April-May, according to an Asia-based trader with knowledge of the deal.

Mar 03  - Turkey provisionally buys 370,000 T milling wheat in tender  - traders
Turkey's state grain board TMO has provisionally purchased about 370,000 tonnes of wheat in an international tender on Wednesday, traders said. No more purchases were expected because of high prices, although the tender sought 435,000 tonnes.

Mar 02  - Fuel oil exports from Russia's Tuapse seen at 480,000 mt in March
Only the first three cargoes have a nominated vessel, with the remainder yet to be named.

Mar 02  - Istanbul HSFO surges $100/mt to near 10-year high as Black Sea disruption bites
HSFO is a small market in Istanbul and most of the volumes arrive as exports from the Black Sea.

Mar 02  - Spot prices for all bunker grades in Latin America reach new record highs
In several ports in the region, the two other bunker grades, marine gasoil and high sulfur IFO 380, climbed to levels not seen since 2013-2015, and in the case of the high sulfur bunker in Cartagena, its strongest value in almost a decade.

Mar 02  - Egypt extends wheat moisture level requirement by one year
Egypt, the world’s largest wheat buyer, has extended by one year, to April 2023, its imported wheat moisture limit specifications, as part of a plan to diversify its sources of supply, the trade ministry said on Tuesday in a statement. Moisture should not exceed of 13.5% of the weight of wheat shipments, the ministry said, adding the decision should allow the country to diversify its import origins. The tolerance of moisture content is normally 13% in Egypt.

Mar 02  - EU 2021/22 soft wheat exports at 17.9 mln tonnes, below year-ago level

Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2021/22 season that started in July had reached 17.89 million tonnes by Feb. 27, according to data published on Tuesday by the European Commission. That compared with 18.24 million tonnes by the same week in 2020/21, the data showed. This is the first time since early August that this season's cumulative EU soft wheat exports have been below the year-earlier level.

Mar 01  - UK bans Russian oil tankers from ports as new sanctions target shipping
The UK has been ships under Russian control but cargoes are a different matter and they are not subject to the ban.

Mar 01  - European February fuel oil swaps trade volumes in MOC surge to 215,000 mt
The most commonly traded derivative was the hi-lo spread swap, accounting for 125,000 mt.

Mar 01  - Maersk to suspend bookings to and from Russia
ONE, Hapag-Lloyd, CMA CGM, and MSC have already suspended some bookings in the region. The suspensions have raised concerns about supply chain disruption due to an escalating Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Mar 01  - Hong Kong's March ex-wharf marine fuel 0.5%S premiums rise tracking Singapore
The premiums for all major suppliers ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Sinopec settled higher, a supplier said.

Mar 01 - Egypt cancels second wheat tender since Ukraine invasion
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said on Monday it had cancelled a second international tender for wheat in four days as the Ukraine crisis continued to disrupt grain markets. The low number of three trading houses participated in the tender because of the supply uncertainty and market turbulence following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Mar 01 - Ukraine’s ports to stay closed until Russian invasion ends
– maritime administration
Ukrainian ports will remain closed until Russia’s invasion ends, the head of Ukraine’s Maritime Administration said on Monday, adding that the port of Mariupol has sustained damage from Russian shelling. Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, calling its actions a "special operation".

Feb 28 - UK authorities issue guidance advising Russian vessels not to dock in UK ports
UK secretary of state for transport Grant Schapps said in a letter posted on Twitter Feb. 28 that the department for transport does not consider it appropriate for Russian vessels to continue to enter UK ports.

Feb 28 - IEA to hold special meeting March 1 on market stability amid Ukraine crisis
The move comes a week after the IEA said its member countries "stand ready to act collectively to ensure that global oil markets are adequately supplied" as the escalating Russia-Ukraine stand-off pushed oil prices above $90/b.

Feb 28 - International ports weigh restrictive measures for Russian tankers
The UK is considering slapping restrictions on Russian oil tankers, as a Sovcomflot vessel approaches its state destination of Orkney, Scotland.

Feb 28 - Pressure grows on US, EU to target Russian energy exports as sanctions escalate
US reliance on Russian oil surged after January 2019 sanctions against Venezuela's PDVSA cut off flows of heavy feedstock.

Feb 28 - Russian warships have shelled two more vessel...

Russian warships have shelled two more vessels near Odessa, Ukraine on Friday. Tanker Millennial Spirit was carrying 600 tonnes of diesel and Overpanamax Namura Queen was headed to load grain. Two serious injuries reported among the Russian crew of the Moldovan-flagged tanker.

Feb 28  - Egypt working to import wheat from regions other than Russia and Ukraine
Egypt, often the world's top wheat importer, is working on a plan to buy wheat from other regions rather than Russia and Ukraine, the state news agency reported, citing Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad. "There are 14 approved countries Egypt could import wheat from, some of which are outside Europe," Saad told a local television channel late on Saturday.

Feb 28  - Grain exporters tap EU supplies as war shuts Ukraine ports - traders
Grain exporters are looking for alternative sources of wheat and corn as a Russian invasion cuts off Ukrainian supplies, with European Union producers Romania and France being used to cover some nearby loadings, traders said on Friday. The conflict has rattled grain markets, with European wheat futures surging to a record high on Thursday, as it raised the prospect of stalled shipments from Ukraine and Russia, which together account for nearly a third of world wheat exports and almost a fifth of global corn exports.



Feb 25  - Bunkering in Ukraine halted, operations moved elsewhere: sources
Suppliers halted bunker operations at all Ukrainian ports, transferring operations to the Bosporus and outside border locations, bunker sources said Feb. 25.

Feb 25  - US sanctions on Russia carve out room for energy to breathe, keep oil prices in check for now
The US has no plans to intentionally disrupt energy flows from Russia as the risks to the fragile economic recovery and global oil markets remain too steep, a White House official said.

Feb 25  - TOAZ suspends ammonia transit following Yuzhny port closure
TOAZ exports the bulk of ammonia to Morocco and Turkey through the Black Sea port of Yuzhny, which closed along with associated pipelines Feb. 24 following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Feb 25  - Oil and products markets weigh Ukraine conflict impact
"This is a commodity bubble like we've never seen before," S&P Global Platts Analytics said in a research note Feb. 24, noting that oil demand may only grow 1.9 million b/d in 2022 should there be a deep and broad incursion compared to 3.4 million b/d under a limited incursion scenario.

Feb 25  - Moldovan flagged chemical tanker hit by missile in Black Sea
The agency said the source of the missile was unknown but it comes amid heightened concern amongst shipping operators around the security of vessels operating in the area after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. The Kremlin has suspended shipping in the Sea of Azov until further notice.

Feb 25  - Bunker Prices jump on Ukrainian invasion
- Bunker prices jump following Russian invasion of Ukraine
- ICE Brent futures trade above $105/b
- Demand subdued as markets react to crisis

Feb 25  - European VGO: Seven vessels load in week to Feb. 25
Most imported feedstocks in Europe and the US originate from Russia, with a majority coming from Black Sea ports. Therefore, operational delays or closures in those ports can have an impact on feedstock supplies.

Feb 25  - Black Sea and Azov shipping and ports hit by Ukraine conflict
Russia's invasion of Ukraine Feb. 24 has resulted in disruption to shipping in the Black Sea and several ports in the region, which is particularly vital to global supply of raw materials, grains and fertilizer.

Feb 25  - ENEOS' high sulfur bunker supply at Kiire falls on strong demand from utilities
The company had been supplying about 10,000-20,000 mt/month of high sulfur bunker fuel at Kiire, while the volume almost disappeared due to tight availability of high sulfur bunker fuel, bunker traders said.

Feb 25  - Russia-Ukraine conflict prompts uncertainty on Americas tanker markets
Since the level of sanctions that is going to be placed on Russia from Western powers is unclear so far, Mackay said it was too early to tell how ton miles and trade patterns could change and whether and to what extent energy infrastructure might be impacted.

Feb 25  - US residual fuel, bunker markets jump as Russia invades Ukraine

While some markets came off from highs earlier in the day as crude prices fell at the close, retail bunker prices held firm on supply uncertainties.

Feb 25  - Singapore Middle distillate stocks fall to six-week low
Singapore's commercial middle distillate stockpiles fell 1.42% week on week to 7.36 million barrels on Feb. 23, Enterprise Singapore data released late Feb. 24 showed.

Feb 25  - Bunker players in Asia, Middle East assess Russia-Ukraine crisis as conflict escalates
Bunker players and shipping-related sources in Asia and the Middle East are keeping a close eye on developments related to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, with many preparing for higher marine fuel prices amid tightening supply and firm demand, but direct impacts from the conflict are expected to be minimal for now.

Feb 25  - European, Med bunker fuel prices soar after Russia invades Ukraine

Marine gasoil and very low sulfur fuel oil prices at ports in Europe and the Mediterranean recorded their biggest ever one-day rise Feb. 24 following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Feb 25  - European feedstock traders await clarity on sanctions' impact on Russian product flows
European feedstock and fuel oil markets were reflecting a "wait-and-see" approach to determine the impact of sanctions oil product flows out of Russia, traders said.

Feb 25  - Singapore Residue stocks fall 11% as fuel oil imports fall, exports rise

Fuel oil imports into Singapore fell across the board, with no imports recorded over the week from the Americas, Russia and Africa.

Feb 25  - Fujairah sees 12th licensed bunker supplier amid strong delivered market
There are currently 11 licensed bunker suppliers providing compliant fuels, according to the Port of Fujairah website Feb. 25, while the list has yet to include Global Energy.

Feb 25  - HSFO Singapore-Fujairah bunker spread widens to over four-month high
The spread was last assessed higher $4/mt Oct. 20, 2021, the data showed.

Feb 25  - Ukraine shuts ports as conflict threatens grain supplies
Ukraine's military has suspended commercial shipping at its ports after Russian forces invaded the country, an adviser to the Ukrainian president's chief of staff said, stoking fear of supply disruption from leading grain and oilseeds exporters. Russia earlier ordered the Azov Sea closed to the movement of commercial vessels until further notice, but kept Russian ports in the Black Sea open for navigation, its officials and five grain industry sources said on Thursday.

Feb 25  - Egyptian wheat buying disrupted by Russian invasion of Ukraine
Egypt, often the world's top wheat importer, cancelled its international purchasing tender as a result of low turnout from major exporters on Thursday after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. After extending its submission deadline by an hour, Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), had only one offer for French wheat for April 11-21 shipment, stoking fears of supply disruptions.

Feb 24  - Ukraine dry bulk trade halts amid Russian invasion
Ukraine is a sizeable contributor to global grain exports and any disruption to trade flows could potentially affect food security and prices, at a time when food inflation has soared to a record high in the last year.

Feb 24  - European refiners in 'uncharted territory' if Russian VGO supplies disrupted: Galp CEO
In 2021 Russian exported 17.30 million mt of VGO, out of global exports of 29.97 million mt, with shipments to Europe of 9.50 million mt, according to data from commodity shipping firm Kpler.

Feb 24  - Platts to suspend publication of market information for Black Sea markets
Platts will continue to review the situation as it develops.

Feb 24  - Fujairah LNG bunkering may start soon amid expansion in services: official
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.'s shipping arm is studying whether to back an LNG bunkering operation in the UAE to serve as a fueling station for its new LNG-fueled ships on order.

Feb 24  - European oil traders fret over potential Russia sanctions to assess supply impact
Traders' views were mixed over the likelihood of sanctions on Russian oil products, but all agreed that if sanctions were put in place, the impact would be highly disruptive and would cause major supply dislocations and force unusual trade flows and arbitrage routes, particularly for diesel.

Feb 24  - Russia tanker rates soar on fears around trading Russian oil
Tanker rates for routes out of Russia to Europe surged to multi-month highs Feb. 24 as Russia's invasion of Ukraine left market participants uncertain of whether they would be able to trade Russian material.

Feb 24  - EU leaders agree on new sanctions targeting Russian energy, transport sectors
The European Council, made up of EU heads of state and government, said Feb. 24 it had agreed on sanctions targeting Russia's energy, transport and other sectors in response to Moscow's military invasion of Ukraine.

Feb 24  - Russia's Ukraine invasion seen disrupting vegetable oil, grain trade flows

As both Russia and Ukraine command clout in global trade flows of grain and vegetable oil, rising uncertainty in the region around port closures and blockages on vessel navigation are expected to keep prices of commodities such as sunflower oil, corn and wheat elevated in the near term.

Feb 24  - NATO refrains from blocking Russian vessels from Bosporus
After Russia invaded Ukraine early Feb. 24, the Ukrainian ambassador in Ankara made a formal request to Turkey to close the key commodity route to Russian vessels, according to media reports.

Feb 24  - Russia suspends commercial shipping in Sea of Azov
The suspension covers the whole of the Sea of Azov, a spokesperson for the country's Agency for Maritime and River Transport (Rosmorrechflot) told S&P Global Platts Feb. 24.

Feb 24  - Russia suspends movement of commercial vessels in Azov sea  - sources
Russia has suspended movement of commercial vessels in the Azov sea until further notice, five grain industry sources told Reuters on Thursday. Russian forces invaded Ukraine with strikes on major cities on Thursday. Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, mainly ships its grain from ports in the Black Sea.

Feb 24  - Egypt's GASC seeks wheat in international tender

Egypt's General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) set a tender on Wednesday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment from April 11-21. Deadline for offers is Feb. 24 and payment is at sight, it said.

Feb 23  - Fujairah Oil product stocks post record increase, rebounding from historic low
Fujairah stocks of heavy residues, including fuel oil, rose 37% in the week to Feb. 21 to 10.452 million barrels.

Feb 23  - Delivered 0.5%S bunker price in South Korea drops below Singapore on ample supply

South Korea's delivered marine fuel 0.5%S prices are typically the highest in Asia. On average, it was $26.70/mt higher than Singapore in 2021, Platts data showed.

Feb 23  - Fujairah Q1 delivered HSFO term premiums weaken on ample stockpiles

Expectations of ample HSFO stockpiles for most of the first quarter has lowered the quarterly term contractual premiums.

Feb 23  - Zhoushan bunker sales growth lags other China ports on higher costs

The prices at other ports like Qingdao, Dalian and Tianjin got even more competitive than Zhoushan in 2021, which resulted in a rise in bunker sales, market sources said.

Feb 23  - ADM sets record for single soybean shipment from northern Brazil
U.S. grains merchant Archer-Daniels-Midland Co said on Tuesday it has carried out the largest soybean shipment in the history of the Ponta da Montanha Grain Terminal (TGPM), located in the northern Brazilian city of Barcarena, as it shipped 84,802 tonnes in a single vessel. It also represented the largest volume ever shipped on a grain vessel from ports located in the Amazon Basin, the company told Reuters.

Feb 23  - Turkey buys 255,000 tonnes feed barley in tender  - traders
Turkey's state grain board TMO has purchased an estimated 255,000 tonnes of animal feed barley in an international tender for the same volume on Tuesday, European traders said. The tender has ended and no more purchases are expected, they said.

Feb 22  - European, Russian port operations return to normal after storm
The updates came after Storm Eunice brought havoc to Europe on Feb. 18 and over the weekend.

Feb 22  - AMERICAS BUNKERS: Key market indicators Feb. 22-25
Spot bunker markets in the Americas are facing tight supplies this week in several key hubs as well as more volatility in global oil, which has led to resupply uncertainty and slower markets.

Feb 22  - Tanker markets tread cautiously as threat of sanctions on Russian oil looms

The global tanker market is in a state of disquiet as potential sanctions on the flow of Russian oil to the West could significantly harm market fundamentals, as the energy markets brace for potential further actions on Russia.

Feb 22  - Marine fuel 0.5%S Singapore-Fujairah bunker spread narrows to near one-year low
Lackluster arbitrage movements of low sulfur components for the LSFO blending pool have gradually tightened inventories at the Middle Eastern port of Fujairah since February, whereas rising availability of LSFO cargoes in Singapore continues to weigh on bunker premiums, traders said.

Feb 22  - Singapore's February bunker fuel sales show promise despite January drop: sources
Bunker fuel sales in the world's largest bunkering port slid 3.5% month on month to 4.033 million mt in January, 10.4% lower on the year, according to the latest preliminary data released by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

Feb 22  - FBX weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) dipped 1% to $15,511/FEU. This rate is 179% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) went unchanged at $17,866/FEU, and are 207% higher than rates for this week last year.

- Ocean rates were stable across all major trade lanes this week, and remain extremely elevated. Some backlog created by the Lunar New Year (LNY) holiday may be helping to keep prices up, but with demand still strong and congestion still a problem a significant rate decrease in the coming post-LNY weeks may not be likely.
- The ports of LA/Long Beach reported progress in reducing the number of empty containers clogging their container yards by nearly a third so far this year, and the state of California has freed up multiple areas – including former fairgrounds and prison sites – for off-port container storage to ease some of the pressure. But even with these steps, congestion continues to plague Southern California as well as many other major ports across the globe.
- As sky-high ocean rates have become the new normal, a coalition of European freight forwarders asked the European Commission this week to scrutinize ocean carrier behavior during the pandemic, while a new collaborative working group of antitrust regulators from the US, UK and several other countries was also launched to examine the issue.  
- Meanwhile, the Freightos Air Index shows that, post-LNY, air cargo rates dropped last week by more than 25% from Asia to both North Europe and the US West Coast.

Feb 22  - Argentina grains inspectors start 24-hour strike; 'no impact' at ports
Argentina's grains inspectors began a 24-hour strike on Monday demanding bonus payments, but port activity and shipments of farm products were not affected in the South American country, the top global exporter of processed soybeans. Juan Carlos Peralta, press secretary of the URGARA union, said there was strong compliance with the strike action and that on Monday afternoon the union would hold another assembly to decide whether to extend the strike.

Feb 22  - Egypt said to buy 100,000 tonnes raw sugar in tender – traders
Egypt's state sugar buyer ESIIC is believed to have purchased around 100,000 tonnes of raw sugar in an international tender which closed on Saturday, European traders said on Monday. It was bought in two 50,000 tonne consignments, both at an estimated $470 a tonne c&f, they said.

Feb 21  - Argentina grain inspectors announce strike Monday, no effect on shipments
Argentina's grain inspectors union URGARA said on Friday it will launch a 24-hour commercial strike on Monday to demand a wage bonus, but said the strike would not affect grain shipments at ports in one of the world's leading food exporters. URGARA said it is demanding a wage "bonus" for grain buyers for work done in 2021, but they have not received offers from the country's grain silo owners federation.

Feb 21  - Taiwan buys 54,920 tonnes wheat of U.S.-origin in tender

The Taiwan Flour Millers' Association purchased an estimated 54,920 tonnes of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender which closed on Friday, European traders said. The purchase involved a range of different wheat types in one consignment for shipment from the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast between April 4 and 18.

Feb 18  - Mexico port delays tighten Gulf tanker supply, sharply boosting freight rates
Mexico is by far the largest destination for US products, mainly from the US Gulf Coast.

Feb 18  - REG, Bunker Holding team up to develop bio-based bunker fuel for US, Europe

Agreement allows US-based biofuel producer REG to expand its fuel offerings and access.

Feb 18  - European, Russian port operations impeded by storms
All terminals at the Port of Rotterdam have been closed since around noon local time because of high winds, but the port is open, a spokesperson for the port said Feb. 18.

Feb 18  - Global mobility resumes path to recovery after Asian COVID-19 setbacks
Mobility in 13 countries representing about half of global oil demand averaged 9.7% below pre-COVID-19 levels in the week, according to adjusted Google data, compared with14% below from the week before and up from a seasonal low of 25% below on Jan. 6.

Feb 18  - Singapore to raise carbon tax to $25/mtCO2e in 2024, 2025
The carbon tax will allow Singapore to meet its climate change commitments and green energy plans, along with supporting a range of other measures to make the city-state a hub for carbon trading expertise in the region.

Feb 18  - Kazakhstan sees 2022/23 grain exports at 8-9 mln T
Kazakhstan's agriculture ministry sees grain exports at 8-9 million tonnes in the upcoming 2022/23 marketing season, up from 7.0-7.3 million tonnes in the current season, the Interfax news agency reported on Thursday. Kazakhstan mostly ships grains to its Central Asian neighbours, Afghanistan, China, and Black Sea ports.

Feb 17  - Colombo-Mumbai delivered marine fuel 0.5%S spread widens to all-time high
LSFO inventories in Mumbai was heard to be balanced against demand, though cargo availability was also said to be gradually tightening since February.

Feb 17  - Maritime sector eyes carbon price on bunker fuels as possible decarbonization solution

Feb 17  - Black Sea freight rates start to firm on Russia risk premium
Ukrainian and Russian waters in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov were placed under a high risk category, by the Joint War Committee of the Lloyds Market Association on Feb. 15, as the crisis between Russia and the West over Ukraine escalates.

Feb 17  - Zhoushan 380 CST delivered bunker premiums weaken on rising supply

"It suddenly weakened. Suppliers competitions are terrible recently," said a bunker fuel trader at a Chinese company.

Feb 17  - Fujairah Jan bunker sales fall 7% on month to 4-month low amid severe weather
Total bunker sales was last lower in September at 640,321 cu m, the FOIZ data showed.

Feb 17  - Indonesia Jan coal exports at 12 mln tonnes  - energy minister
Indonesia produced 34 million tonnes and exported 12 million tonnes of coal in January, energy minister Arifin Tasrif said in a parliamentary committee hearing on Thursday. The world's top thermal coal exporter suspended international shipments of the fuel in early January to secure domestic supply, jolting global markets. Indonesia is targeting total production of 663 million tonnes this year.

Feb 17  - China could cut soybean demand by 30 mln tonnes – Xinhua
China can reduce its soybean demand by 30 million tonnes by continuing to promote lower soymeal rations in feed and using alternative proteins, the official Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday, citing unnamed agriculture officials. China issued guidelines last year recommending the reduction of soymeal and corn in pig and poultry feed, as it sought to reduce its dependence on imported grains.

Feb 16  - US marine fuel 0.5%S supply limited as refiners focus on clean products: sources

Feb 16  - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) increased 3% to $15,671/FEU. This rate is 175% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) climbed 8% to $17,931/FEU, and are 217% higher than rates for this week last year.

- Traffic once again flowed across the Ambassador Bridge linking Detroit and Windsor, Ontario on Monday. Demonstrators – including many truckers – had blockaded the bridge for much of last week to protest Canada’s COVID restrictions. The blockage caused trucking delays, diversions, and disruptions to auto manufacturing on both sides of the border. It also pushed some crucial shipments to the air, with the Freightos Air Index showing some Canada to Central US shippers paid more than $14/kg for air cargo, about 7X the norm.

- In ocean freight, transpacific rates increased, likely reflecting an increase in demand as the Lunar New Year holiday ends, manufacturing picks back up and backlogs start to move. Asia - US East Coast rates increased 8% compared to just 3% for West Coast prices, possibly indicating growing appetite for shipments to the East Coast as congestion continues to plague LA/Long Beach.

- Search data for Asia-US ocean shipments on the marketplace show shipper interest in East Coast destination ports has grown by nearly 40% since October, accounting for almost 29% of all searches so far this month as the West Coast’s share has declined.

- The latest National Retail Foundation projections for US ocean import demand show no sign of a significant decrease in volumes at least through the first half of the year. Q1 totals are expected to be only slightly higher than Q4 2021, though retailers are projected to import 30% more containers – or 1.43 million TEUs – compared to Q1 of 2019.

Feb 16  - Algeria tenders to buy nominal 50,000 T milling wheat, traders say
Algeria's state grains agency OAIC has issued an international tender to buy milling wheat to be sourced from optional origins, European traders said on Monday. The tender sought a nominal 50,000 tonnes, but Algeria often buys considerably more in its tenders than the nominal volume sought.

Feb 16  - EU 2021/22 soft wheat exports 17.27 mln T by Feb. 13
Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2021/22 season that started in July had reached 17.27 million tonnes by Feb. 13, according to data published on Tuesday by the European Commission. That compared with 16.87 million tonnes by the same week in 2020/21, the data showed.

Feb 16  - Singapore delivered MF0.5%S premiums soften, narrow differential with ex-wharf
Bunker suppliers were heard offering the delivered International Maritime Organization-compliant bunker fuel more aggressively than before to clear outstanding cargoes within February, largely driven by the flat price surge and to also minimize inventories rolling over into March, market sources said Feb. 15.

Feb 16  - Singapore Q1 ex-wharf LSFO premiums higher, Q2 shrouded in uncertainty

Low sulfur fuel oil inventories dwindled since the start of Q4 amid a shortage of components for the blending pool.

Feb 16  - Japanese 2021 bonded bunker fuel oil sales gain 4.6% on year to 33.6 mil barrels

Market sources said bunker demand was strong for most of the time in 2021 as freight rates, especially for dry bulk, stayed bullish.

Feb 15  - Indonesia Jan export growth below expectation after coal shipment ban
Indonesia's export growth slowed more than expected in January, after authorities in the world's top thermal coal exporter banned shipments in the first week of 2022, data from the statistics bureau showed on Tuesday. Exports grew 25.31% on an annual basis in January to $19.16 billion, compared with a 33.86% rise expected in a Reuters poll.

Feb 15  - Bangladesh gets offers in 50,000-tonne wheat purchase tender  - traders
Bangladesh's state grains buyer received the lowest price offer assessed at $390.92 a tonne CIF liner out in an international tender to purchase and import 50,000 tonnes of wheat which closed on Monday, European traders said. No purchase has yet been reported and the offers are still being considered, they said.

Feb 14  - AMERICAS BUNKERS: Key market indicators Feb. 14-18
Spot marine fuel bunkers retail pricing in the Americas enters the week of Feb. 14-18 looking for direction from key global crude indicators following a period of overall bullish trends tied to rising futures values.

The traditional arbitrage route for very low sulfur fuel oil to make its way from European markets to Singapore is closed due to the steep backwardation in the prompt months of the forward curve, according to European fuel oil traders.

Feb 14  - US high sulfur fuel oil highest since September 2014
High sulfur fuel oil in the US joined ICE Brent futures in reaching new seven and a half year highs Feb. 14, surging with the US crude complex.

Feb 14  - Russia Seaports throughput rises 9.1% on year in Jan
Liquids throughput for the first month of the year stood at 38.6 million mt and dry bulk was at 30.8 million mt.

Feb 14  - Asia residual fuels: Key market indicators for Feb 14-18
In contrast, a stock build in the high sulfur fuel oil market is expected to limit premiums in the Singapore ex-wharf 380CST market, bunker suppliers in the city-state said, although in the short-term, bunker premiums are expected to rise as receiving vessels arrive in Singapore in the week ended Feb. 18.

Feb 14  - Oman's cargo volume rose 9% in 2021 as container throughput climbed 2%
In 2021, Omani ports handled 5.2 million TEUs of containers, a 2% increase from 2020, with the biggest volumes recorded in Salalah port.

Feb 14  - Singapore Jan bunker sales fall to 19-month low at 4.03 mil mt
High crude oil prices coupled with strong premiums of delivered MF 0.5%S driven by supply shortages have slowed demand, a bunker supplier said.

Feb 14  - Japan's bunker barge fees seen set to rise amid moves to cap crew working hours
"There is still a possibility of barge companies raising the fee from April," a bunker trader said.

Feb 14  - Egypt says tensions between largest wheat exporters raise market uncertainty
Egypt's supply minister said that tensions between Russia and Ukraine, the two largest wheat exporters, raised uncertainty in the market, with the government currently working on several protective measures, according to state news agency MENA. The government is working on diversifying its wheat import origins in an effort to safeguard its strategic reserves, Supply Minister Ali Moselhy told MENA. He added that studies regarding hedging against a rise in commodity prices are still ongoing.

Feb 14  - Indonesia coal export ban nearly wipes out Jan trade surplus  - poll
Indonesia's monthly trade surplus is expected to plummet 80% to $190 million in January after the world's top coal exporter clamped down on shipments last month, and as imports gained momentum, a Reuters poll showed on Monday. Authorities on Jan. 1 announced an unexpected suspension of all coal exports due to critically low inventory of the fuel at domestic power plants. Shipments were allowed to resume gradually from Jan. 10, but the ban remains in place for miners who do not comply with domestic sales requirements.

Feb 11  - Egypt's private sector wheat imports surge as state buyer tightens purchases
Wheat imports by Egypt's private sector have overtaken those by the state commodities authority, a trend that could continue as the government looks to reform bread subsidies and trim its import bill, industry experts say. Egypt's private sector imported 6.9 million tonnes of wheat in 2021, up 11% from 2020, while the state-run General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) imported 4.7 million tonnes, a 32% drop from the previous year, according to data from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and two Middle Eastern traders.

Feb 11  - Strategie Grains cuts EU wheat export outlook again
Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday again cut its forecast for European Union soft wheat exports in 2021/22 due to competition from South American and Black Sea suppliers, as well as reduced expectations for Algerian and Egyptian imports. It lowered its outlook for EU exports of common wheat, or soft wheat, this season to 30.4 million tonnes from 31.2 million tonnes projected in January. The consultancy had already trimmed its forecast by 0.3 million tonnes last month.
Picture of the Day

Feb 10  - Japan's MOL operates bunkering vessel using biodiesel fuel
The BDF used for the vessel as fuel was fatty acid methyl ester generated through transesterification of collected waste cooking oil with methanol, MOL said in a statement Feb. 9, adding that the use of this fuel was expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 25%-30% when compared to conventional fuel oil.

Feb 10  - Abu Dhabi's AD Ports eyes trade routes, acquisitions
Abu Dhabi's AD Ports Group plans to develop extensive trade corridors connecting the United Arab Emirates, with the Middle East, the subcontinent, Africa and elsewhere, executives said on Tuesday, following its share listing. AD Ports Group, controlled by state investor ADQ, made its debut on the Abu Dhabi bourse on Tuesday after it had raised proceeds of 4 billion dirhams from the primary issue.

Feb 09  - FBX Weekly Overview ( Freightos )

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) were steady at $15,218/FEU. This rate is 182% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) also went unchanged at $16,638/FEU, and are 203% higher than rates for this week last year
- Ocean spot rates ex-China went unchanged this week during the Lunar New Year (LNY) manufacturing pause. Without much of a climb before LNY, expectations are that rates won't increase significantly just after LNY either.
- Along with stable rates, the number of ships waiting for a spot at LA/Long Beach has fallen nearly 30% since early January to fewer than 80 vessels. Though the backlog is still daunting, this development is a welcome first hint of recovery from disruptions that have impacted US importers and exporters. 

Feb 09  - EU 2021/22 soft wheat exports reach 16.92 mln T by Feb 6
Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2021/22 season that started in July had reached 16.92 million tonnes by Feb. 6, European Commission data showed on Tuesday. The soft wheat exports were ahead of the pace last season, when 16.22 million tonnes had been shipped by the same week, the data showed.

Feb 09  - Plunge in U.S. soy exports to China in 2021 exposes Phase 1 flaws:
The United States in 2021 exported just as many soybeans to China by value as a year earlier, but the volume fell 20% in a sign that the Phase 1 trade deal is probably not accomplishing the intended purpose. Soybeans, among the top American exports to China, also lost significant trade share against other agricultural goods last year while items like corn and beef surged up the list.

Feb 08  - BHP unveils world's first LNG-powered ore carrier, sees 30% emissions cut
BHP Group unveiled the world's first liquefied natural gas-fuelled bulk carrier vessel in Singapore on Monday, one of five vessels that the mining giant will take delivery of in 2022 as part of efforts to curb supply chain emissions. The 299-metre (981 ft) long Mt. Tourmaline Newcastlemax ore carrier was built by Eastern Pacific Shipping in China and stopped off in Singapore to take on LNG fuel. It will next head to Port Hedland in Western Australia to load iron ore that will then be shipped to customers in China.

Feb 08  - U.S., Japan reach deal to cut tariffs on Japanese steel, fight excess output

The United States and Japan on Monday announced a deal to remove Trump-era tariffs from about 1.25 million metric tons of Japanese steel imports annually after Washington granted similar access for European Union steelmakers last year. The new deal, which excludes aluminum, will take effect on April 1 and requires Japan to take "concrete steps" to fight global excess steel manufacturing capacity, largely centered in China, U.S. officials said.

Feb 04  - ARA fuel oil stocks up 4.3% on week at 1.218 mil mt: Insights Global
This marks the third consecutive week that stocks have increased.

Feb 04  - Crude moves up as freezing temperature in Texas threatens supply
In Texas, some Permian Basin producers shut production Feb. 3 because of freezing temperatures and ice disrupting trucking operations.

Feb 04  - Euronav see omicron delaying tanker freight rate recovery
VLCC spot rates averaged $12,500/day in Q4 2021, down from $20,500/day a year previously, Euronav said in a presentation of its Q4 results.

Feb 04  - Marine fuel 0.5%S in Latin America surges to record highs
Soaring 0.5%S levels in Latin America have been accompanied by a strengthened global energy complex that saw ICE prompt-month Brent crude futures hit a seven-year high in the week started Jan. 31.

Feb 02  - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) dipped 2% to $15,218/FEU. This rate is 169% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) fell 1% to $16,659/FEU, and are 192% higher than rates for this week last year.

- Ex-China container rates typically rise in the weeks ahead of Lunar New Year (LNY) as shippers rush to get orders out before manufacturing slows over the holiday period. But this year, spot prices from Asia to the US and Europe barely moved, and started to trend down slightly this week as the holiday began.

- Rates were already 10X their pre-pandemic norm, so many importers may have opted to hold off until after LNY, hoping that prices will ease after the holiday. The persistent congestion and delays at European and US ports, may have also discouraged shippers from rushing out orders that will likely sit for days at sea anyway, suppressing some of the typical pre-LNY demand.   

- The ports of LA/Long Beach continue to look for new strategies to clear their clogged container yards and help speed operations. This week they announced that ocean carriers have agreed to carry any available empty container – even from competing lines – back to Asia, reducing some of the complexity that can slow things down. Authorities also shared a new plan to incentivize overnight trucking operations.

- In air cargo, an omicron outbreak among Lufthansa Cargo’s airport staff in Frankfurt led the airline to stop accepting bookings through its hub last Wednesday. The labor shortage significantly slowed handling through the start of this week, though operations have begun to recover.

Feb 02 - Jordan buys 60,000 tonnes wheat in tender, traders say
Jordan's state grains buyer purchased 60,000 tonnes of hard milling wheat to be sourced from optional origins in a tender which closed on Tuesday, traders said. It was bought from trading house Ameropa at an estimated $326.00 a tonne c&f for shipment in the second half of August, they said.

Feb 01  - AD Ports begins deliveries on UAE's Fujairah Terminal expansion
The Dirham 1 billion ($272 million) investment adds container capacity of 720,000 twenty-foot equivalent units and general cargo capacity of 1.3 million mt, Julian Skyrme told reporters on the sidelines of the Breakbulk Middle East conference in Dubai.

Feb 01  - US high sulfur fuel oil prices reach seven-year highs
US Atlantic Coast 1%S fuel oil climbed $1.66 to $91.64/b, highest since reaching $92.76/b on Aug. 31, 2014.

Feb 01  - Hapag Lloyd's freight rates leap 80% in 2021 on strained supply chains
Freight rates for 2021 averaged $2,003/TEU, compared with $1,115/TEU in 2020, the company said.

Feb 01  - UAE breakbulk shipping set to grow 10%-15% as alternative to containers:
DP World

Feb 01 - Sovecon ups its forecast for Russia's 2021/22 wheat exports

Sovecon, one of the leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, on Monday raised its forecast for Russia's wheat exports by 200,000 tonnes to 34.3 million tonnes in the current 2021/22 marketing season which ends on June 30. Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter with Turkey and Egypt among the largest buyers. Russia and Ukraine, another major exporter, mainly ship their wheat via the Black Sea.

Feb 01  - European January fuel oil swaps trade volumes in MOC rise to 410,000 mt

The most commonly traded derivative was the 1% FOB Northwest Europe cargo swap, which accounted for 310,000 mt.

Feb 01  - China's oil product export quota cut music to ears of South Korean refiners
Major South Korean fuel producers including SK Innovation, S-Oil and GS Caltex indicated the refiners are increasingly optimistic that their middle distillate sales would increase significantly across Asian markets in the absence of Chinese competition.

Feb 01  - Hong Kong's Feb ex-wharf marine fuel 0.5%S premiums settle $2-$8/mt higher on month
The premiums for all major suppliers ExxonMobil, Chevron and Sinopec were settled at a similar level, a supplier said.

Feb 01  - Singapore 0.5%S marine fuel cargo premium falls sharply over Jan as stocks rise

Since late January, suppliers have shortened the delivery lead times of the International Maritime Organization-compliant bunker fuels to around 4-7 days, compared to the 7-11 days indicated around early January when supply in the LSFO complex was scarce, industry sources said.

Jan 28  - Return of Panama Canal extended wait times hits LNG market, freight economics
Increased transit volumes at the Panama Canal pushed wait times higher for clean petroleum product and unreserved LNG tankers during the week ended Jan. 28, as more cargoes headed to the Far East to serve a rise in demand.

Jan 28  - Japan's Suiso Frontier sets sail for Kobe with liquid hydrogen cargo
The cargo is seen as a crucial pilot shipment for what in future could be regular flows of low- or zero-carbon hydrogen from Australia to the higher-priced demand center of Japan.

Jan 28  - Wartsila sees low scrubber orders in Q4 despite strong Hi-5
While vessel ordering activity improved overall, largely driven by containerships, Wartsila's marine systems segment "continued to be burdened by low scrubber volumes," the company said in a statement accompanying its 2021 full year results.

Jan 28  - ARA fuel oil stocks up 6.1% on week at 1.168 mil mt: Insights Global
The European marine fuel market is expected to give back some of its recent gains, according to traders speaking this week.

Jan 28  - BUNKERWORLD INDEX: Rising crude sets tone in bunker markets amid diverging regional dynamics
- Stock clearing lowers prices at Fujairah
- Weather-related congestion at Gibraltar
- Tight supply buoys prices at Houston In Full »

Jan 28  - Retail 0.5%S bunkers spot pricing rises to record highs in NY, Houston on supply tightness
The Houston 0.5%S retail assessment gained $4 day on day to price at $674/mt ex-wharf, its highest point since S&P Global Platts introduced the assessment July 1, 2019.

Jan 28  - CONTAINER PREMIUMS: All-in rates discounted for post-Lunar New Year sailings
Sources say that all-inclusive rates for trans-Pacific sailings in the March loading period have edged dropped significantly from pre-Lunar New Year bookings.

Jan 28  - Singapore Residue stocks rise 12% to 4-month high as fuel oil imports surge
Fuel oil imports surged 169.6% to 1.54 million mt in the week to Jan. 26 from 571,205 mt the week before, the data showed.

Jan 28  - Fujairah Feb ex-wharf low sulfur marine fuel premiums fall on rising stockpiles
Low sulfur fuel oil supplies at the Middle Eastern bunker hub of Fujairah have gradually risen to a more balanced level against downstream demand since January, according to market sources.

Jan 28 - Indonesia to allow only compliant firms to restart coal exports when ban ends - official

Only coal miners compliant with Indonesia's new regulations on domestic market sales will be cleared to restart shipments when a coal export ban expires next week, with 171 miners approved so far, a ministerial advisor said on Thursday. Those given the green light had either complied fully with a Domestic Market Obligation (DMO) on sales to the local market or agreed to pay fines, while many other miners were still being assessed, said Irwandy Arif, an advisor to the energy minister.

Jan 28 - Most Ukraine Black Sea ports resume grain loading operations  

Most of Ukraine's major Black Sea ports are working normally, resuming operations affected by poor weather earlier this week, the state seaport authority said on Thursday. The restrictions of grain-loading operations had applied to the ports of Odessa, Chornomorsk, Mykolayiv, Pivdeny, Kherson and Olvia.

Jan 27  - Japan's Idemitsu to sell ex-wharf bunker fuel in Singapore, takes storage: sources
The margins from ex-wharf LSFO bunker sales in Singapore remain supported since November 2021, when inventories dwindled significantly to fall short of downstream bunker demand, local traders said.

Jan 27  - Shipping should not wait for a silver bullet to meet decarbonization goals: panel
The race to decarbonization is gathering pace, with a plethora of impending regulations presenting an opportunity to the industry to work towards a common denominator, but there is no room for complacency as more needs to be done to overcome the hurdles, industry experts said at a DNV webinar.

Jan 27  - Japan's Idemitsu to sell ex-wharf bunker fuel in Singapore, takes storage: sources
The margins from ex-wharf LSFO bunker sales in Singapore remain supported since November 2021, when inventories dwindled significantly to fall short of downstream bunker demand, local traders said.

Jan 27  - Japan's Idemitsu to sell ex-wharf bunker fuel in Singapore, takes storage: sources
The margins from ex-wharf LSFO bunker sales in Singapore remain supported since November 2021, when inventories dwindled significantly to fall short of downstream bunker demand, local traders said.

Jan 27  - Bangladesh's Jan HSFO imports set to rise 14% on month amid gas squeeze
The country's natural gas supplies have fallen due to the suspension of operations at a floating storage and regasification unit caused by a technical problem, a senior Petrobangla official told S&P Global Platts Jan. 26.

Jan 27  - LR2s find fewer takers even as freight discount widens on supply surge
A lack of cargoes has hurt the rates of bigger ships, with LR2s at the lowest level in 2022, and at a w22.5 discount to LR1s Jan. 26.

Jan 27  - Sri Lanka's Hambantota port starts MGO bunkering to essay strategic role
While HIP has commenced MGO bunkering, it is still at a nascent stage as most of the loadings from there pertain to low sulfur fuel oil, a Colombo-based bunker trader said Jan. 27.

Jan 27 - Algeria buys wheat in tender for shipment to 2 ports only - traders

Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC has purchased milling wheat in an international tender on Wednesday which seeks shipment to two ports only, European traders said in initial assessments. Initial estimates of the purchase were about 60,000 to 80,000 tonnes

Jan 27 - South Korea’s NOFI buys estimated 193,000 tonnes of corn in tender - traders

South Korean animal feedmaker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) is believed to have purchased around 193,000 tonnes of animal feed corn in a tender on Wednesday, European traders said. The corn was bought in three consignments in a combination of outright prices and premiums over Chicago futures.

Jan 26  - HSFO grows share of bunker market at Rotterdam in 2021 amid supportive Hi-5
The volume of petroleum-based fuel, including bio-blends, rose 3% from 2020's level to 9.59 million mt.

Jan 26  - Hong Kong 380 CST bunker fuel premium surges to 3-month high on robust demand
This was compounded by cargo arrival delays at the terminal, sources said.

Jan 26  - Japan Oil product exports rise 12.6% to 3.96 mil barrels over Jan 16-22
Exports of high sulfur fuel oil surged 87.3% week on week to 530,385 barrels in the week to Jan. 22, while gasoline exports slumped 58.1% on the week to 360,757 barrels.

Jan 26  - Demand for Singapore Q1 delivered low sulfur marine fuel subdued as premiums rise
The firming quarterly term contractual premiums of International Maritime Organization-compliant bunker fuel has crimped demand compared to the previous quarters, though shipowners were still keen to hedge against the bullish crude oil prices, said market sources.

Jan 26  - Fujairah Oil product stocks climb to eight-week high after gasoline, naphtha exports slow
Heavy distillates stocks were 9.835 million barrels as of Jan. 24, down 1% from a week earlier. Heavy distillates include fuel oil for power generation and shipping.

Jan 25 - Gibraltar port closed by bad weather
The port of Gibraltar has closed, with all inbound traffic suspended Jan. 25 following gale and strong wind warnings at the port.

Jan 25 - China 2021 fuel oil exports rise 23% on year to 19.27 mil mt
China's fuel oil exports rose 23% year on year to 19.27 million mt in 2021 as bunker fuel sales continued to rise, showed latest data from the General Administration of Customs.

Jan 25 - Weather-related export delays ease at Russia's railways, ports
Weather related delays are easing along Russia's railways and at ports, with the exception of the Black Sea ports, Russian Railways said late Jan. 24.

Jan 25 - Bosporus shut due to heavy snow; delays at Novorossiisk
"Just four tankers passed through the Bosporus on Jan. 23 and now we're seeing only two pass through today," a shipbroker said.

Jan 25 - China's ports face congestion due to bad weather, COVID-19 regulations: sources
Ports across China are facing congestion due to unfavorable weather conditions and disruptions owing to COVID-19, market sources said Jan. 24.

Jan 25 - Shanghai-Zhoushan high sulfur bunker fuel price spread turns negative
The Shanghai delivered 380 CST high sulfur bunker fuel price traded below the Zhoushan equivalent Jan. 21 for the first time since January 2021, when S&P Global Platts started receiving Zhoushan 380 CST bunker fuel price indications, sources said.

Jan 25 - South Korea delivered 0.5%S bunker fuel hits all-time high on rising crude, tight supply
The outright price of South Korea delivered marine fuel 0.5%S bunker rose $48/mt since Jan. 3 to reach an all-time high of $713.50/mt Jan. 24 on tight supply and in line with the rise in international crude markers, S&P Global Platts data showed.

Jan 25 - Europe & Africa Residual and Marine Fuel: Key market indicators this week
FOB Rotterdam 0.5%S marine fuel barges were assessed at $626/mt on Jan. 21, up $1.25/mt week on week.

Jan 25 - Americas Bunkers : Key market indicators Jan. 24-28
Spot marine fuel retail bunkers pricing in the Americas enters the week of Jan. 24-28 with mixed direction, as key ports in North America grapple with tight supply, while some Latin American markets see shifting demand fundamentals as primary drivers.

Jan 25 - Armed robbery incidents along Singapore Strait at 6-year high in 2021: ReCAAP
A sharp rise in reported armed robbery against vessels along the Singapore Strait to a six-year high in 2021 bucked the wider trend in Asia, but is not expected to threaten the city-port's standing as the world's largest bunker hub as much as regional bunker price competition, according to market sources polled by S&P Global Platts.

Jan 25 - Trade flows flip again as Atlantic-bound cargoes said to be diverted to East Asia
Several LNG cargoes heading to Europe for February delivery were heard to have been diverted recently to Asia amid an uptick in end-user demand in the Pacific and limited available slots for prompt deliveries in the Atlantic, according to market sources.

Jan 25 - FBX weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) increased 2% to $15,485/FEU. This rate is 255% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) went unchanged at $16,781/FEU, and are 191% higher than rates for this week last year.

- Supply chain delays and COVID restrictions combined to slow operations at Yantian this week. Delayed arrivals have left exports piling up in the container yard. As a result, exports are now allowed at the port only a few days before departure, while testing requirements have slowed trucking operations. Similar restrictions on drivers are contributing to congestion in Tianjin, with growing delays reported in Shanghai and Dalian as well.

- Ex-China ocean rates were stable overall this week, though Asia - N. Europe prices increased 5% to $15,061/FEU. With the Lunar New Year holiday about to begin, rates will most likely stay level for the next couple weeks. Prices could increase when manufacturing picks back up, but as pre-holiday demand did not push rates up dramatically, it is possible that prices won’t increase very much after the holiday either.

- Meanwhile, congestion at European ports and delays on the US east coast pushed transatlantic rates up 9% this week to $7,407/FEU, their highest point since mid-November.

- In retaliation for Chinese COVID policies that resulted in canceled US passenger flights, the US Department of Transportation has suspended 44 Chinese airline flights from the US to China starting at the end of the month. The new restrictions will likely worsen the capacity shortage from decreased passenger travel that has been a major contributor to extremely elevated air cargo rates during the pandemic.

Jan 25 - Maersk to tackle air pollution at ports with ship-charging buoys

Shipping group Maersk plans to install hundreds of offshore charging stations around the world to allow vessels to power themselves with electricity instead of fossil fuels while waiting outside ports, it said on Tuesday. Maersk is aiming to limit carbon emissions and cut air pollution from the around 3,500 commercial vessels that each day consume fuel oil to generate power while laying idle at ports around the world.

Jan 25 - Russian wheat prices down with weaker rouble

Russian wheat export prices fell last week as the rouble weakened against the dollar, taking a hit from fears related to a stand-off between Moscow and the West over Ukraine, analysts said on Monday. The West fears Russia may invade its neighbour.

Jan 24  - China’s zero Covid policy disrupts fruit imports ( IHSmarkit )

- Delays in shipments have caused uncertainty for the fruit industry
- Cherry prices are expected to go down after Chinese New Year
- Hong Kong SAR’s quarantine measures will contribute to consumer price hikes

- China’s zero Covid policy and stringent testing and quarantine measures have contributed to logistics costs hikes, big price fluctuations in origin countries and uncertainty for importers.
- The Chilean cherry season is under way in China and stakeholders in the supply chain are facing huge logistics challenges. Wholesale prices are expected to go down after the Chinese New Year, which falls on 1 February.
- Chinese New Year for this year is a bit earlier than usual years. Now is the peak period for imported fruit sales, especially those from the southern hemisphere. The delay in shipment arrivals has negatively affected the supply.
- China and Hong Kong SAR continue to adopt the zero Covid policy and enforce very stringent testing and disinfectant measures for customs clearance. The process is long and slow and the requirements are high and complex.

Land ports disruption
- On land ports for fruits from ASEAN, China has beefed up its Covid-19 testing on fruits and all the customs are subject to immediate suspension or closure once a case is found.
- Vietnamese media reports that thousands of container trucks carrying fruit have been stuck at the northern border gates from the beginning of December 2021 to now.
- According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), by the 2022 Lunar New Year, nearly 1.0 million tonnes of agricultural products, such as jackfruit, mango, pineapple, and dragon fruit, will be ready for harvest and need consuming. Most of these are originally destined for China.
- The Hekou–Lào Cai border crossing was reopened to fresh fruit from Vietnam to China on 12 January 2022. The crossing for fruits halted between 18 July and 17 August 2021 as China found Covid-19 virus from samples taken from the outer packaging of several shipments of dragon fruits. The one-month suspension caused dragon fruit prices in Vietnam to plummet.

The latest shutdown of the Hekou–Lào Cai border crossing occurred on 25 December 2021.

Jan 24 - Iran’s GTC said to have bought wheat in tender - traders

Iran's Government Trading Corporation (GTC) is believed to have purchased milling wheat in a tender that closed on Thursday, European traders said on Friday. Traders estimated that about 195,000 tonnes may have been purchased in three consignments of about 65,000 tonnes.

Jan 21 - Feb-arrival LSFO arbitrage volumes to Singapore seen dropping from Jan: traders
"The vessels that typically originate from the Black Sea sometimes call at the Mediterranean to top up, that's not happening any more because of the bad weather in the region," said a trader.

Jan 21 - Turkey buys some 345,000 tonnes feed barley in tender - traders

Turkey's state grain board TMO bought an estimated 345,000 tonnes of animal feed barley in an international tender for the same volume on Thursday, European traders said. The tender is believed to have been completed and no more purchases are expected, traders said.

Jan 20 - TotalEnergies affirms drive for LNG as bunker fuel, eyes biomethane

Company plans to increase biofuels production capacity from 0.3mt/year in 2020 to 2mt/year by 2025 and 5mt/year by 2030.

Jan 20 - Hafnia says in talks to buy 12 Scorpio LR1s
Singapore-based shipowner said in a statement it would provide further information at a later date.

Jan 20 - Crude consolidates as US inventories climb, Biden mulls further actions to cool market
US commercial crude stocks climbed 520,000 barrels to 413.81 million barrels.

Jan 20 - European bunker prices soar amid tight supply, improved appetite for crude
Tightness across bunkers market was the primary reason for the high valuations.

Jan 20 - USGC marine fuel 0.5%S hits record highs on supply tightness
Market has erased all the declines that occurred due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic beginning in early 2020.

Jan 20 - Trio designs methanol-powered bulker as climate targets for bunkers draw nearer
As of 2021, 37 construction contracts for the Panamax series had been signed and the tripartite project takes the concept further, incorporating new energy solutions by SDARI.

Jan 20 - U.S. Army Corps to upgrade lock and dam critical for grain exports  

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will use $732 million in federal infrastructure funding to modernize a lock and dam on the Upper Mississippi River that are crucial for shipping grain and soybeans to export markets, officials said on Wednesday. Upgrading infrastructure is essential for the United States to maintain its place as a top global agriculture exporter, as competitors including Brazil have made improvements.

Jan 20 - China's 2021 soy imports from Brazil fall on lower demand

China's soybean imports from Brazil in 2021 fell from the previous year, customs data showed on Thursday, as lower demand curbed purchases. The world's top soybean importer brought in 58.15 million tonnes of the oilseed from Brazil, down 9.5% from 64.28 million in 2020, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Jan 19  - European bunker prices soar amid tight supply, improved appetite for crude
Tightness across bunkers market was the primary reason for the high valuations.

Jan 19  - USGC marine fuel 0.5%S hits record highs on supply tightness
Market has erased all the declines that occurred due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic beginning in early 2020.

Jan 19  - Trio designs methanol-powered bulker as climate targets for bunkers draw nearer
As of 2021, 37 construction contracts for the Panamax series had been signed and the tripartite project takes the concept further, incorporating new energy solutions by SDARI.

Jan 19  - LR tankers capitalize on spot WAF gasoline demand leaving smaller ships reeling
Charterers have targeted LRs amid quick turnaround in spot demand leading to higher ship requirements due to more attractive dollar per metric ton rates.

Jan 19  - Fujairah Oil product inventories rebound from near-record lows
Heavy distillates stocks, including fuel for power generation and for shipping, rose by 772,000 barrels, or 8.4%, week on week to 9.950 million barrels, amid what traders said was a generally buoyant outlook for bunker fuels in the Fujairah market.

Jan 19  - Global refinery closures outweigh new capacity in 2021: IEA
For 2022 the IEA forecasts 1.2 million b/d of new additions, while runs will rise by 3.7 million b/d to 81.2 million b/d.

Jan 19  - Japan Jan 9-15 oil products output rises 6.9% on week
Production of low sulfur fuel oil rose 23.2% week on week to 0.86 million barrels in the week, with high sulfur fuel oil production surged 38.7% to 1.45 million barrels.

Jan 19  - Platts updates European fuel oil netbacks for 2022
The flat rate used to calculate FOB Mediterranean Marine Fuel 0.5% cargoes as a freight netback from CIF Mediterranean Marine Fuel 0.5% cargoes is $5.78/mt.

Jan 19  - Bunkering at South Korea's Busan, Ulsan inner ports resume, outer anchorages restricted
Bunkering operations at outer anchorages, however, remains restricted, market sources said.

Jan 19 - FBX Weekly Overview ( Freightos )

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) increased 4% to $15,171/FEU. This rate is 248% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) dipped 4% to $16,837/FEU, and are 184% higher than rates for this week last year.

- This week all eyes were on China and the impact that strict outbreak containment measures might have on logistics. Steps were taken to quash the spread of positive cases detected in multiple places including Beijing, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Dalian and several others while freight operations in Ningbo largely recovered.
- So far no major impacts have been reported at any of the relevant ports themselves, though the disruptions in Ningbo did result in some diversions to and congestion in Shanghai. According to Miranda Qin of Seabay Logistics, following the detection of omicron in Dalian, shipments are still experiencing delays of only three to seven days, about the norm for much of the country and not unexpected with Lunar New Year (LNY) approaching.
- One reason that logistics operations have remained largely intact is that the restrictions have been swift and as targeted as possible. Also, so far there haven’t been positive cases among port workers themselves, which was the case last summer when the port of Yantian was partially closed.
- Ocean spot rates from Asia to the US West Coast crept up by 4% as LNY approaches. With less than two weeks to go before manufacturing in China slows down over the holiday, it is unlikely we'll see any significant additional pressure on rates as shipments that haven’t been booked yet are unlikely to get moved in time. The congestion and delays at US ports may have muted some of the urgency that pushes demand up ahead of LNY most years.

But with enough time to still move cargo by air, the pre-holiday rush, along with pandemic-restricted capacity is pushing air cargo rates up on some ex-China lanes. The Freightos Air Index had China-North Europe prices at $9.59/kg last week, up significantly since the start of the month when they were under $6/kg.

Jan 19 - Turkey buys 335,000 tonnes milling wheat in tender, traders say

Turkey's state grain board TMO provisionally purchased some 335,000 tonnes of wheat in an international tender seeking the same volume on Tuesday, traders said. No more purchases are expected on Tuesday, they said.

Jan 19 - China's corn imports soar to new record in 2021

China's 2021 corn imports almost tripled in volume from the previous year, hitting a new record, customs data showed on Tuesday, as buyers turned to cheaper alternatives overseas amid soaring prices and a domestic supply crunch. China, the world's top grains market, brought in 28.35 million tonnes of corn in all of 2021, up 152% from an annual record figure of 11.3 million in 2020, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Jan 18  - Petrochina is Singapore's No.1 bunker fuel supplier for 2021: MPA
Shell Eastern had grabbed the top spot from PetroChina in 2020, but slipped to rank third in 2021, while Equatorial Marine Fuels took second spot yet again.

Jan 18  - Russia Seaports throughput rises 1.7% on year in 2021
Liquids throughput for the year stood at 422.4 million mt and dry freight was at 412.8 million mt.

Jan 18  - Singapore M1/M2 gasoil time spread soars to over 13-year high on tight supply
Low oil product stocks are also contributing to the strengthening market.

Jan 18 - Indian rice traders stop new export deals as freight train shortage blocks shipments

Nearly a third of India's rice exports for this month are stuck due to a shortage of freight trains and most traders have stopped signing February export contracts to avoid demurrage charges, industry officials told Reuters.  The slowdown in exports from India, the world's biggest rice exporter, has allowed rival suppliers such as Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam to increase overseas sales at higher prices.

Jan 18 - Rio Tinto sees soft 2022 iron ore shipments on labour issues, project delays

Rio Tinto, forecast slightly weaker-than-expected 2022 iron ore shipments on Tuesday, citing tight labour market conditions and production delays from the new greenfields mine at Gudai-Darri project. The world's biggest iron ore producer said it expects to ship between 320 million and 335 million tonnes (Mt) in 2022 from the Pilbara region in Western Australia, a forecast with a mid-point below RBC estimate of 332 Mt and UBS' estimate of between 330 Mt and 340 Mt

Jan 17 - Algeria buys 600,000 T of wheat, France to miss out again  

Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC purchased around 600,000 tonnes of milling wheat on Friday in an international tender in which French wheat was reportedly overlooked again, European traders said. The volume was above a 500,000-570,000 tonne range cited by traders in earlier assessments. Purchase prices were still seen at about $348 to $350 a tonne, cost and freight (c&f) included.

Jan 17 - South Korea’s MFG buys some 198,000 tonnes corn in tender  

South Korea's Major Feedmill Group (MFG) purchased about 198,000 tonnes of corn in an international tender which closed on Friday, European traders said. The corn was bought in three consignments.

Jan 14 - Iran said to buy about 240,000 tonnes wheat in tender - traders

Iranian state agency the Government Trading Corporation (GTC) is believed to have purchased around 240,000 tonnes of milling wheat in a tender which closed on Wednesday, European traders said on Thursday. It was believed to have been bought in about four consignments of around or just over 60,000 tonnes.

Jan 14 - China Dec coal imports fall, 2021 imports highest since 2013  

China's coal imports fell in December, slipping from November's 11-month high, as domestic coal miners boosted output to record levels and utilities slowed the pace of replenishing inventories.  China, the world's largest coal buyer, imported 30.95 million tonnes of coal in December, down 11.7% from November, figures from the General Administration of Customs of China showed on Friday.

Jan 13 - Shipping efficiency targets could prompt slower speeds and reduced capacity: market sources
Escalating energy efficiency targets will mean slower speeds in much of the global fleet

Jan 13 - Indonesia relaxes export ban to allow 37 coal vessels to depart

Indonesia, the world's biggest thermal coal exporter, has allowed 37 loaded coal vessels to depart after they secured approvals from authorities, the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime and Investment Affairs said on Thursday. In a statement, the ministry said an export ban implemented on Jan. 1 had been eased for miners that had met a requirement to sell a portion of their output for local power generation after the state utility procured enough coal at power stations to ensure 15 days of operations.

Jan 12  - Orsted, Liquid Wind partner in renewable methanol-for-shipping project

Orsted is to acquire a 45% stake in power to fuel firm Liquid Winds FlagshipONE 70 MW electrolyzer plant in Sweden

Jan 12  - Container group Maersk brings forward net-zero target to 2040 amid supply gap

Sourcing appropriate fuels remains a problem. The company has been a high-profile advocate of renewable methanol as a bunker fuel, alongside other fuels, as a way to meet its climate ambitions.

Jan 12 - Argentine grains ships cutting cargoes by 30% amid 'record' river decline, ports chamber says

Argentine grains ships leaving the main grains port hub of Rosario are having to cut cargoes by some 30% due to a renewed "record" plunge in water levels of the Parana River, the head of the local ports chamber told Reuters on Tuesday. The Parana, which carries some 80% of Argentina's farm exports, is key to billions of dollars of grains shipments from the country, which is the world's top exporter of processed soy, the second largest of corn and a major wheat producer.

Jan 12 - EU soft wheat exports jump by 1 mln T as French data retrieved

Soft wheat exports from the European Union so far this season had reached 15.11 million tonnes by Jan. 9, weekly official data showed on Tuesday, a 1 million tonne jump from the previous update as missing French data was incorporated. A week ago the European Commission had reported EU soft wheat exports for the 2021/22 season that began in July at 14.01 million, indicating that figures for France were only complete up to November.

Jan 11  - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)
- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) increased 16% to $14,572/FEU. This rate is 169% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) climbed 6% to $17,476/FEU, and are 190% higher than rates for this week last year.

- Restrictions aimed at containing coronavirus outbreaks near the port of Ningbo last week have largely been removed, with port operations normal and most trucking capacity restored. Meanwhile, new measures are in place in Shenzhen and Tianjin following detections there, though logistics operations haven’t been significantly impacted.

- Ahead of Lunar New Year (LNY), spot rates out of Asia have started to climb. Asia-US West Coast rates climbed 16% since last week after an early month dip, and East Coast rates increased 6%, though prices on both lanes remain more than 20% below peak season highs hit in September.

- This bump in pre-LNY demand comes with no significant easing in congestion at the major port of LA/Long Beach. The latest demand projections continue to show no expectation that volumes will ease in the coming months, with omicron’s spread likely to help keep spending on goods above pre-pandemic levels.

- With no opportunity to clear the backlog, delays persist: marketplace data show the average monthly end to end transit time for China-US ocean shipments hit a record of 80 days in December, 50% longer than in December 2020, and 85% longer than in 2019.

- Air rates remain stable, but still very elevated in what is typically a slow period for air cargo. Recent cancellations of passenger flights – including from travel bans in Hong Kong and elsewhere –  due to the omicron surge, will further restrict cargo capacity and help keep rates up.

Jan 11  - Crude pushes to two-month high as supply outlooks tighten
The gap between OPEC+ crude oil quotas and production widens

Jan 11  - Fujairah's HSFO cargoes gain as inventories fall
Asian utility sectors were increasingly sourcing HSFO cargoes from the Middle Eastern countries to meet power generation demand during winter, sources said.

Jan 11  - Multiple ships bound for Japan awaiting Indonesia's pending approval for coal exports: METI
Market sources in Japan have also said they are cautiously observing the situation in Indonesia because of the potential impact from local power utilities' shift to gas-fired power generation.

Jan 11  - TFG Marine set to enter New York market as physical bunkers supplier
"This new region of operation is a welcome addition to our existing US footprint in the Gulf Coast," the company said.

Jan 10  - Qatar cuts February Marine crude OSP by $1.70/b, Land by $1.80/b from January
February OSP differential set at $1.35/b against the average of S&P Global Platts Dubai and Oman crude assessments in the month of loading, down from $3.05/b in January.

Jan 10  - Shipping line Spliethoff starts 100% biofuel trial
Move follows successful trials of 50% biofuel-50% fuel oil blends, the company said in a statement Jan. 10.

Jan 10  - Pakistan's refiners call for fuel oil's share in power generation to be maintained
In the letter addressed to the energy ministry, the Oil Companies Advisory Council proposed that keeping 1.5 GW of fuel oil-fired power generation capacity operating for the next five years would ensure HSFO demand of 3 million mt/year, providing a cushion to refineries as they carry out the work necessary to reduce their output of fuel oil.

Jan 10  - China's Tianjin bunkering operations unaffected despite omicron cases: source
China has been tightening the regulations to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including on bunkering operations.

Jan 10 - Brazil manages to unload wheat imports amid tax collectors' protest

Brazil was able to clear two wheat shipments at its key Santos port after a few days of delay caused by a protest by agricultural tax collectors as part of their campaign for higher wages, industry association Abitrigo said on Friday. One of the vessels was unloaded on Jan. 2 but the shipment was not immediately cleared by officials under a work-to-rule effort, which ultimately affected a second vessel that needed to wait for these procedures to be concluded so it could discharge, according to Abitrigo.

Jan 10 - Israel began buying aluminium from Bahrain, envoy tells Al-Ayam newspaper

Israel began importing aluminium from Bahrain, Manama-based newspaper al-Ayam reported on Sunday, citing an interview with Eitan Na'eh, the Israeli ambassador to the Gulf Arab monarchy. Na'eh was appointed as Israel's first ambassador to Bahrain in 2021, a year after the two states agreed to normalise relations.

Jan 07  - Pakistan State Oil seeks HSFO, LSFO for H1 February
The lowest offer for both HSFO and LSFO cargoes were submitted by Coral Energy, according to a statement released by Pakistan State Oil.

Jan 07  - ARA fuel oil stocks up 0.2% on week at 1.165 million mt: Insights Global
In bunker markets, demand at ARA ports was quiet on the week with tight availability on high sulfur bunker fuel and marine gasoil at Rotterdam.

Jan 07  - Weather-related delays at Russia's railways, ports affect exports
The cold weather has caused a backlog of rail cars as both coal and fuel oil need to be heated up before being discharged from rail cars and loaded on tankers.

Jan 07  - BUNKERWORLD INDEX: Values trend up, taking lead from crude
- High demand at Mumbai has directed traffic to Columbo
- Fewer HSFO cargoes in Med mean tight supply
- Quiet demand across many Americas ports

Jan 07  - Japan Dec 26-Jan 1 oil products output drops 11.6% on week
Production of low sulfur fuel oil plunged 41.2% on the week to 0.77 million barrels in the week to Jan. 1, with high sulfur fuel oil production diving 33.2% week on week to 0.76 million barrels.

Jan 07  - Mumbai LSFO bunker premiums retreat from record highs; Sri Lanka vies for demand
A gradual rebound in LSFO inventories at Mumbai port since the first trading week of 2022 has lowered premiums of the delivered grade from all-time highs as stockpiles matched downstream bunker demand amid lower buying interest during the year-end holidays, according to market sources.

Jan 07  - Singapore Residue stocks rise 8% on week as fuel oil imports double
Fuel oil imports surged 99.18% week on week to 1.101 million mt, the data showed.

Jan 07 - Brazil unable to unload wheat imports due to tax collectors' protest

Brazil has been unable to promptly unload wheat shipments at its key port in Santos as agricultural tax collectors protest as part of a campaign for higher wages, local association Abitrigo said on Thursday. Abitrigo's head Rubens Barbosa told Reuters that two vessels carrying imported wheat had their unloading operations delayed due to the work-to-rule effort.

Jan 06  - UK tied China for top destination for US LNG in December amid market swings
Shipping rates, meanwhile, plunged. The Atlantic day rate fell about 75% from its high in December to $65,000/day at the end of the month, while the Pacific day rate dropped about 70% from its high during the month to $90,000/day Dec. 31.

Jan 06  - Front month open interest for ICE Singapore HSFO, LSFO falls in December
Traders pointed to the sale of more straight-run fuel oil volumes originating from the Middle East in particular, after Iraq's State Organisation for the Marketing of Oil sold 600,000-650,000 mt/month loading over H1 2022, in early December.

Jan 06  - PTT International Trading to market fuel oil from Thailand's PTT in 2022
This marks a departure from its previous practice of selling its marine fuel 0.5% via tender.

Jan 06  - Singapore-Zhoushan delivered marine fuel 0.5%S spread nears 3-month low
Bunker demand in Singapore was mostly lackluster during December 2021 amid strong premiums of delivered marine fuel 0.5%S, which led to a loss of inquiries to suppliers at North Asian ports such as Zhoushan, where LSFO bunkers were priced more competitively, market sources said.

Jan 06  - Zhoushan bunker demand rises with Ningbo bunkering partly closed: sources
Bunkering operations at Ningbo's Beilun Container Terminal Phase 3 have been suspended at latest since Jan. 3, a Zhoushan-based bunker supplier said.

Jan 05 - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) decreased 14% to $12,524/FEU. This rate is 218% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) dipped 1% to $16,495/FEU, and are 232% higher than rates for this week last year.

- Though everyone hoped that the new year would bring steady improvement in both the pandemic and its impacts on logistics, so far it’s more of the same.

- China’s “Zero COVID” policy is starting to impact operations at the major port of Ningbo. Area closures and restrictions to contain the spread in the region are limiting truck access to the port, with reports of some warehouse closures as well. The recent increase in cases could limit manufacturing in the region and in other areas with outbreaks. But broader travel restrictions could also mean factories that normally close over the Lunar New Year (LNY) holiday will stay open, reducing the typical pre-holiday pressure on logistics.

- Ningbo’s counterparts across the ocean, the ports of LA/Long Beach, continue to struggle with congestion, and are facing a virus-driven challenge of their own. As omicron surges in southern California, more and more of the ports’ labor force has tested positive – including two thirds of those tested on Tuesday – and authorities are bracing for a slowdown in operations.

- Rates are expected to climb as LNY rapidly approaches. Any additional slow down due to COVID will likely exacerbate the congestion and backlog, and continue to keep pressure on container rates as well.

- Air cargo rates out of Asia have come down from their peak-season highs. The Freightos Air Index shows China-Europe prices have fallen 30% from their mid-December peak to $5.68/kg, with Freightos marketplace data showing a similar decline for Asia-US West Coast rates. But COVID impacts on crew availability, passenger travel, and tightening quarantine rules in Asia are already reducing available capacity, and will help keep rates elevated or climbing.

Jan 05 - Indonesia to review coal export ban that has driven up global prices

Indonesian coal miners are due to hold talks with government officials on Wednesday on a ban on the country's coal exports that has unnerved global markets for the fuel and triggered energy security concerns in some major economies. Indonesia, the world's top exporter of thermal coal and China's largest overseas supplier, on Saturday announced a ban on exports in January to avoid outages at domestic generators.

Jan 05 - EU 2021/22 soft wheat exports 14 mln T by Jan. 2, French data up to Nov

 Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2021/22 season that started in July had reached 14.01 million tonnes by Jan. 2, according to data published on Tuesday by the European Commission, which said that figures for France were only complete up to November. That compared with 13.63 million tonnes by the same week in 2020/21, the data showed.

Jan 04  - Crude pushes higher as OPEC+ raises February output, signaling demand confidence
Crude futures settled higher Jan. 4 after the OPEC+ group announced signaled demand optimism by raising February output quotas 400,000 b/d as planned.

Jan 04  - MARINE FUEL 0.5%: December sees supply tighten, premiums rise globally
Supply tightness for various reasons around the globe pushed prices and cracks for marine fuel 0.5%S higher in December with sources expected more of the same to start 2022.

Jan 04  - EMEA MIDDLE DISTILLATES: Key market indicators
European middle distillates markets are starting the year in a position of strength amid low stocks levels, reduced refinery runs and limited incoming flows for January, while overall the omicron variant did not seem to have a significant impact on European demand for diesel and jet fuel.

Jan 04  - Denmark's Port of Hanstholm and European Energy to develop green hydrogen
The Port of Hanstholm in Denmark has signed a letter of intent with Danish renewables company European Energy to develop solar and wind plants and a renewable hydrogen project, they said Jan. 3.

Jan 04  - Zhoushan delivered marine fuel 0.5%S bunker premium jumps on lower output
Demand in Singapore has increased since the last trading week of December 2021, firming delivered LSFO bunker premiums as buyers sought last minute requirements. The market, likewise, expects steady bunker demand amid heightened shipping activity during H1 January prior to the Lunar New Year festive season, traders said.

Jan 04 - Turkey extends custom tax exemption on some grain imports  

Turkey has extended a customs tax exemption on some wheat, rye, barley, oats, maize, chick pea and lentil imports until the end of 2022, according to the country's Official Gazette. It also extended the customs tax exemption on sunflower seed oil until the end of June, the Gazette showed on Friday.

Jan 03  - Pakistan State Oil seeks HSFO, LSFO for H1 March
Pakistan State Oil procures fuel oil on behalf of utilities companies to meet domestic power generation demand.

Jan 03  - Asia residual fuels: Key market indicators for Jan. 3-7
Trading activity in the Asian fuel oil market in the week of Jan. 3-7 is expected to gain pace as participants return from the year-end holidays.

Jan 03  - Americas Bunker Key market indicators Jan 3-7
Bunker markets in the Americas is expected to continue the upward trend following two weeks of increased pricing amid talks of higher demand in several ports and a strengthened energy complex.

Jan 03  - Bunker fuel price rises in most Latin American ports at 30% to 40% in 2021
Spot prices for marine fuel 0.5%S rose more than 30% over the year in most ports in Latin America in 2021, while the advance for marine gasoil exceeded 40%, according to an average of monthly data from key ports in the region assessed by S&P Global Platts.

Jan 03  - Shipping industry may outpace IMO in toughening climate targets
The shipping industry may look beyond the International Maritime Organization in 2022 for guidance in combatting climate change, amid mounting pressure to increase the pace of its current efforts.

Jan 03  - Singapore delivered, ex-wharf MF 0.5%S bunker spread nears 11-month high
The spread between delivered and ex-wharf Singapore marine fuel 0.5%S bunker widened to an eleven-month high of $13/mt Dec. 31, S&P Global Platts data showed, amid strengthening demand for the delivered grade.

Jan 03 - Russian govt approves grain export quota at 11 mln T for Feb 15 to June 30  

The Russian government approved a grain export quota at 11 million tonnes, including 8 million tonnes of wheat, for Feb. 15 to June 30, according to a government document published on Friday. The economy ministry said earlier this month that Russia planned to set grain export quotas each year from now on after not having had quotas before this year.

VLCC market to stay supported amid coronavirus outbreak: International Seaways

"Cargoes are still moving and the liftings are still happening," Zabrocky said. In Full »

INTERVIEW: Mercuria subsidiary Minerva Bunkering starts operations at Fujairah

"Between our bunker tankers and the storage terminal, we think we're logistically well positioned," Baron said. In Full »

TANKERS: Panama Canal to decrease maximum allowable draft to 45.5 ft

The ACP said that the change is based on the present and projected level of the Gatun Lake for the upcoming weeks. In Full »

Singapore LSFO prices have hit bottom, but sustained demand unlikely before April: traders

"We have received more inquiries in the last two trading days than when prices were low last week," a bunker supplier said. In Full »

All transport needs to be decarbonized to hit EU's Green Deal target: consultancy

If the European Commission is to achieve its 2050 net-zero ambitions then all transport needs to be fully decarbonized, including aviation, consultancy Transport and Environment said Wednesday. In Full »

Big Oil's resistance to coronavirus-led price drop set to be tested

Oil majors are likely to keep investment plans intact in the coming months but could have to reassess should oil prices drop well below $50/b for a sustained length of time, according to analysts. In Full »

EC sets out climate law to hit net zero emissions by 2050

The European Commission unveiled Wednesday its legislative proposal to enshrine in law a goal to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. In Full »

Saudi-led coalition in Yemen says it foiled oil tanker attack in Arabian Sea

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen fighting Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels said Wednesday it had foiled an attack on an oil tanker in the Arabian Sea by four remote-controlled boats. In Full »

Open interest for ICE March Singapore HSFO swap contracts rises 18% on month in Feb

Total open interest for the March Singapore high sulfur fuel oil swap contracts traded on the Intercontinental Exchange rose 18% month on month to 6.13 million mt as of February 28, data from the exchange showed this week. In Full »

Weak European refining margins prompt run cuts, crude values slide

In Full »

Gazprom Neft boosts IMO 2020-compliant marine fuel sales by 47% in 2019

Russian oil major Gazprom Neft sold around 350,000 mt of IMO 2020-compliant marine fuel in 2019, about 47% higher than 2018's level, the company said in a press release.