Freight & Bunkers News

Oct 04  - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) decreased 16% to $2,516/FEU. This rate is 85% lower than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) dipped 5% to $6,634/FEU, and are 66% lower than rates for this week last year.

- Hurricane Ian’s path across Florida and parts of the southeast closed airports, disrupted rail movements, and temporarily closed container ports in Jacksonville and Charleston, though other ports already struggling with delays like Savannah, remained operational.
- Easing port congestion both in China’s hubs and at LA/Long Beach is effectively increasing available capacity – vessels leaving Asia for the West Coast are reportedly only about 70-80% full – and is combining with the continuing decrease in demand to push spot rates down especially quickly on this lane.
- Asia to US West Coast prices fell 16% to $2,516/FEU this week.  This rate is still 88% higher than in October 2019, but was last seen in June 2020 when prices first started climbing during the pandemic. This price is just 5% higher than in October 2018 when importers were rushing to beat the roll-out of tariffs on Chinese goods in January 2019. Rates from Asia to the US East Coast and to North Europe each dipped 5% since last week.

- Falling rates, especially on the Asia – US West Coast lane, could soon push prices below the break even point per container for some ocean carriers as their costs have also climbed with inflation.  Smaller carriers who operate smaller vessels – many of whom are paying expensive charter rates and were new entrants on the transpacific as spot rates spiked – and currently operate about a third of transpacific capacity may be the most exposed to falling prices making operations unprofitable.  
- The larger carriers are likely hoping shifting conditions will push the smaller players and their capacity out of the market, and, together with the significant increase in blanked sailings and canceled services, help to stabilize rates.
- Slowing demand for goods out of China in September also meant falling air cargo rates as Freightos Air Index transpacific prices decreased 32% since last month to $5.12/kg – half the level of a year ago – and China - Europe rates fell 19% to $4.13/kg, 43% lower than last year. Transatlantic rates were stable, but are 25% lower than a year ago as passenger capacity has increased.  

- Peak season for air cargo typically begins around late October, but some in the industry are doubtful there will be much of a surge this year.

Oct 04 - US corn barge levels capped as poor demand balances river woes (Agricensus)

Prices for US CIF corn barges delivered into the US Gulf export hub have failed to respond to the restriction in supply stemming from low water levels along the key Mississippi waterway, trade sources have told Agricensus Monday.

Bids and offer levels for physical barges for delivery in to the primary US export hub at the start of the week remained unchanged on previous levels despite mounting fears that barges will not be able to navigate the waterway.

Normally such a restriction would prompt barge premiums to rise, particularly as FOB cargo offer levels have pushed markedly higher, but the barge market has shown little interest in moving higher.

“Rates are high, the water is low, the capacity is down, all are supportive,” one trade source told Agricensus, before describing the situation as one of “mixed messages.”

“We’re priced out of everywhere, so there’s not much trading. The barge market could go screaming higher, or it could collapse,” the source said, referring to a lack of competitiveness on international markets.

Barge values were largely unchanged in bids and offers, with prompt October and November values heard unchanged at levels around the 140-145 cents for October, and around 117 cents for November loading – both over the December corn futures contract.

While that was unchanged on levels heard at the end of last week, October FOB cargo levels were heard offered at 275 cents over the December contract – up 125 cents from the levels heard at the end of last week.

Costs of move barges along the Mississippi have surged in recent weeks as water levels restrict the amount of volume a barge can carry – or risk grounding on the river bed.

That in turn places extra strain on the barge supply, forcing up costs as more vessels are required to carry the same volume and limiting the supply of barges.

Since the beginning of September, barge freight has jumped 80% – a dynamic that would typically drive basis premiums for cash commodities higher as the market absorbs the increased freight cost.

However, in this instance, the lack of strong buying activity for US corn – given the more competitive pricing of South American and Ukrainian corn – means that the higher freight and logistics issues are negated by a lack of demand.

The US Gulf is dependent upon the Mississippi River for supply, with the river network the key element connecting the fields of the Midwest to the global export market.   

While US Gulf CIF barges have spiked in recent weeks, they remain some way off the year-to-date high of 180 cents over, set back in early July according to Agricensus data.

Oct 04 - Hungary imports maize from Ukraine as drought hits local crop
Hungary has imported about 1 million tonnes of maize, nearly a quarter of its annual needs in the past 12 months mostly from Ukraine as a severe drought destroyed a large part of its domestic crop, industry representatives said on Monday.  "Under normal circumstances, Hungary is a maize exporter, but this year's crop will be the lowest since the 1970s," said Andras Mahr, deputy secretary general of the National Alliance of Agricultural Producers and Cooperatives (MOSZ). 

Oct 04 - Costa Rican coffee exports slump 60% in September as season ends
Costa Rican coffee growers exported 60.1% fewer beans in September compared with a year earlier, as stocks ran out in the last month of the season after a smaller harvest, the country's coffee institute ICAFE said on Monday. Costa Rica exported 28,144 60-kilo bags in September, the last month of Central America's coffee season, or 42,403 bags fewer than it had a year earlier.

Oct 3 - Ukraine's Sept grain exports fall 23.6% y/y to 4.3 mln T -ministry
Ukraine's grain exports fell by 23.6% year on year in September to 4.278 million tonnes, but reached the highest level since the Russian invasion, agriculture ministry data showed. The country's grain exports have slumped since February as the invasion closed off Ukraine's Black Sea ports, driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East. 

Oct 3 - Algeria said to have bought about 300,000 T wheat, mainly Russian
Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC is believed to have bought about 300,000 tonnes of milling wheat in an international tender which closed on Thursday, European traders said on Friday. The purchase was expected to be largely sourced from Russia, although technically supplies are optional origin, they said.

Sep 30 - Brazil more competitive than U.S. to ship soy to China, Rumo CEO says
Brazil, the world's biggest soybeans supplier, has overtaken rival United States as the most competitive shipper of the oilseed to top importer China, the head of rail company Rumo said on Thursday. Rumo Chief Executive Joao de Abreu noted Brazil's cost per tonne in dollars to ship soy to China was lower than that of the United States in the first half of this year. 

Sep 30 - Japan buys 61,800 tonnes of food wheat via tenders
Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) bought a total of 61,800 tonnes of food-quality wheat from the United States and Canada in regular tenders that closed on Thursday. Japan, the world's sixth-biggest wheat importer, keeps a tight grip on imports of the country's second most important staple behind rice and buys the majority of the grain for milling via tenders typically issued three times a month.

Sep 29 - Ukrainian grains still using Danube as gateway to Romanian Black Sea port
Ukraine continues to ship grain across the Danube to the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta even after some of its own ports reopened, and the new routes are likely to remain, the deputy chief of freight logistics group TTS said on Wednesday. Ukraine's grain exports slumped after Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24 and blockaded its Black Sea ports, driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.

Sep 29 - Ukraine grain exports down 41.5% so far this season, ministry says
Ukraine's grain exports are down 41.5% year on year in the 2022/23 season so far at almost 8 million tonnes, but the pace of shipments is increasing gradually, agriculture ministry data showed on Wednesday. The country's grain exports have slumped since Russia invaded in February because its Black Sea ports were closed off, driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.

Sep 28  - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 8% to $2,978/FEU. This rate is 82% lower than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) decreased 5% to $6,952/FEU, and are 63% lower than rates for this week last year.

-Ocean spot rates out of Asia continued to fall this week even as carriers cancel significant amounts of scheduled sailings to the US and Europe to meet falling demand. Asia - US West Coast rates fell 8% to less than $3,000/FEU this week, a 45% drop since the start of the month and the lane’s lowest level since August of 2020, though prices remain 128% higher than in September 2019.  

- Rates from  Asia to the East Coast and to North Europe have each declined by about 25% this month but remain more than 150% and 400% higher than in 2019, respectively. The slower rate slides relative to Asia - US West Coast price decreases are likely due to still-severe port congestion on these lanes.

- Though European ports like Hamburg and Rotterdam continue to suffer delays despite decreasing volumes, the spike in US East Coast port congestion over the last few months is driven by a significant shift of volumes from the West Coast which handled only 45% of US import containers in August.

- Importers shifted away from LA/Long Beach not only to avoid the congestion and delays they experienced during last year’s peak season, but also to stay clear of possible labor disruptions since July when the ILWU’s contract with west coast ports expired.
- This week the first industrial actions of this dispute took place as ILWU members at the ports of Seattle-Tacoma and Oakland temporarily slowed operations. Strikes in the UK are also affecting operations at the ports of Felixstowe and Liverpool, though not to the same extent as during the first Felixstowe strike back in August.

Sep 28 - Senegal to seek talks with India over rice export ban
Senegal plans to hold talks with India to secure a much-needed rice supply after India banned exports of broken rice globally and imposed tariffs on some other types, the West African nation's president told business leaders late on Monday. India and Pakistan are Senegal's two top sources of rice, a major food staple in the country. Senegal grows only about half the rice it consumes.

Sep 28 - South Korea’s MFG buys estimated 137,000 tonnes corn in tender
South Korea's Major Feedmill Group (MFG) has purchased an estimated 137,000 tonnes of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from South America or South Africa in an international tender which closed on Tuesday, European traders said. One consignment of 69,000 tonnes was bought for shipment by Nov. 10 and arrival in South Korea around Dec. 20 at an estimated $333.38 a tonne c&f plus a $1.25 a tonne surcharge for additional port unloading.

Sep 27  - Ukraine urges EU to help make emergency food routes permanent
Ukraine on Monday urged the European Union to support its plans to make the emergency paths for grain exports through the bloc permanent, with investment in at least five border terminals and a pipeline through which sunflower oil would flow.

Sep 26   - Seven more crop-laden ships leave Ukrainian ports on Sunday
Seven more ships laden with agricultural produce left Ukrainian ports on Sunday, the country's infrastructure ministry said, bringing the total to 218 since a U.N.-brokered corridor through the Black Sea came into force at the start of August.

Sep 23 - India's Russian thermal coal imports set to fall for first time in 4 months
India's thermal coal imports from Russia are expected to fall for the first time in four months in September, two research consultancies said, potentially resulting in lower revenues for Moscow at a time it is mobilising more troops to fight in Ukraine. Indian consultancy Coalmint expects September thermal coal imports from Russia to decline 30% from August to 1.4 million tonnes, it said in a note to clients.

Sep 23 - Philippines bought about 45,000 tonnes Australian feed wheat 
An importer group in the Philippines is believed to have bought around 45,000 tonnes of animal feed wheat to be sourced from Australia in an international tender which closed on Thursday, European traders said in assessments on Friday. The wheat was purchased at about $355 a tonne c&f for January 2023 shipment, traders estimated.

Sep 22  - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 17% to $3,241/FEU. This rate is 80% lower than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) decreased 14% to $7,326/FEU, and are 61% lower than rates for this week last year.

- Falling demand for ocean freight, whatever the drivers – inflation, fears of a looming recession, an extremely early peak season – is making capacity more readily available than it has been in a very long time and rates continued to fall this week as a result.

- The Golden Week holiday in China that begins in a week will pause a lot of manufacturing, and the lead up typically causes some increase in ocean demand. But Golden Week’s approach and carriers starting to cancel sailings to try and keep vessels full have not stopped the rate slide, as transpacific prices dropped by double digits to both coasts since last week, and Asia - North Europe rates fell another 8%.  
- With this year’s ocean peak season now clearly behind us, the coming weeks could indicate what the new floor for spot rates will be this year, and how much above 2019 levels capacity management, congestion, and volumes (still expected to stay above 2019 levels) can keep container prices.
- The decrease in demand has also resulted in a sudden drop in ocean charter rates – the price carriers pay to lease some of the ships they operate.  Falling spot rates could put pressure on some smaller carriers who are now stuck with expensive charter rates taken on to offer new transpacific services back when spot rates were sky high.
- Labor disputes remain a threat to ocean logistics, though. Last week’s planned rail strike in the US was averted at the last minute. Meanwhile, West Coast port labor negotiations have apparently stalled, as workers at UK ports begin new strikes this week.

- In air cargo, transpacific volumes have been in decline since the start of the year and Freightos Air Index rates in early September were more than 50% lower than this time last year. But air cargo rates remain about double the norm, and the latest data (from July) saw volumes still 10% higher than pre-pandemic levels, suggesting that – like in ocean – volumes and rates are coming down from last year’s extremes but, for now, remain elevated.

Sep 22 - India considering exporting some stuck rice cargoes
India is considering allowing the overseas shipment of some rice cargoes stuck at ports after the world's biggest exporter of the grain imposed restrictions earlier this month, a government official said on Wednesday on the condition of anonymity. India's move to curb rice exports trapped around one million tonnes of grain at ports.

Sep 22 - Ukraine's grain exports down 43% so far in 2022/23
Ukraine's grain exports are down 43.2% year on year in the 2022/23 season so far at 6.88 million tonnes, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. Ministry data showed that exports so far in the July 2022 to June 2023 season included 3.95 million tonnes of corn, 2.30 million tonnes of wheat and 598,000 tonnes of barley.

Sep 21 - Indian rice shipments stuck at ports, traders seek government help
At least 20 ships are waiting to load around 600,000 tonnes of rice at Indian ports as New Delhi's surprise export restrictions have trapped cargoes for nearly a fortnight, forcing sellers to pay demurrage charges, industry officials told Reuters. India banned exports of broken rice and imposed a 20% duty on exports of various other types on Sept. 8, as the world's biggest exporter of the grain tries to boost local supplies and calm prices after below-average monsoon rainfall curtailed planting.

Sep 21 - Brazil's September corn export view shy of monthly record as Anec revises data
Brazilian corn export estimates were revised lower on Tuesday, narrowing the chance of a monthly record in shipments, according to data from the National Association of Cereal Exporters (Anec). Anec reduced September's corn export estimate by more than 200,000 tonnes, to up to 7.618 million tonnes.

Sep 20 - Ukraine's grain exports down 46% so far in 2022/23, says ministry
Ukraine's grain exports are down 45.6% year-on-year in the 2022/23 season so far at 6.364 million tonnes, the agriculture ministry said on Monday. The country's grain exports have slumped since the start of the war because its Black Sea ports, a key route for shipments, were closed off, driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.

Sep 20 - Saudi Arabia buys about 556,000 tonnes wheat in tender
Saudi Arabia's main state wheat-buying agency, the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO), on Monday said it has purchased about 556,000 tonnes of wheat in an international tender. The purchase was at an average price of $371.61 a tonne c&f, SAGO said, confirming earlier reports from traders.

Sep 19 - Around 3.7 mln tonnes of food left Ukraine ports under grain deal
A total of 165 ships with 3.7 million tonnes of agricultural products on board have left Ukraine under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey to unblock Ukrainian sea ports, the Ukrainian infrastructure ministry said on Sunday. The ministry said 10 ships with 169,300 tonnes of agricultural products were due to leave Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Sunday.

Sep 19 - China's August aluminium imports fall 19% on-year as domestic output rises
China's aluminium imports in August dropped 19% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Sunday, reflecting lowered import appetite amid record-high domestic production and tight overseas supply. The country brought in 200,440 tonnes of unwrought aluminium and products, including primary metal and unwrought, alloyed aluminium last month, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

Sep 16 - Hundreds of seafarers still stuck in Ukraine despite grains corridor
Around 82 ships with 418 seafarers remain stuck around Ukrainian ports despite the opening of a U.N.-backed sea corridor to ship grains with efforts to get the mariners sailing still stuck, shipping industry officials said on Thursday. The agreement reached in July, creating a protected sea transit corridor, was designed to alleviate global food shortages, with Ukraine's customers including some of the world's poorest countries.

Sep 16 - Japan buys 97,373 tonnes of food wheat via tenders
Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) bought 97,373 tonnes of food-quality wheat from the United States and Canada in regular tenders that closed on Thursday. The world's sixth-biggest wheat importer, Japan keeps a tight grip on imports of its second most important staple behind rice and buys the majority of it for milling via tenders typically issued three times a month.

Sep 15 - Ukraine's grain exports accelerate in Sept following grain deal
The pace of grain exports from Ukraine has risen so far in September but volumes are still well below last season's levels, agriculture ministry data showed on Wednesday. Ukraine's grain exports have slumped since the start of the war because its Black Sea ports, a key route for shipments, were shut, driving up global food prices and prompting fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.

Sep 15 - French wheat export forecast cut as competition seen rising
Farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday lowered its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the European Union in 2022/23, saying competition from other origins could curb a brisk start to France's export season. Soft wheat shipments outside the EU were now seen at 10.0 million tonnes, down from an initial projection of 10.3 million in July though 14% above the 2021/22 volume, FranceAgriMer said in a cereal supply and demand outlook.

Sep 15  - FBX weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 10% to $3,896/FEU. This rate is 80% lower than the same time last year.

- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) dipped 2% to $8,553/FEU, and are 61% lower than rates for this week last year.

- Transpacific ocean spot rates continued their decline this week on weakening demand for ocean freight. At $3,896/FEU, Asia – US West Coast rates have fallen by nearly 75% since the start of the year and are at their lowest level since May of 2020. The significant shift of volumes – and congestion – to the East Coast has kept Asia – US East Coast prices from falling as dramatically, with rates “only” half their level at the start of the year and even with prices in May of 2021.

- In response to easing demand and falling rates, carriers are canceling some transpacific sailings through October. And as spot rates are now well below most contract rates, there are reports that many importers are trying to renegotiate ocean contracts with carriers.  

- The latest National Retail Federation data show that monthly import volumes have indeed declined each month since May and estimate that the gradual slide will continue through the end of the year, representing a 2% to 5% decrease compared to last year for each of these remaining months.

- But even with these decreases, projected volumes for each month from September to December are at least 12% higher than in 2019, and total import volumes for 2022 would surpass 2021 by 1.2% and set a new annual record.  Which is to say that despite these declines, volumes are still quite strong (and rates are still quite high) compared to 2019.

- Another indication of an ocean market in flux is the recent rate decrease on the transatlantic. This lane had been anomalous – climbing early this year as Asia – Europe rates fell, and staying elevated this summer as transpacific prices sagged. But since the start of the month Europe – N. America rates have fallen nearly 20%.

Sep 14 - Egypt approves replacement for detained Ukrainian wheat cargo
Egypt's state grains buyer has agreed to replace a detained Ukrainian wheat shipment with a new 60,000-tonne cargo, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, following weeks-long negotiations to either free or replace the shipment.  The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) will buy a new cargo of Russian or Ukrainian wheat from the same supplier, Olam, at a price of $361.25 per tonne on a cost and freight basis, one of the people added.

Sep 14 - U.S. railways to halt grain shipments ahead of potential shutdown
Some U.S. railroads will start halting crop shipments on Thursday, a day ahead of a potential work stoppage, an agricultural association and sources at two grain cooperatives said on Tuesday, threatening exports and feed deliveries for livestock. With farmers starting to harvest autumn crops that are shipped to meat and biofuels producers, the shipping disruptions could add to already high inflation.

Sep 09 - Brazilian corn exporters face bureaucracy to ship corn to China
Brazil is still processing the documentation from firms interested in exporting corn to China, as well as preparing to inspect grain warehouses at ports, the agriculture ministry said on Thursday. Once this process is concluded and the information is sent to the Chinese, Brazil will remove the final obstacles to be able to export, the ministry added.

Sep 09 - Top Polish port sees coal imports at 4-5 mln tonnes in Aug-Dec
Poland's biggest port will import 4-5 million tonnes of coal between August and December, Slawomir Michalewski, chief financial officer of the Port of Gdansk Authority said on Thursday. "In August we received 1.07 million tonnes. At this rate, via our port alone we will receive 4-5 million tonnes of coal by December."

Sep 08 - Ukraine sailor permits seen crucial for grain exports, global shipping
Ukraine's decision to allow its seafarers to leave the country despite wartime restrictions will free up vital manpower for both Ukrainian grain exports and the wider global shipping industry, industry figures told Reuters. The move, officially confirmed this week, is part of efforts by Ukraine to maximise its grain shipments via a UN-brokered corridor through the Black Sea, which lifted a Russian blockade of Ukraine's south coast which came into effect in early August.

Sep 08 - Argentine soybean sales spike after new exchange rate
Argentine farmers sold a total of 2.13 million tonnes of soybeans on Monday and Tuesday, surpassing in just two days the 667,000 tonnes sold last week after the government established a preferential exchange rate for soybean exports, the Rosario Stock Exchange said Wednesday. The sharp increase in sales comes after Economy Minister Sergio Massa's announcement on Sunday that set the exchange rate for soybean producers at 200 pesos per dollar, which is above the official 140 pesos per dollar rate.

Sep 07  - FBX Weekly Overview (freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 20% to $4,345/FEU. This rate is 79% lower than the same time last year.

- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) decreased 4% to $8,688/FEU, and are 61% lower than rates for this week last year.

- Transpacific ocean rates continued their decline this week, with Asia - US West Coast prices decreasing 20% to start the month at $4,345/FEU – a rate 70% lower than at the start of the year and last seen back in January 2021. This decrease reflects falling demand for freight, both because of excess inventories among some importers as inflation reduces spending among some consumers and others shift to other types of goods and to services as the pandemic recedes, and because many retailers pulled peak season orders earlier in the year to avoid delays.

- At the same time, easing backlogs and congestion at LA/Long Beach are keeping more vessels moving as opposed to sitting in the bay, increasing available capacity and also pushing rates down on this lane. Much of that congestion, however, has shifted to East Coast and Gulf ports and is likely a factor keeping Asia - US East Coast rates from falling as dramatically as rates to the West Coast.

- Asia – N. Europe rates also fell sharply this week and at $7,845/FEU are now about 25% lower than the level held from May to early August. As volumes on this lane continue to slump, carriers have begun to blank sailings in an attempt to keep ships full.

- But despite these decreases, ocean prices are still well above the norm: transpacific rates are about triple their level in September 2019 and Asia – N. Europe prices are five times as high. So even with falling demand, other factors like congestion, still-strong (relative to 2019) projected transpacific volumes, and unresolved labor disputes in the US and UK – not to mention potential zero-covid, weather, and energy disruptions – could keep the slide gradual.

- Though we aren’t in the typical air cargo peak season yet, Freightos Air Index transpacific rates are decreasing at a time they were already starting to climb last year. At $5.28/kg, last week’s average is also about 50% lower than last year, and some carriers are already projecting a slow peak season in air cargo as well.

Sep 07  - Port Sudan activity recovery favours a price rise in gum Arabic (IHSmarkit)

- 5% increase in gum Arabic prices
- Sesame prices at highs

- Port Sudan is working in full swing after suffering paralysis for several months due to social riots, fuelling exports and prices of key exporting commodities such as gum Arabic and sesame, trading sources told S&P Global Commodity Insights.

- Gum Arabic grade one was listed between $2,250-2,300/tonne fob Port Sudan this August, 5% more than the level of $2,150 listed in H1 2021. Meanwhile, grade two, mainly demanded in India, was being traded at $900/tonne fob.
“Prices are going to be stabilised at this level until 2023 at least as the harvest is coming and there are still high carry-over stocks due to the previous paralysis in Port Sudan,” the commercial director of FAAS Trade & Investment, Fares Oufi, explained.

- Meanwhile, sesame prices were quoted at $1,600/tonne fob. “Harvest is still some way off, and the industry needs to recover from losses suffered previously,” Oufi explained. It is hard to know if this level will continue in the mid and the long-term. “China is the main purchaser of the domestic crop and prices will follow trend led by its importers,” Oufi concluded.

Sep 07 - Egypt seeking to replace detained Ukraine wheat cargo, sources say
Egypt has been negotiating to replace a detained Ukrainian wheat shipment, two people with knowledge of the matter said, after talks to release the vessel carrying it proved unfruitful. The cargo of about 60,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat is currently aboard a ship called Emmakris III that was detained in July at the request of Ukraine's prosecutor general to investigate its alleged Russian owner.

Sep 07 - China's August coal imports up as heatwave stokes demand for cooling
China's coal imports rose in August to their highest this year, as power generators sought additional supplies from abroad to meet surging electricity demand amid the baking temperatures of a heatwave. The world's biggest coal consumer brought in 29.46 million tonnes of the fossil fuel last month, up from 23.52 million in July, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Wednesday.

Sep 06  - Russian wheat prices fall with harvest pressure
Russian wheat export prices fell last week under pressure from the new crop, analysts said on Monday, adding that demand from importers was rising. State grain buyers for Egypt and Algeria bought Russian wheat last week.

Sep 06  - Argentina farmers say soy FX boost a 'patch' but fails to solve issue

Argentina's farmers said Monday that the government's decision to improve the exchange rate for soybeans exported in September is a temporary "patch" that will likely boost sales of the crop during the month, but fails to solve root issues. Market speculation and fluctuation between the exchange rates of the devalued official Argentine peso and the stronger black market rate have led farmers in the world's largest exporter of soybean oil and meal to stall sales to get more of a bang for their buck.

Sep 05  - Freight rates falling, but supply chains far from unsnarled (IHSmarkit)

- Global container index has declined 46% since March
- Shipping congestion has eased in China, but the country’s “zero-COVID” approach remains a source of disruption
- Labour disputes, empty containers exacerbating supply congestion in the US and Europe

- Freight rates have been declining in recent months due to a combination of factors. Congestion has abated in mainland China. There has been a global increase in container capacity this year. And expectations that an economic slowdown will depress import demand have also pushed down rates. For the week ended 2 September, the Freightos Baltic Index (FBX) Global Container Index averaged $5,286 for a 40-foot container (FEU). The FBX has declined 46% since the week ended 11 March, when the index averaged $9,777 per FEU. For bulk cargo, spot rate indices for Capesize, Panamax, and Supramax vessels saw respective average monthly rates down 31%, 35%, and 24% in July compared with the spike in rates seen in May and have continued declining in August.
- While freight rates are falling, shipping congestion remains a global challenge. As of mid-August, over 9% of global container ship capacity was unavailable due to shipping delays. While this represents an improvement from 14% seen in January, it remains significantly elevated by historical standards.

Chinese congestion cleared, but zero-Covid a looming risk
- Global supply chains have seen notable improvement following the easing of the Covid-19 lockdowns in Shanghai in June. Port congestion in Shanghai peaked in April and led to congestion throughout Chinese ports as vessels were diverted elsewhere. But Chinese port terminals are now back to operating normally, according to Maersk’s Asia-Pacific Market Update for July 2022.
- The Chinese government’s “dynamic zero-COVID” approach, however, has proven to be a source of frequent economic disruption. The policy involves regular mass testing and rapid implementation of lockdowns when cases arise. Dozens of cities and tens of millions of people throughout the country currently face various restrictions as new cases flare up. Authorities most recently imposed lockdown measures in parts of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, two of China’s largest cities.
- The policy is blunting China’s economic growth. China’s industrial production and retail sales growth stagnated in July at 3.8% y/y and 2.7% y/y respectively, down from 3.9% y/y and 3.1% y/y in June. Export growth remains the only bright spot in the Chinese economy. Chinese goods exports were up 18% y/y in July, holding steady from 17.9% y/y growth seen in June.

Global import demand expected to fall
- Going forward, a weaker global economic outlook is expected to depress demand, negatively affecting imports. Companies also built-up excess inventories in response to supply chain disruptions over the past two years, further reducing shipping needs. This appears to be coming to fruition in Europe. Container trade volumes declined almost 5% y/y between Asia and Europe in the first half of 2022.
- The US, however, is yet to see a decline. US imports from Asia from January through July were up nearly 6% y/y , with a 2.7% m/m increase between June and July. US imports are expected to remain strong in the near term as retailers placed earlier shipments of autumn and holiday merchandise. However, companies began reducing orders in late spring/early summer as rising inflation and a weaker economic outlook became apparent, and import volumes are expected to slow later this year. US retailers forecast that imports will decline 1.5% y/y in H2 2022, but still remain above 2019 levels. Because of the high volumes seen in H1 2022, US imports for the full year are still expected to be up 2% y/y compared with 2021.

Persistent port congestion in the US, compounded by strikes and a surplus of containers
- Expected shifts in spending among US consumers – a post-Covid shift back to services over goods, as well as inflation-driven cutbacks in discretionary spending – are happening slower than expected. As a result, shipping demand in the US continues to exceed capacity, leaving supply chains congested and sensitive to disruption. US gulf and east coast ports experienced growing congestion due to a surge in Asian cargo avoiding the west coast, and some of these ports are now seeing worse delays. Maersk’s August 2022 North America Update noted wait times for vessels between 1-3 weeks at the port of Newark, 2-18 days at Houston, and 10-17 days at Savannah. Vessel wait times on the west coast were 0-13 days at the port of Los Angeles and only 1-4 days at Long Beach.
- US ports are also now facing a new congestion challenge from too many empty shipping containers. A container shortage last year resulted in a doubling of new containers manufactured – to 5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of capacity. During the shortage, shippers often denyed service to US exporters to move capacity back to Asia more quickly. Now, with adequate container supplies, many carriers are simply leaving more empty containers at US ports than they take. The added logistics of moving these empty containers further strains capacity at port terminals. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is in the process of imposing “container imbalance fees” to discourage shippers from leaving empty containers.
- Ongoing congestion challenges have left little room to handle disruption. For example, a truck driver strike at the port of Oakland in California in July reduced capacity at the port by limiting container movements. The port handles a large portion of California’s agricultural exports, which saw adverse impacts. As of mid-August the California almond industry had an uncommitted inventory of 490 million lbs, almost double the previous year. US almond shipments in July were 26% less y/y and total sales for the recently completed season were 9% less y/y.

Europe struggling with congestion, high inventories, and withering demand
- Europe is also seeing elevated shipping congestion. In July, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy noted that 2% of global container capacity was stuck in the North Sea unable to be loaded or unloaded. The added congestion in the region has been driven in part by a spike in coal imports prior to sanctions against Russian coal, and recurrent labour disputes throughout northern Europe have also reduced capacity at port terminals.
- Manufacturers in Europe are also now dealing with a double whammy of high input costs and declining demand. The S&P Global Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed a contraction in the European manufacturing sector in August. Post-production inventories in Europe have increased at the highest rate in 25 years, and companies now face a glut of inventory with limited ability to unload it. The high levels of stocks are reportedly causing cash flow issues for some companies and will likely exacerbate the economic contraction in the European economy.

Looking ahead

- The supply chain situation remains volatile, with several looming risks that could disrupt the return to “normal”. Economic conditions continue to deteriorate, though S&P Global projects global economic growth going forward to slow but not enter a global recession . Europe, however, is expected to see a mild recession in Q4 2022 and Q1 2023 due to the exceptional inflationary pressures in the region. As congestion gradually eases in the US and Europe, rates will continue falling through the second half of this year. But the container shipping market will likely not return to normal until mid-2023 .
- A “normal” supply chain going forward is unlikely to look like pre-pandemic normal. Rates are expected to remain above pre-pandemic levels. Delays will improve, but shippers will likely be wary of depending on just-in-time logistics and the focus will remain on cost-effectively maintaining buffer inventories.

Sep 05 - Ukraine dispatches its biggest grain convoy of U.N. deal so far - ministry
Ukraine said it had dispatched its biggest convoy of grain vessels under a U.N.-brokered deal so far after 13 ships set sail from its ports on Sunday carrying 282,500 tonnes of agricultural products to foreign markets. The cargo bound for eight countries was loaded at the Black Sea ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi. The ports had been completely blockaded by Russia's invasion until a July 22 deal that was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.

Sep 05 - Ukraine-bound grain ship's engine fails in Bosphorus, second incident this week
A cargo ship bound for Ukraine to pick up grains under a U.N.-brokered deal had a brief engine failure as it was transiting Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait overnight, a shipping company said on Saturday, marking a second incident this week. The Briza's engine failed around 2330 GMT on Friday and it anchored near Istanbul's Kandilli region, Tribeca Shipping said.

Sep 02 - Egypt shifts from wheat tenders to direct deals amid Ukraine uncertainty
Egypt is in its latest round of talks to buy wheat by direct purchase, traders said, a system the government has said can provide more attractive prices since the Ukraine war disrupted grain markets.  Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), held private talks with at least three suppliers on Wednesday, with traders saying that no purchase had been made so far.

Sep 02 - Grain ship from Ukraine towed to anchorage in Istanbul, traffic reopened
A cargo vessel carrying more than 3,000 tonnes (3,307 tons) of corn from Ukraine was towed to anchorage in Istanbul on Friday after it briefly ran aground, a shipping agency said, the first such incident under a United Nations-brokered export deal. Turkish state broadcaster TRT Haber said traffic in the Bosphorus strait had been reopened after it was halted due to the grounding of the 173-meter (567.59 ft) Lady Zehma due to a rudder failure around 1800 GMT.

Sep 01  - FBX weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) were stable at $5,405/FEU. This rate is 71% lower than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) were also unchanged at $9,073/FEU, and are 55% lower than rates for this week last year.

- The eight-day port worker strike in Felixstowe ended early this week. The action increased delays at the UK hub and likely resulted in some additional volumes to alternative UK and European ports. The Felixstowe strike did not lead to a new contract – meaning more stoppages are possible – though an important German port worker union did come to a tentative agreement this week.   

- Despite the UK slowdown there are reports of congestion – a main driver of still-elevated freight rates – easing in some of Europe’s major ports for the first time in months, possibly a result of declining volumes as inflation continues to curb demand and inventories climb.

- The number of container ships waiting off the coast of LA has dwindled to eight – the lowest number since late 2020, though landside delays persist. While this is welcome news, overall, US port congestion measured in the number of waiting vessels remains significant.  

- As shippers shifted away from the West Coast to avoid congestion, backups at East Coast and Gulf ports have climbed: at the height of the West Coast jam in January there were a total of 150 ships waiting for a berth in North America, with 73% of those floating near LA and Long Beach. Currently there are still 132 total ships waiting, but about three-quarters are waiting off the East Coast or Gulf.
- In air cargo, the Freightos Air Index shows that global rates have overall been stable since mid-July during the typical summer lull. Transpacific cargo could face a dip in capacity in September though, as US authorities have suspended 26 China-bound flights by Chinese carriers in response to China’s suspension of some US carriers for Covid-related reasons.

Sep 01 - US agricultural 2023 exports forecast 1% under record 2022 (AgriCensus)

US agricultural exports for fiscal year 2023 are projected at $193.5 billion, down from a record $196 billion forecast for 2022, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) August release of its "Outlook for US Agricultural Trade" quarterly report.

According to the report, the "decrease is primarily driven by lower exports of cotton, beef, and sorghum that are partially offset by higher exports of soybeans and horticultural products."

Total grain and feed exports are forecast down $1.3 billion at $46.5 billion on lower sorghum, wheat, and corn exports, despite higher rice exports.

Sorghum exports are forecast at $2 billion, down $700 million, on lower supplies available for the export market.

Wheat exports are forecast at $7.8 billion, down $300 million on lower unit values.

Corn exports are forecast at $19.1 billion, down just $100 million from 2022 on slightly lower volumes as competition from South America is expected to be strong.

Meanwhile, soybean exports are forecast up $2.2 billion at a record $35.2 billion on higher prices, strong domestic crush, and increased competition from Brazil.

Ethanol exports are unchanged from the 2022 fiscal year at $4.2 billion.

"Although US corn feedstock cost is expected to remain elevated, lower cost of natural gas helps maintain ethanol plant profitability if ethanol prices retreat in line with expected softening in oil prices," the report details.

Agricultural exports to China ($36 billion), Canada ($28.5 billion) and Mexico ($28.5 billion) are all also unchanged.

Imports

Total agricultural imports for the 2023 fiscal year are expected to increase by $5 billion above the 2022 fiscal year forecast to $197 billion, due to higher imports of grains and feed products, horticultural products, and sugar and tropical products.

Meanwhile, total imports in 2022 are expected to be $11.5 billion more than the May forecast and $28.7 billion more than fiscal year 2021.

If realized, the 18% increase from 2021 to 2022 would become the largest year-over-year percentage increase since fiscal year 2011, resulting from "the unwavering upward trend of import volumes in the face of increasing unit values for nearly every agricultural import product group."

Sep 01 - Algeria said to buy Russian wheat in tender for shipment to 2 ports
Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC has bought an unknown volume of milling wheat in an international tender which closed on Tuesday, and was limited to shipment to two Algerian ports, European traders said on Wednesday. The purchase was expected to be sourced from Russia, although technically supplies are optional origin, they said.

Sep 01 - South Korea’s MFG bought 135,000 tonnes corn in deal
South Korea's Major Feedmill Group (MFG) on Wednesday purchased around 135,000 tonnes of animal feed corn expected to be supplied from either South America or South Africa, European traders said. Some 69,000 tonnes was believed to have been bought from trading house Bunge at an estimated premium of 178.5 U.S. cents a bushel c&f over the Chicago December corn contract plus a $1.50 a tonne surcharge for additional port unloading for arrival in Korea around Dec. 5.

Aug 31 - Around 1.5 mln tonnes of food have left Ukraine under grain export deal
A total of 61 cargo ships carrying around 1.5 million tonnes of food have left Ukraine under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey to unblock Ukrainian sea ports, the Ukrainian infrastructure ministry said on Tuesday. The ministry said six ships with 183,000 tonnes of agricultural products left Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Tuesday.

Aug 31 - Russia to extend export tax for soybeans, ban on rapeseed exports
Russia plans to extend its export tax on soybeans for two years until Aug. 31, 2024 and a partial ban on rapeseed exports for six months until Feb. 1 next year, the economy ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. Exports of rapeseed will be allowed only from the Zabaikalsk region, which borders China, the ministry added.

Aug 30  - Turkey to hike Black Sea straits transit fee, impact on freight seen as minimal (AgriCensus)

- Turkey has increased the price for transit through the Dardanelles and Bosporus straits, the only way to move cargoes from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, by five times to $4/mt from $0.8/mt, according to local media, citing the Turkish ministry of transport. According to the Montreux Convention signed in 1936, Turkey can charge lighthouse, rescue and medical fees from ships passing through the Bosporus and entering and leaving the Dardanelles. This is the first time the country will have increased fees since 1983.

- The calculation of the fees was originally made in francs, which were accepted by the United Nations as the gold franc, and switched to US dollars based on the Turkish lira exchange rate when the franc was removed from circulation. According to the Daily Sabah, increasing inflation has led to Turkey undercharging for transit through the straits, and it estimates the current hike will boost the country's income from straits transit to $200 million from $40 million.

- However, while the increase sounds significant, trade sources said the impact on freight rates would actually be minimal, with the biggest estimate for small vessels indicated at around $1/mt, falling to as low as 25 cents for capesize-vessels.

- According to ISM, a freight analytical agency based in Ukraine, total costs for a handy-size carrier of 31,500 deadweight tonnage (dwt) and 11,200 net register tonnage (NRT) passing through the Turkish straits passage will be $21,630 more, or an additional $0.68/mt per dwt cargo in freight equivalent. For grain cargoes using panamax or kamsarmax vessels, it will increase by $33,000-35,000, or around $0.5-0.55/mt per dwt cargo.

- Given the current freight ideas, the share of these fees is less than 1% of the total freight rate and will therefore not have a huge impact on shipping costs. Turkey has abolished the payment system which was settled in 1983 and used to be paid in French franc which was set at $0.8/mt, but amid inflation, Turkey decided to increase it to  $4/mt, which according to the estimation should increase the income from 40 million dollars to 200 million.

Aug 30  - Ukraine's agriculture exports to double in next few months now ports open - minister
Ukraine's agricultural exports could rise to 6 million-6.5 million tonnes in October, double the volume seen in July, as its sea ports gradually reopen, the country's agriculture minister said on Monday. Ukraine is one of the world's biggest exporter of grains, oilseeds and vegetable oils, but its exports have slumped this year, driving up global food prices, as Russia's invasion destroyed some agricultural land and the country's Black Sea ports were closed off.

Aug 30  - Bangladesh to import rice from Vietnam and India to replenish reserves
Bangladesh is finalising deals with Vietnam and India to import a total of 330,000 tonnes of rice as it races to replenish reserves and cool domestic prices, two officials with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday. Soaring prices of the staple grain for the country's 165 million people pose a problem for the government, which plans to expand cut-price rice sales to help people hard-hit by high costs.

Aug 29  - Kazakhstan plans to scrap wheat export caps next month - minister
Kazakhstan plans to scrap wheat and flour export quotas next month as forecasts for a bumper harvest ease concerns about domestic supplies, Agriculture Minister Yerbol Karashukeyev said on Saturday. Central Asia's biggest grains exporter introduced the export limits in May to keep the local market stocked and cool inflation linked to rising global food prices.

Aug 29  - More grain must be shifted from Ukraine's silos, says U.N. official
Millions of tonnes of food from previous harvests in Ukraine still need to be cleared to make room in silos for the next one, the U.N. coordinator for a grains deal said on Saturday. More than 1 million tonnes of grains and other foods have so far been exported under a grains deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations.

Aug 26  - Shipping container suppliers abandon $987 mln deal after U.S. probe
Global shipping container suppliers China International Marine Containers and Maersk Container Industry in a joint statement on Thursday said they have abandoned a merger plan, citing significant regulatory challenges. China International Marine Containers (CIMC) in September had agreed to buy the Danish shipping company AP Moeller - Maersk's refrigerated containers maker for $987.3 million.

Aug 26  - India restricts wheat flour exports to bring down record prices

India's cabinet on Thursday approved a policy to restrict wheat flour exports to calm prices in the local market, the government said in a statement. New Delhi banned wheat exports in mid-May as a scorching heatwave curtailed output and domestic prices hit a record high. In July India asked traders to secure permission before exporting wheat flour.

Aug 25 - Jordan buys 120,000 T barley in tender, govt source says
Jordan has purchased 120,000 tonnes of animal feed barley from two companies in an international purchasing tender, a government source told Reuters on Wednesday. The purchase comprised 60,000 tonnes of barley bought from Cargill for shipment in the second half of January 2023 and another 60,000 tonnes from Viterra for shipment in the first half of February 2023.

Aug 25 - What impact will strike at Britain's busiest container port have?
More than 1,900 workers at Britain's biggest container port, Felixstowe, have begun eight days of strike action that will cause disruption to trade and supply chains. The staff at Felixstowe, on the east coast of England, are taking industrial action in a dispute over pay, becoming the latest workers to strike in Britain as unions demand higher wages for members facing a cost-of-living crisis.

Aug 24 - Egypt directly buys 240,000 tonnes of Russian wheat
Egypt's state grains buyer directly purchased 240,000 tonnes of Russian wheat on Monday, the supply ministry said in a statement to Reuters, continuing its recent trend of buying without issuing international tenders. The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) bought six 40,000 tonne-cargoes on a cost and freight basis, with payment via 180-day letters of credit, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Aug 24 - Ukraine's key food exports have fallen by almost half since Russian war
Exports of key Ukrainian agricultural commodities have fallen by almost half since the start of the Russian invasion earlier this year compared to the same period in 2021, data from the agriculture ministry showed late on Monday. Russia began its attack on Ukraine on Feb. 24, calling it a "special military operation", and as a result of the fighting, Ukrainian seaports were blocked, leaving a vast amount of crops either unharvested or destroyed.

Aug 23 - Ascot, Marsh insure grain ship from Ukraine's Black Sea ports
Broker Marsh and Lloyd's of London insurer Ascot said on Tuesday they have provided coverage for a vessel carrying grain and food products from Ukraine's Black Sea ports under its new marine cargo and war insurance facility. Launched last month, it provides coverage up to $50 million for Ukrainian vital food supplies being shipped through safe corridors established by the newly signed Black Sea Treaty.

Aug 23 - Egypt's deal for Indian wheat stands, but not shipped yet – minister
Egypt's supply minister said on Monday that an agreement to buy wheat from India still stood despite recent curbs on Indian exports, although it is unclear when the grain will be shipped. Egypt, one of the world's biggest wheat importers, has sought to diversify its suppliers since facing higher global prices and disruptions to purchases from the Black Sea after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

Aug 21  - Two more grain ships leave Ukraine, Turkey's defence ministry says
Two more ships carrying grain have left Ukraine's Chornomorsk port, Turkey's Defence Ministry said on Saturday, bringing the total number of vessels to leave Ukraine's Black Sea ports under a U.N.-brokered grain export deal to 27. The Zumrut Ana and MV Ocean S, which are authorized to depart on Aug. 20, were loaded with 6,300 tonnes of sunflower oil and 25,000 tonnes of wheat respectively, the joint coordination centre set up to enable safe passage said in a statement.

Aug 21  - Russia to send test shipment of wheat to Vietnam
Russia will send a trial shipment of wheat to Vietnam in September or October as it aims to resume active supplies to the country, its agriculture safety watchdog said on Friday. Vietnam slashed purchases of the grain from Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, in 2019 after finding imports containing certain thistle seed as it feared this could spread across Vietnam and damage crops.

Aug 19 - U.N. chief seeks 'spirit of compromise' over Ukraine grain initiative
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Russia and Ukraine on Thursday to show a "spirit of compromise" to ensure the continued success of a U.N. brokered deal that enabled Ukraine to resume grain exports from its Black Sea ports. Guterres said after talks in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv that 21 ships had departed from Ukrainian ports under the deal in less than a month, and 15 vessels had left Istanbul for Ukraine to load up with grain and other food supplies.

Aug 19 - Taiwan tenders for 34,025 tonnes wheat of U.S.-origin
The Taiwan Flour Millers' Association has issued an international tender to purchase 34,025 tonnes of grade 1 milling wheat to be sourced from the United States, European traders said on Thursday. The deadline for submission of price offers in the tender is Aug. 25.

Aug 18 - Ukraine expects biggest convoy of ships to load since grain export deal
Ukraine expects five ships to arrive at its Chornomorsk Black Sea port on Wednesday for loading with more than 70,000 tonnes of agricultural products, the largest convoy so far under a U.N.-brokered grain export deal. The Ukrainian sea ports authority said in a statement that the new cargoes would include wheat, corn and sunseed oil.

Aug 18 - China's July aluminium imports fall 38% on-year as domestic output jumps
China's aluminium imports in July slid 38.3% from a year earlier, government data showed on Thursday, as domestic production rose to a record and overseas supplies tightened. The country brought in 192,581 tonnes of unwrought aluminium and products, including primary metal and unwrought, alloyed aluminium, last month, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

Aug 17  - FREIGHTOS BALTIC INDEX Weekly Update

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) decreased 3% to $5,738/FEU. This rate is 69% lower than the same time last year.

- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) fell 2% to $9,150/FEU, and are 54% lower than rates for this week last year.

- US trucking data for July shows that volumes and rates have started to normalize, possibly reflecting the trend in ocean imports where volumes are expected gradually to decline through the end of the year – though they are projected to remain well above 2019-levels.
- Congestion at some US ports is improving – with waiting ships now in the single-digits off LA/Long Beach, and the line getting shorter in Savannah. But, together with still-strong demand, congestion is still significant enough to keep rates quite elevated compared to typical levels. Asia - US West Coast rates dipped 3% to $5,738/FEU this week, though this price is more than quadruple the rate in August 2019.

- Likewise, from February to April, inflation-driven decreases in volumes pushed Asia - N. Europe rates down by 28% – from a record high of more than $15,000/FEU to about $10,500. But since then, severe congestion has contributed to prices that have dipped only about 5%, and are more than 7X the rate three years ago.

- European ports are facing additional challenges that could make congestion worse, including low water levels on the Rhine disrupting barge service and multiple labor disruptions.

- The latest industrial action is an eight-day port worker strike in Felixstowe – the UK’s largest container port by volume – set to begin on Sunday which would likely worsen congestion and delays for UK logistics, and put additional pressure on alternative European ports.  Workers at Liverpool’s port have also authorized a strike, though no date has been set.

- Falling air cargo volumes are also leading to lower rates on many lanes. The Freightos Air Index China - US West Coast index rate was $6.58/kg last week, which is 38% lower than a year ago but more than 3X  pre-pandemic norms for this time of year.

Aug 17 - GoodFuels' Asia-Pacific branch supplies marine biofuel to NYK bulk carrier
MV Frontier Explorer was refueled with biofuel in a blend with VLSFO during its port call to Singapore on July 5, en route from Australia to India, it said. GoodFuels first supplied an NYK-owned vessel with biofuel in January 2019 in Rotterdam.

Aug 17 - EU wheat exports and maize imports jump but data issue persists
European Union 2022/23 soft wheat exports and maize imports rose sharply last week, according to data from the European Commission which warned however the figures may be still incomplete. The EU's executive has reported in recent weeks that data it compiles on exports and imports of cereal and oilseed products could be incomplete, and traders have said its soft wheat export tally has lagged a fast early-season pace of shipments.

Aug 17 - First post-blockade food aid ship leaves Ukraine for Africa
The ship Brave Commander has left the Ukrainian port of Pivdennyi carrying the first cargo of humanitarian food aid bound for Africa from Ukraine since Russia's invasion, Refinitiv Eikon data showed on Tuesday. Ukraine's grain exports have slumped since the start of the war because of the closure of its Black Sea ports, driving up global food prices and sparking fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.

Aug 16 - First ship bound for Africa leaves Ukraine port - Refinitiv data, ministry
The ship Brave Commander has left the Ukrainian port of Pivdennyi, carrying the first cargo of humanitarian food aid bound for Africa from Ukraine since Russia's invasion, Refinitiv Eikon data showed on Tuesday. Ukraine's grain exports have slumped since the start of the war because of the closure of its Black Sea ports, a crucial conduit for shipments, which drove up global food prices and sparked fears of shortages in Africa and the Middle East.

Aug 16 - Number of vessels to load sugar in Brazil surges, August exports 30% up
The line-up of vessels expected to load sugar at Brazilian ports surged this month and government data on Monday showed the country's exports of the sweetener are on track to a 30% jump in August. Data from shipping agency Williams showed 86 vessels expected to load 3.6 million tonnes of mostly raw sugar for exports at Brazilian ports currently.

Aug 15  - Ship carrying first Ukraine grain cargo nears Syria - shipping sources
The first ship to depart Ukraine under a deal to resume grain exports from the country two weeks ago was approaching the Syrian port of Tartous on Sunday, two shipping sources said, after the vessel had been sailing with its transponder off. The Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni set sail from Ukraine's Odesa port on Aug. 1 under the deal between Moscow and Kyiv, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, but its location had not been clear in the past days without the transponder.

Aug 15  - Philippines sugar imports still possible, president says
Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said the country's doors remain open to additional sugar imports, though volumes are likely to be much less than a previously proposed 300,000 tonnes. Marcos last week rejected the proposal to import up to 300,000 tonnes of raw and refined sweetener, purportedly approved recently by the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), of which he is board chairman.

Aug 12  - First Ukraine grain deal ship docks in Turkey after Lebanese buyer refused delivery
The first grain ship to depart from Ukraine under a U.N.-brokered deal docked in Turkey on Thursday after 11 days at sea, Refinitiv data showed, and the ship's agent in Turkey said it would continue to Egypt after unloading part of its cargo. The Razoni set sail from Ukraine's Odesa port on Aug. 1 under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey between Russia and Ukraine. Eleven other ships have left since then.

Aug 12  - Jordan tenders to buy 120,000 tonnes feed barley - traders
Jordan's state grains buyer has issued a new international tender to purchase 120,000 tonnes of animal feed barley, European traders said on Thursday. The deadline for submission of price offers in the tender is Aug. 17.

Aug 11  - Rhine water falls again in Germany, river shipping costs rise
Water levels on the river Rhine in Germany have fallen again in hot and dry weather and shipping costs are rising as vessels cut loads to continue sailing, commodity traders said on Wednesday. Shallow water after the summer heat-wave has hampered shipping on the entire river in Germany since July, along with other European waterways.  

Aug 11  - Second grain ship since invasion docks at Ukrainian port for loading
– minister
The second commercial ship to arrive in a Ukrainian port since the start of Russia's invasion has docked in the port of Chornomorsk and is ready to load grain, Ukraine's infrastructure minister said on Wednesday. "OSPREY S is ready to export 30,000 tons of corn," Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov wrote on Twitter.

Aug 10  - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 11% to $5,939/FEU. This rate is 62% lower than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) decreased 6% to $9,360/FEU, and are 47% lower than rates for this week last year.

- China’s recent military exercises – which are meant to continue this week – have yet to significantly disrupt ocean freight operations, though a prolonged version certainly could.
- The Port of Kaohsiung is one of the top twenty largest container ports in the world by volume and the area harbors one of the busiest waterways in the world handling significant traffic heading to Europe and the US from East Asia.
- A sustained conflict could force vessels to take alternative routes, adding transit time, disrupting schedules and contributing to congestion that is already helping to keep ocean spot rates extremely elevated despite recent decreases.

- Transpacific ocean rates to the West Coast fell more than 10% this week. And though Asia - US West Coast rates have decreased 20% since June ended, the pace of the decline has slowed when compared to the 50% drop May to June.

- Despite being firmly in the typical peak season months, many are not expecting a coming increase in rates or volumes on the transpacific or for Asia - Europe trade, though rates are expected to stay well above pre-pandemic levels.

- National Retail Federation data for US ocean imports indicate that volumes peaked and set a monthly record in May. June volumes were 6% lower compared to May, and July’s imports are projected to be about even with June before volumes gradually decline through October with monthly totals slightly below last year’s. But despite this expected decline, each of the coming three months would still be 12-15% higher than in 2019.

- There are also indications of slowing consumer demand, though even inflation-adjusted spending likewise remains higher than in 2019.  

- Taken together, these trends suggest that most of ocean freight peak season was pulled forward to spring this year. Combined with some decrease in demand driven by inflation and changes in consumer spending, it also looks like the shift toward normalization has started, but will be gradual as demand remains strong and congestion continues to strain capacity.

Aug 10  - Two more grain ships leave Ukraine, bringing total to 12 under new deal
Two more grain-carrying ships left Ukraine's Chornomorsk port on Tuesday, Turkey's defence ministry said, as part of a deal to unblock Ukrainian sea exports, bringing the total to leave the country under a safe passage deal to 12. The Ocean Lion left for South Korea, carrying 64,720 tonnes of corn, it said, while the Rahmi Yagci was carrying 5,300 tonnes of sunflower meal to Istanbul.

Aug 10  - EU soybean imports by Aug. 5 at 1.35 mln T, rapeseed 628,542 T
European Union soybean imports in the 2022/23 season that started on July 1 had reached 1.35 million tonnes by Aug. 5, data published by the European Commission showed on Tuesday. That compared with 1.54 million tonnes by the same week in the previous 2021/22 season, the data showed.

Aug 09  - Russian wheat down with global benchmark as Ukraine exports resume
Russian wheat export prices fell last week after a decline in wheat prices in Chicago and a gradual resumption of Ukraine exports from Black Sea ports, analysts said on Monday. Russian prices for wheat with 12.5% protein content and for supply from Black Sea ports fell by $3 to $355 a tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, the IKAR agriculture consultancy said in a note.

Aug 09  - Two more grain ships sail from Ukraine as third port opens
Two more ships, carrying corn and soybeans, departed from Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Monday, Turkey and Ukraine said, taking the total to ten since the first ship sailed last week under a deal with Russia to unblock Ukrainian grain exports. The United Nations and Turkey brokered the agreement last month after warnings the halt in grain shipments caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine could lead to severe food shortages and even outbreaks of famine in parts of the world.

Aug 08  - Four more cargo ships sail from Ukraine  - Turkish, Ukrainian officials
Four more ships carrying almost 170,000 tonnes of corn and other foodstuffs sailed from Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Sunday under a deal to unblock the country's exports after Russia's invasion, Ukrainian and Turkish officials said. The United Nations and Turkey brokered the agreement last month after warnings that the halt in grain shipments caused by the conflict could lead to severe food shortages and even outbreaks of famine in parts of the world.

Aug 08  - China July iron ore imports gain on-year as steelmakers' margins improve
China's imports of iron ore in July rose 3.1% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Sunday, as steelmakers' margins improve despite concerns over demand. The world's top iron ore consumer brought in 91.24 million tonnes last month, up from 88.51 million tonnes in July 2021, the General Administration of Customs said.

Aug 08  - China's July soybean imports slide amid poor crush margins, weaker demand
China's soybean imports in July fell 9.1% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Sunday, as poor crushing margins and weaker consumption in the world's largest buyer of the oilseed reduced appetite for shipments. China brought in 7.88 million tonnes of the oilseed in July, versus 8.67 million tonnes a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Sunday.

Aug 05  - Fulmar S first vessel set to arrive in Ukraine since war Saturday (AgriCensus)

- The first vessel to arrive in Ukraine ports since the Russian invasion began now looks set to be the Fulmar S, rather than the Osprey S as originally thought, according to market sources. The Fulmar S, which is sailing under the flag of Barbados, passed inspections in Turkey earlier Friday and has an estimated time of arrival in Chornomorsk of 2300 Saturday, according to tracking service Marine Traffic. A second vessel, the Osprey S, which is sailing under the Liberian flag, had originally been scheduled to arrive in Chornomorsk in the early hours of Friday.  However, it is now scheduled to arrive at midday on Sunday, having spent the last two days off the coast of Turkey in the Marmara Sea.

- In the meantime, three vessels that left Ukraine earlier Friday have all passed Snake Island and have entered into safe waters, according to Marine Traffic. The Navi Star, the Rojen and the Polarnet, which are carrying some 57,000 mt of Ukrainian corn in total, formed a convoy and left deep-sea ports of Odesa and Chornomorsk accompanied by tugs Friday morning. The Navi Star, bound for Istanbul, Turkey, is due to arrive Saturday morning, while the Polarnet, is estimated to arrive in Derince, in the early hours of Sunday morning. The Rojen is bound for Teesside in Great Britain, where it is due to arrive on August 19, according to Marine Traffic. A fourth vessel, the Razoni, successfully passed inspections in Turkey earlier this week and is now on its way to its final destination of Tripoli in Lebanon, where it is due to arrive Sunday morning.

- Ukraine’s minister for infrastructure, Oleksandr Kubrakov, said Friday that the goal was to ensure the export of 3 million mt of agricultural products or more every month from the deep-sea ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdenniy.

Aug 05 - Three grain ships set to leave Ukraine; NATO chief says Russia must not win
Three ships carrying a total of 58,041 tonnes of corn have been authorised to leave Ukrainian ports on Friday as part of a deal to unblock grain exports, as a Russian offensive forced Ukraine to cede territory in the east. The first vessel carrying Ukrainian grain allowed to leave port since the start of the war set sail from Odesa on Monday bound for Lebanon, under a safe passage deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations.

Aug 05 - At least two more silos at Beirut port collapse
At least two more silos at Beirut's port collapsed on Thursday, according to Reuters witnesses, as crowds gathered at the site to mark two years since an explosion there. The remnants of the massive silos began to crumble this week, with several collapsing on Sunday and officials saying more of the structures could collapse at any time.

Aug 04  - Lebanon clears ship accused of carrying stolen Ukrainian grain for departure
Transport authorities have allowed a ship Ukraine accuses of carrying stolen grain to depart Lebanon despite the Ukrainian embassy asking Beirut to reopen a probe into the matter after presenting what it said was new evidence. Lebanese Transport Minister Ali Hamie told Reuters on Wednesday afternoon that port authorities in the northern city of Tripoli had cleared the ship to depart.

Aug 03  - European fuel oil volume traded in MOC down 12.12% on month in July
During July MOC, about 100,000 mt of 0.5%S marine fuel was traded, down 27.5% from June.


Aug 03  - Ocean Network Express sees uncertainty ahead for container shipping

Liftings of ONE fell to 2.94 million TEU for the three months from the year-ago level of 3.10 million TEU, affected by renewed COVID-related lockdowns in China and canceled bookings from Russia.

Aug 03  - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia--US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) increased 2% to $6,692/FEU. This rate is 65% lower than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) fell 3% to $9,978/FEU, and are 52% lower than rates for this week last year.
- Chinese manufacturing unexpectedly contracted in July, and consumer spending in the US has slowed for certain types of goods as inflation continues to climb. Best Buy was the latest major retailer to project a decrease in revenue, though sales remain above pre-pandemic levels.

- Despite these signs of a slowdown, some ocean carriers still anticipate strong transpacific volumes for the coming months. Even with some decline in demand, new COVID disruptions in Asia, labor tensions, and persistent congestion at European and North American ports will likely keep container rates elevated on all major trade lanes.
 
- Asia  - US West Coast rates fell by about $6,000/FEU and more than 50% from the end of April through June, but have decreased "only" about 14% or $1,000 since, to $6,519/FEU this week –  nearly five times higher than the level in August 2019. Congestion and blanked sailings on the Asia - N. Europe lane have kept prices about level – and almost 8X the August 2019 rate – since early May despite decreasing volumes.

- Freightos Air Index China - N. Europe rates fell 2% in July to $4.51/kg, and, though well above pre-pandemic levels, are more than 30% lower than a year ago. The rebound in transatlantic passenger air travel added capacity and pushed rates down 11% in July to $3.40/kg, though capacity will likely decrease after the end of the summer tourist season.

Aug 03  - Thai exports seen up 6% to 8% this year – shippers
Thailand's exports are expected to rise between 6% to 8% this year, compared with a previous forecast for a 5% to 8% increase, helped by a weak baht and increased global food demand, the national shippers group said on Tuesday. Exports, a key driver of growth, rose 12.7% in the first half of 2022 from a year ago and the momentum should continue into the second half, Chaichan Chareonsuk, chairman of the Thai National Shippers' Council, told a news conference.

Aug 03  - EU 2022/23 soft wheat exports at 1.77 mln tonnes by July 31
Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2022/23 season that started last month had reached 1.77 million tonnes by July 31, data published by the European Commission showed on Tuesday. That compared to 1.57 million tonnes by the same week in 2021/22, the data showed.

Aug 02  - First Ukraine grain ship reaches safe waters, others set to arrive (AgriCensus)

- The first ship carrying grain from Ukraine’s deep-sea ports has successfully moved to safe waters and is heading into Istanbul for inspections, while further vessels are preparing to arrive in Ukraine. The Razoni, which is on a test journey carrying 26,000 mt of corn, left Ukraine’s port of Odesa Monday and is currently in the Black Sea, according to tracking service Marine Traffic.

- At the same time, trade sources said another vessel that is on its way to Ukraine – a bulker called Osprey S with a 30,570 mt deadweight – is now halfway through its journey and is expected to arrive in Chornomorsk by August 5, according to Marine Traffic. This comes after last week the first selling indications appeared in the market on a FOB Pivdennyi/Odesa/Chornomorsk (POC) basis in the market for both wheat and corn, although those were seen by market observers as merely price ideas, as freight availability is still questionable.

- It also follows a tender for Ukrainian wheat launched by the World Food Program last week, in which Cargill reportedly sold 30,000 mt of 11% milling wheat at $340/mt FOB POC, the first deal on this basis since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Freight sources were not able to give an exact price for freight rates from Ukraine, as it is still hard to get an idea of the insurance costs, but at the same time, many have agreed that the premium over will be at least at $35-40/mt for a handy vessel.

- Ukraine signed an agreement with Turkey and the UN on July 22, while Russia signed a mirror agreement, paving the way for the first vessels carrying agriculture products to leave Ukrainian deep-sea ports since February. Ukraine has been sitting on grain stocks of at least 16 million mt of wheat and corn alone, having harvested a record grain crop in the 2021/22 marketing year that it subsequently could not export abroad after the Russian invasion blocked its deep-sea ports.

- Despite the difficulties and ongoing war, Ukraine is still on its way to harvesting a decent crop in the 2022/23 marketing year, with wheat production estimated at around 19-20 million mt and corn at around 26-27 million mt.

Aug 02  - Ocean Network Express sees uncertainty ahead for container shipping
Liftings of ONE fell to 2.94 million TEU for the three months from the year-ago level of 3.10 million TEU, affected by renewed COVID-related lockdowns in China and canceled bookings from Russia.

Aug 02  - Tanker switching surges for Russian oil as Moscow turns to 'gray market' playbook
It remains unclear, however, how much Russia can rely on gray market shipments to circumvent sanctions going forward, particularly as the EU's import bans combined with restrictions on shipping insurance, financing, and services, threaten to disrupt more supply volumes.

Aug 02  - Prolonged supply chain disruptions support container freight rates: Maersk
Looking forward, industry participants said weakening macroeconomic conditions could hurt trade volumes even as port throughput in China is recovering.

Aug 02  - Shipping arrangements into Ukraine still not ready, Lloyd's official says
Key arrangements including procedures for ships still need to be worked out before empty vessels can come in and pick up cargoes from Ukraine using the new grains corridor, a senior London marine insurance market official said on Monday. Turkey and the United Nations brokered a grain-and-fertiliser export agreement between Russia and Ukraine last month - a rare diplomatic breakthrough in a conflict that is grinding on with no resolution in sight.

Aug 02  - Drought adds to capacity problem for Dutch river barges
Low water levels in the Rhine are worsening capacity shortages at Dutch river barges, a spokeswoman for the industry said on Monday. Demand for the largest barges, in the class of 135 meters, has surged as German users seek to import more coal, said Maira van Helvoirt of Netherlands Royal Inland Shipping (KBN).

Aug 01  - First vessel carrying grain leaves Ukrainian deep-sea port of Odesa (AgriCensus)

- The first vessel carrying Ukrainian grain left the port of Odesa Monday, just over a week after an agreement was signed on unblocking Ukraine's deep-sea ports and after three months of talks and discussions, Ukraine's ministry of infrastructure said in an official notice. The vessel Razoni, which is carrying 26,000 mt of Ukrainian corn and is headed to the port of Tripoli, Lebanon under the Sierra-Leone flag, left from the Novolog terminal, as it had been scheduled to do prior to the war, according to line-up data.

- According to the line-up, the exporter was said to be Grainexpo, while market sources said the cargo belongs to VA Intertrading.
"In the ports of greater Odesa, there are 16 more ships waiting their turn. These are vessels that have been blocked since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine," Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukraine's minister of infrastructure said in a note.
"At the same time, we will receive applications for the arrival of new vessels for loading agricultural products,” he said.

- The ports include Odesa itself, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi. The minister added that in the coming weeks, Ukraine plans to reach full capacity for transshipment of agricultural products, with the help of international partners.

- The Razoni's departure comes a week after an agreement was signed between Ukraine, Turkey, and the UN about the de-blocking of the ports, while a mirror agreement was also signed with Russia, Turkey and the UN.
For the last week, the market has been on pause waiting for vessels to start to move, especially as buyers were hoping that this might put additional pressure on prices if the initiative is successful, while trade sources familiar with the situation said there were still some issues to be solved.

Aug 01  - Russia pounds Ukrainian port; Putin announces global maritime ambitions
Russian missiles pounded Ukraine's port city Mykolaiv on the Black Sea, as President Vladimir Putin signed a new naval doctrine casting the United States as Russia's main rival and setting global maritime ambitions in the Black Sea and Arctic. Putin did not mention the conflict in Ukraine during a speech marking Russia's Navy Day on Sunday, but said the navy would receive hypersonic Zircon cruise missiles in coming months. The missiles can travel at nine times the speed of sound, outrunning air defences.

Aug 01  - Beirut silo collapses, reviving trauma ahead of blast anniversary
Part of the grain silos at Beirut Port collapsed on Sunday just days before the second anniversary of the massive explosion that damaged them, sending a cloud of dust over the capital and reviving traumatic memories of the blast that killed more than 215 people. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

July 29  - Ukraine. End of Day Report
- According to our information, the following vessels will be the first to leave Ukrainian ports:
1) From Chernomorsk port - m/v "ROJEN" and m/v "STAR HELENA",
2) From Odesa port - m/v "RAZONI", m/v "RIVAL WIND" and m/v "NAVI STAR".

Anyway, the exchange markets are going up, there is demand in the market, it's quite lively, and we can expect an increase in spot prices as early as Monday.

Jul 29  - Singapore LSFO arbitrage inflow from West likely to fall in August: traders
Singapore is expected to receive 1.4 million-1.9 million mt of low sulfur fuel oil from the West in August, compared with 1.5 million-2 million mt in July, fuel oil traders said in the week ending July 29.

Jul 29  - Safe Bulkers bets on scrubbers in green shipping programs
As of July 22, 18 of Safe Bulkers' 42 ships in operation were fitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems. The company said it will install scrubbers on another five vessels, all of which in the Capesize segment.

Jul 29  - WFS Q2 marine fuel sales volumes edge up 6% on year
Volumes in the first half totaled 9.6 million mt, up 8% year on year.

Jul 29  - Singapore Residual fuel stocks fall 9% on week as fuel oil imports plunge

Singapore's fuel oil imports fell 62.9% week on week to 459,095 mt in the week to July 27.

Jul 29  - Zhoushan's August term ex-wharf bunker premiums weaken amid rising stocks
Compared to July, fewer cargoes of ex-wharf marine fuel 0.5%S were offered in the wider market for August-loading dates because the state-owned oil majors were more keen to reserve the bulk of their cargoes for their downstream bunker trading arms, market sources said.

Jul 29  - Syrian ship carrying 'stolen Ukrainian barley, flour' docks in Lebanon, Ukrainian embassy says
A Syrian ship under U.S. sanctions has docked in the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli carrying barley and wheat that the Ukrainian embassy in Beirut told Reuters on Thursday had been plundered by Russia from Ukrainian stores. The Laodicea docked in Tripoli on Wednesday, according to shipping data website MarineTraffic.

Jul 29  - Indonesia's palm oil exports gather pace after levy removal
- official
Indonesia's crude palm oil (CPO) exports are picking up pace after the government waived its export levy to ease a supply glut, a senior Finance Ministry official said on Wednesday. The world's biggest producer of the vegetable oil has removed an export levy for all palm oil products effective July 15 to August 31.

Jul 28  - D'Amico expects years of strength for clean tankers, decreasing tonnage
The bullish outlook follows a marked year-on-year improvement in the first half of the year.

Jul 28  - Scorpio Tankers looks to EU Russian oil ban to boost clean tanker earnings

A confluence of events has catalyzed a substantial increase in ton-mile demand beginning in March 2022, the clean product tanker company said in its Q2 interim financial report July 28.

Jul 28  - Navios Maritime Partners acquires 36 dry bulk ships for low-carbon transition

Navios Partners, which aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, will seek to sell older, less fuel-efficiency ships when opportunities arise.

Jul 28  - UAE Fujairah port stops bunkering after floods:
traders

Jul 28  - Vitol starts bunkering operations at Dubai's Jebel Ali port, cruise terminal at Port Rashid

Global trading firm Vitol has commenced bunkering operations at Dubai's Jebel Ali port and cruise terminal Port Rashid this month, the company said in a statement on its website July 28.

Jul 28  - Easing LSFO inventories soften Hong Kong's Aug term ex-wharf bunker premiums
Higher inflows of low sulfur fuel oil replenishment cargoes throughout July progressively lifted inventories, raising the availability of prompt bunker supplies, market sources said.

Jul 28  - Ukraine grain export coordination centre opens in Istanbul
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar on Wednesday unveiled a centre in Istanbul to oversee the export of Ukrainian grains after a landmark U.N. deal last week, with the first shipment expected to depart from Black Sea ports within days. Russia and Ukraine signed the deal, brokered by Ankara and the United Nations, on Friday to reopen grain and fertiliser exports that have been blocked by war to ease an international food crisis.

Jul 28  - Ukraine says its grain exports down 47% so far in 2022/23 season

Ukraine's grain exports in the first 26 days of July, the first month of the 2022/23 season, were down 47% year on year at 1.23 million tonnes, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. Grain exports for the 2021/22 season ending June 30 rose 8.5% to 48.5 million tonnes, driven by strong shipments before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Jul 27  - Global maritime emissions continue to rise across shipping sectors: SSY
Carbon emissions from international shipping have continued to rise this year with growth in "nearly all" sectors, according to London-based shipbroker Simpson Spence Young, better known as SSY.

Jul 27  - Zhoushan delivered/ex-wharf marine fuel 0.5%S spread shrinks to 4-month low as stocks build
The spread was last narrower at $11/mt on March 16, S&P Global data showed.

Jul 27  - European fuel oil exports to Asia rebound
VLSFO differentials have also weakened in Europe, despite a small move upwards in price on July 26. 0.5%s barge prices were assessed at $734/mt on July 26, up from $717/mt July 25.

Jul 27  - Bangladesh August HSFO imports likely to be capped at July levels: source
The newly imposed austerity measures during summer will not only lead to some of the HSFO-fired power plants to run at a lower capacity, but some of them are also likely to be shut to save cost, Karim added.

Jul 27  - Panama June bunker fuels sales rise on month; moderate advance in H1
Total bunker sales in the Latin American hub reached 433,973 mt in June, a 3% or 12,701 mt, increase from May and 15.1%, or 56,820 mt, higher than in the same month in 2021. The volume, however, is still lower than the 486,614 mt record high registered in December 2021.

Jul 27  - Mexico can become green marine fuels hub in Latin America:
research
Mexico should aim to become a supply hub of green marine fuels in Latin America, sitting close to main shipping lanes and home to abundant renewable resources, University College London and nonprofit Global Maritime Forum said.

Jul 27  - Russian forces strike Mykolaiv port infrastructure  - mayor  - Reuters News
Russian forces have struck port infrastructure in Ukraine's southern Mykolaiv region, Mayor Oleksandr Senkevich said on Tuesday. "A massive missile strike was launched on the south of Ukraine from the direction of the Black Sea, and with the use of aviation," he told Ukrainian state television, providing no details on the aftermath of the strike.

Jul 27  - Turkey tells Ukraine it is important for first grain shipment to take place soon

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar on Monday told Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov that it was important for the first shipment of grain under a U.N.-brokered deal to take place as soon as possible, his ministry said. In a statement, the ministry said Akar welcomed a statement that Kyiv hopes to begin implementing the deal this week, adding Turkey would continue to do what it has to under the agreement.

Jul 27 - FBX weekly Overview (freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 6% to $6,593/FEU. This rate is 64% lower than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) increased 4% to $10,316/FEU, and are 47% lower than rates for this week last year.

- Ocean rates from Asia to the US West Coast continued their slide, falling 6% since last week to about $6,500/FEU, a level last seen back in May of 2021 and two-thirds lower than a year ago. Asia - N. Europe prices dipped 7% in the last two weeks and are 30% lower than last year, after being stable since the end of April. Asia - US East Coast rates ticked up 4%, possibly a sign of worsening congestion, but are nearly 50% lower than this time last year.

- Despite the falling prices, there are signs that ocean carriers don’t view this trend as the start of a complete collapse. Continued elevated rates for second hand and chartered container ships show ocean carriers are still looking for capacity. Carriers have also scheduled 20% more transpacific capacity through October compared to last year.

- These moves also suggest that carriers don’t anticipate port congestion to dissipate anytime soon: though trucker protests in Oakland were no longer impacting operations by the start of the week, congestion at inland rail hubs are creating a container backlog in LA/Long Beach, and a build up of empty containers is slowing operations on the East Coast.

Jul 26  - Bunker fuel tightness expected to continue at Chittagong: traders
The availability of bunker fuel is expected to remain tight at the port of Chittagong owing to supply constraints stemming from government restrictions on imports, with a new cargo expected no less than two months later from 26 July, a trader at Chittagong said.

Jul 26  - Platts to launch carbon-accounted Aframax tanker assessments on 4 European routes Aug 1
These new assessments will reflect the cost to move crude oil or fuel oil on an Aframax tanker on each route, including the additional cost required to offset 100% of the carbon dioxide emissions created through the combustion and exhaust of a ship's marine fuel through the European Union's Emissions Trading System (ETS).

Jul 26  - India's MRPL offers 50,000 mt low sulfur marine fuel for Aug 7-9
MRPL last offered 40,000 mt of marine fuel 0.5% for May 2-4 loading from New Mangalore.

Jul 26  - Intense competition pushes Zhoushan LSFO bunker spread with Shanghai to all-time lows
At least one of China's state-own oil companies was offering delivered low sulfur fuel oil more aggressively than most other physical bunker suppliers at Zhoushan to capture demand, market sources said July 26.

Jul 26  - First Ukraine Black Sea grain shipments could move in days  - U.N., Ukraine
The first shipments of Ukrainian grain could leave Black Sea ports within days under a U.N.-brokered deal to tackle a global food crisis that has worsened since Russia invaded its neighbor, the United Nations and Ukraine said on Monday. "All parties have reconfirmed their commitment," said deputy U.N. spokesperson Farhan Haq after a Russian missile strike on Ukraine's Odesa port on Saturday cast doubt on the one-day old deal Moscow agreed with Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations.

Jul 26  - Russian strike on Odesa port casts doubt on grain deal - White House
Russia's attack on the Ukrainian port of Odesa casts doubt on a grain deal, the White House said Monday, adding that the United States would continue to explore options with the international community to increase Ukraine exports through overland routes. The announcement comes after the Kremlin said it did not expect the Saturday missile strike targeting military infrastructure in Ukraine would affect a plan to restart exports from the country.

Jul 25  - Asia Middle Distillates Key market indicators for July 25-29
Asian middle distillate market focus remains on supply concerns for the July 25-29 trading week as rising availabilities coupled with fickle arbitrage economics lead to more barrels being seen stuck within the region.

Jul 25  - Oman Oil starts bunker sales at Sohar port as alternative to UAE's Fujairah
IMO-compliant 0.5%S sulfur marine fuel, 0.1%S marine gasoil and 3.5%S 380 CST bunker fuel are being offered after getting a bunker license from the Sohar Port and Freezone, El Kati told S&P Global Commodity Insights on July 22.

Jul 25  - Hong Kong's bunker spread against Zhoushan narrows to over 21-month low
Weak demand for low sulfur fuel oil bunkers in Hong Kong amid a build up of stocks pressured delivered premiums, flipping price spreads against Zhoushan into deeper discounts despite being mostly assessed at premiums to the North Asian bunker hub since 2021.

Jul 25  - EMEA Middle Distillates Key market indicators
Logistical issues created by low Rhine water levels may hamper middle distillates barge trading activity by raising freight costs, while supply of ULSD in cargo markets was said to be balanced and the outlook uncertain.

Jul 25  - EUROPE and AFRICA Residual and Marine Fuel Key market indicators
Very low sulfur fuel oil markets have been supported by strong middle distillates, with low diesel stocks in Europe and backwardated markets keeping diesel prices high.

Jul 25  - AMERICAS Bunkers Key market indicators July 25-29
Spot marine fuel bunkers markets in the Americas enter the week of July 25-29 on a bearish kick following declines tied to weaker upstream crude indicators and soft demand, with market players looking to crude futures in particular for direction.

Jul 25  - Shippers, logistics firms ask EC to review antitrust immunity for container lines
Ten trade associations representing shippers and logistics firms have jointly called on the European Commission to carry out an immediate review of container lines' exemption from EU competition laws.

Jul  25  - China said to buy large volume of French and Australian wheat this week
Buyers from China purchased large volumes of Australian and French wheat this week in a sign that the Asian country is taking advantage of a recent dip in prices to fill its large needs, European traders said on Friday. Traders reported purchases of around 1 million tonnes of Australian wheat, both for animal feed and flour milling, this week for shipment periods between September and March.

Jul  25  - Odesa strike shows it will not be easy to export grain via ports - Ukraine
Ukraine could export 60 million tonnes of grain in eight to nine months if its ports were not blockaded, but Russia's strike on the port of Odesa showed it will definitely not be that easy, an economic adviser to the Ukrainian president said on Sunday. Ukraine could earn $10 billion by selling 20 million tonnes of grain in silos and 40 million tonnes from its new harvest, adviser Oleh Ustenko said. The harvest totals 60 million tonnes, of which 20 million are for domestic consumption, he said.

Jul 22  - Ukraine and Russia sign deal to allow Ukrainian grains exports to resume
The deal was signed in Istanbul by Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN Secretary General.

Jul 22  - HSFO prices pick up amid supply limitations
- Rising demand strains HSFO supply in South Korea
- Italian ports tight on HSFO, VLSFO
- Weak buying interest in North America

Jul 22  - Ukraine's ports to reopen under deal to be signed Friday, Turkey says
Russia and Ukraine will sign a deal on Friday to reopen Ukraine's Black Sea ports to grain exports, Turkey said, raising hopes that an international food crisis caused by Russia's invasion could be eased. Ukraine and Russia, both among the world's biggest exporters of food, did not immediately confirm Thursday's announcement by the office of the Turkish presidency. But in a late night video address Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hinted his country's Black Sea ports could soon be unblocked.

Jul 22  - South Korea’s NOFI buys estimated 138,000 tonnes corn in tender

South Korean animal feed maker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) has bought an estimated 138,000 tonnes of animal feed corn in an international tender which closed on Thursday, European traders said. The corn was bought for arrival in South Korea in two 69,000 tonne consignments in November in a combination of outright prices and premiums over Chicago corn futures. The corn is expected to be sourced from South America and/or South Africa.

Jul 21  - LNG market participants see subdued US FOB selling interest for prompt cargoes
LNG cargo ships reverting to burning conventional oil-based bunkers instead of LNG in order to minimize shipping costs.

Jul 21  - EU clarifies Russian HSFO safe from coal products ban
Traders from four companies had raised concerns that 3.5% (high) sulfur fuel oil fell under EU category CN 2707, which ordinarily refers to coal products, whose import was expected to be banned from August.

Jul 21 - FBX weekly Overview ( Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) decreased 3% to $7,028/FEU. This rate is 58% lower than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) fell 1% to $9,922/FEU, and are 49% lower than rates for this week last year.

- Ocean rates out of Asia were overall stable this week, though prices to the US West Coast decreased 4%, and are now nearly 60% lower than this time last year when rates began their extreme peak season spike. But the significant drop in ocean rates over the last two months is one of several conflicting indicators of what the future may hold: Falling ocean rates, growing inventories and climbing inflation suggest a slow-down in demand, while still-strong consumer spending and ocean volumes in June, and anticipation of declining but still-strong volumes over the coming months point the other direction.

- One reconciliation may start with the extreme starting point for many of these indicators. Asia - US West Coast ocean prices, for example, have fallen more than 50% since the start of the year, but are still more than 4.5 times their level in July 2019. Some decrease in consumer demand, together with the high starting point and the fact that many importers shipped peak season orders earlier in the year, could account for falling rates and volumes that nonetheless remain high by pre-pandemic standards.  

- Whatever the underlying demand, another driver keeping rates elevated (relative to the norm), is persistent congestion. Ports are still backlogged not only in Europe and the US – especially the East Coast – but increasingly in China too, as COVID measures and bad weather slow things down.

- Widespread labor issues are another factor either threatening to disrupt or already slowing operations. The Biden administration intervened to prevent a rail strike this week, even as a backlog of rail-bound containers is the biggest problem in LA at the moment.   Truckers protesting a new California law limiting options for independent operators blocked a terminal at the Port of Oakland, while another port worker strike in Germany disrupted operations there as well.

- Meanwhile, port congestion, together with strong demand for the different mix of goods shipped from Europe has kept transatlantic rates climbing.  North Europe - US East Coast rates are currently more than $8,000/FEU, and 35% higher than at the start of the year.

Jul 21  - Ship insurers seek more assurances on Ukraine grain corridor
Insurers will only be willing to cover ships sailing through a proposed corridor to get Ukrainian grain out if there are arrangements for international navy escorts and a clear strategy to deal with sea mines, underwriters and brokers say. Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations are expected to sign a deal later this week aimed at resuming the shipping of grain from Ukraine across the Black Sea.

Jul 21  - Rhine water falls again in Germany, river ships cut loads
Water levels on the river Rhine in Germany have fallen again after this week’s heatwave and cargo vessels are sailing with significantly reduced loads, navigation authorities said on Wednesday. Shallow water is hampering shipping on the entire river in Germany south of Duisburg and Cologne.

Jul 20  - Russian seaborne crude exports retreat from three-year highs: shipping data
Shipped crude exports averaged 3.34 million b/d from July 1-18, according to preliminary data from vessel analytics provider Kpler, down 300,000 b/d from the 3.64 million b/d average in June and a recent peak of 3.89 million b/d in April.

Jul 20  - VLSFO markets await Al-Zour volumes amid tight supply
The refinery's 40% residuals yield implies 1 million mt/month of 0.5%S or 1%S fuel oil, which will "fundamentally change" those markets in Europe and the Middle East, a trader said.

Jul 20  - Large number of ships with refined products heading to South America, Caribbean
Diesel prices were the most elevated for refined products in Latin America.

Jul 20  - Singapore 380 CST HSFO crack weakest in more than 2 1/2 years on ample supply
Asian HSFO market has been seeing an increase in inflows from the Middle East and possibly from Russia, market sources said.

Jul 20  - US Residual fuel oil stocks stabilize, down 2% year on year
US ending residual fuel oil stocks in the week ended July 15 dipped by 0.06% to 29.2 million barrels, US Energy Information Administration data showed July 20.

Jul 20  - Hong Kong's easing LSFO inventories push bunker spread against Singapore to over 6-month low
While the rising stockpiles of low sulfur fuel oil progressively ease inventories at the port of Hong Kong, the healthy availability of barges and tepid demand also began to weigh on bunker premiums, according to local bunker suppliers July 20.

Jul 20  - Japan May bunker sales down 1.5% on month amid limited LSFO supply
Owing to the limited stockpiles of low sulfur fuel oil, spot trading activity was subdued in May despite strong demand from term contractual clients, with sellers reportedly cautious of accepting bunker nominations, market sources said.

Jul 20 - China's soybean imports from Brazil fall in June; U.S. shipments gain
China's soybean imports from Brazil in June fell while shipments from the United States increased, customs data showed on Wednesday, as high prices curbed demand for South American cargoes. China, the world's top soybean buyer, imported 7.24 million tonnes of the oilseed from Brazil in June, down from 10.48 million tonnes a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Jul 20 - South Korea’s MFG bought 60,000 tonnes soymeal
- traders
South Korea’s Major Feedmill Group (MFG) purchased about 60,000 tonnes of soymeal in a private deal on Monday without an international tenders being issued, European traders said on Tuesday. The soymeal is expected to be sourced from South America. It was purchased from trading house Bunge at an estimated $537.97 a tonne c&f including a surcharge for additional port unloading, they said.

Jul 19  - Low water levels disrupt distillates shipments along Rhine system
Lower water levels see more gasoline travelling into ARA due to lower freight, greater barge availability.

Jul 19  - Hong Kong May fuel oil imports rise 53% on month to 2.51 mil barrels
Although the tightness in high sulfur fuel oil bunkers peaked during the first half of May, the progressive easing of supply situation weighed on bunker premiums since the second half of May, as sellers were able to secure more cargoes to meet downstream demand, market sources said.

Jul 19  - Turkey says Ukraine, Russia, U.N. meeting this week on grain corridor "probable"
Officials from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations will most likely meet this week to discuss resuming Ukraine's Black Sea grain exports, Ankara said on Monday, while a Turkish official said lingering "small problems" should be overcome. Russia's invasion of Ukraine - two major global wheat suppliers - has sent prices for grains and other food products soaring. It has stalled Kyiv's exports, leaving dozens of ships stranded and some 20 million tonnes of grain stuck in silos at Odesa.

Jul 19  - Brazil corn exports soar 221%, driven by Ukraine's absence
Brazilian corn exports via southern ports in Parana state have continued to exceed expectations, with shipments rising 221% in the first half of the year amid Ukraine's absence from the market. According to a Paranagua port authority statement on Monday, the rise in corn export volume was possible as demand picked up at a time when Brazil still had plenty of its summer corn crop to offer.

Jul 18  - Container shipper Maersk reveals EU ETS charges to customers from 2023
Maersk are the first major container shipping line to announce the proposed costs for compliance, following a long period of uncertainty for market participants up to this point.

Jul 18  - Hong Kong delivered 380 CST HSFO bunker premium dips to over 3-month low
On the other hand, bunker suppliers that offered more competitively reported seeing more inquiries for HSFO bunkers compared with the others, sources said.

Jul 18  - ASIA RESIDUAL FUELS: Key market indicators for July 18-22
Despite high prices in the city state, demand is also supported by the ease of operations in the port and the lack of congestion and weather issues, according to owners.

Jul 18  - ICE LSGO futures net length falls 6,732 contracts on week
Open interest in the futures fell by 10,151 contracts to 477,397 over the reporting week.

Jul 18 - Russia says document nearly ready on resuming Ukraine grain exports
Russia's proposals on how to resume Ukrainian grain exports were "largely supported" by negotiators at talks this week in Istanbul and an agreement is close, the Russian defence ministry said on Friday. The ministry said that work on what it calls the "Black Sea Initiative" will be finalised soon.

Jul 18 - Philippines buys about 110,000 tonnes feed wheat in tender - traders
An importer group in the Philippines is believed to have bought around 110,000 tonnes of animal feed wheat in a tender, European traders said on Friday. Traders said two 55,000 tonne consignments were purchased, the first at an estimated $378 a tonne c&f and the second at an estimated $376.50 a tonne c&f.

Jul 15 - Ukraine, Russia see positive signs for grain deal; wheat prices ease
Major global wheat exporters Ukraine and Russia see positive signs in discussions which could lead to the resumption of Ukrainian Black Sea grain exports after Wednesday's talks in Istanbul, their officials said. Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations are due to sign a deal next week aimed at resuming Ukraine's grain exports, Turkish defence minister Hulusi Akar said after the talks, although U.N. chief Antonio Guterres was a little more cautious.

Jul 15 - Weekly U.S. wheat sales hit two-year high as price break sparks demand
Export sales of U.S. wheat in the week ended July 7 totaled more than 1 million tonnes, U.S. government data showed on Thursday, representing the biggest weekly tally since March 2020 as prices tumbled enough to attract interest from global buyers. The bookings occurred in a week when benchmark Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures fell to $7.85-1/4 a bushel, their lowest since mid-February, just before Russia invaded rival grain exporter Ukraine in a move that sent global grain prices soaring.

Jul 14 - Ukraine grain exports deal to be signed next week, says Turkey
Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations are due to sign a deal next week aimed at resuming Ukraine's Black Sea grain exports, but U.N. chief Antonio Guterres warned there was still "a long way to go" before there would be peace talks to end the war. Turkish defence minister Hulusi Akar said the deal to be signed next week includes joint controls for checking shipments in harbours and Turkey ensuring the safety of Black Sea export routes. Turkey would also set up a coordination centre with Ukraine, Russia and the United Nations for grain exports

Jul 14 - French 2022/23 wheat exports seen at 3-year high after brisk start
French soft wheat exports outside the European Union are expected to reach a three-year high in 2022/23 after a strong start to the season, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Wednesday. In first projections for the season that began this month, the office forecast shipments of 10.3 million tonnes, 17% above a reduced estimate of 8.8 million tonnes for 2021/22 and the highest since 2019/20.

Jul 13 - Brazil plans to buy 'cheap' diesel from Russia amid price concerns: Bolsonaro
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro indicated the country is close to buying cheap diesel cargoes from Russia

Jul 13 - Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, U.N. to meet Wednesday on grain exports
Military delegations from Ukraine, Russia and Turkey will meet U.N. officials in Istanbul on Wednesday to discuss a possible deal to resume safe exports of Ukraine grain from the major Black Sea port of Odesa as a global food crisis worsens.  Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar announced the meeting on Tuesday. Turkey has been working with the United Nations to broker a deal after Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine stoked global prices for grains, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizer.

Jul 13 - Taiwan buys 44,725 tonnes wheat of U.S. origin in tender - traders
The Taiwan Flour Millers' Association purchased an estimated 44,725 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 types for shipment from the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast between Aug. 31 and Sept. 14.

Jul 13  - FBX weekly Overview (freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 2% to $7,271/FEU. This rate is 32% lower than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) increased 1% to $10,020/FEU, and are 31% lower than rates for this week last year.

- Recent reports show a 3% reduction in global ocean volumes in May compared to last year, and estimate that transpacific container vessels sailed less than 90% full – the level key to keeping rates high or climbing  – for the first time since mid-2020. Asia - Europe vessels had utilization levels of about 80%.  
- Though rates were stable this week, the extra available space has, especially from China to the US, pushed prices down significantly since early May.  Transpacific capacity data from Windward suggest that rates started falling in May as capacity remained about level with March, but fell 29% in June even when capacity may have started decreasing. Recent reports of an increase in blank sailings may explain the recent leveling off, as rates have fallen only about 4% so far in July.
- Nonetheless, the latest National Retail Federation data show US container import volumes set a new record in May and are projected to decline but remain strong through the end of peak season.  July imports are projected to be just 4% below the May record. August will be an estimated 6% lower than May and mark the first annual decline since July 2020. With signs of decreasing demand and significant front loading of peak season orders already, the NRF projects a sharper drop in September and October.
- But volumes, like rates, are falling from an extremely high starting point. So even with these projected decreases, these monthly peak season volumes would still be 13% to 15% higher than in 2019, suggesting that even with some cooling, the freight peak season could be very busy.
- Falling consumer demand is meant to kick off the process of unwinding the congestion that has caused delays and contributed to elevated freight rates.  But the decrease in demand has meant an unexpected increase in inventories. With shelves and warehouses full, this drop in demand, for now, may be making congestion worse as imports with no place to go sit for extended periods on port container yards or at rail hubs. Which is to say that the unwinding process – for both congestion and rates – could be a slow one.

Jul 12  - Return of Ukraine's Snake Island boosts trans-shipment export options (AgriCensus)
- The recapture of a strategically significant island off the coast of the Black Sea port of Odesa by Ukrainian forces has enabled the restoration of transshipment activity in the region and could bring relief to hard-pressed logistics in and around the Sulina Canal. Russian forces evacuated Zmiiny Island, known across the world as Snake Island, last week and claiming they were returning it in order to improve grain flows from Ukrainian ports.

- The move means that transshipment - the action of transferring cargoes from one ship to another, typically larger, vessel at sea - through the Bystroe Canal has been restored, according to an official notice, forging another link between the Danube and the Black Sea. The move is expected to bring relief to very tight logistics in the river ports along the Danube and potentially help manage the huge queue that has formed in the Sulina Canal - another key link in Danube logistics that connect the river to the Black Sea.
“Taking into account the liberation of the Zmiiny Island from the Russian troops and the accumulation of a large number of ships in anticipation of passage through the Sulina channel, it is possible to use the channel of the Bystre mouth of the Danube-Black Sea channel for the entry/exit of ships transporting agricultural products”, the notice said.

- This channel was used prior to the war as an entrance to port of Reni - a small port that has taken on much greater significance since the Russian invasion began as it is now one of the few ports that is able to manage seaborne exports. But the facility has a limited draft of only around 3.8 meters, and as such it used to be used as a port entrance for empty vessels, but could not be used as an exit once the ship was loaded. That may hamper the use of the channel, trade sources told Agricensus.
"If someone can manage to dive to a draft of up to 4 m... then theoretically we could exit through Bystre, but this is only a river-sea boat, thus around 3,000 mt,” a broker said.

- As such, even if they are able to enter Reni through the Ukrainian side of the channel, vessels would still have to pass through the Sulina Canal to exit to the Black Sea. Ukrainian authorities also noted that the Bystroe Canal is under Ukrainian control, so does not require additional costs compared to Sulina Canal which is controlled by Romanian authorities. However, trade sources do expect that the extra waterway could alleviate freight rates, although there is little evidence of that as yet.

- UN humanitarian aid coordinator Martin Griffiths also commented on the news, saying that the agency was excited about the news, but it alone is “not enough to overcome the threat of world hunger. Only unblocking the Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which are currently blocked by the Russian army, is the best way to prevent global hunger,” the official notice on the Ukrainian agriculture ministry website noted.
- That comes along with new rumors that appeared in the market last week, that a test grain vessel could possibly sail from Odesa port during the week within a corridor guaranteed by the United Nations.

Jul 12 - Ukraine grain exports down 30% so far in 2022/23 season, says ministry
Ukraine's grain exports in the first seven days of July, the first month of the new 2022/23 season, were down 30% year on year at 402,000 tonnes, the agriculture ministry said on Monday. Grain exports for the 2021/22 season ending June 30 rose 8.5% to 48.5 million tonnes, driven by strong shipments before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Jul 12 - Putin and Erdogan hold talks on grain shipments, Kremlin says
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan held a phone call where they discussed coordinating efforts on exporting grain and safety of navigation in the Black Sea, the Kremlin said on Monday. It said the talks took place in the run-up to a Russian-Turkish summit scheduled for the near future.

Jul 11  - Ships get older and slower as emissions rules bite
If shipping is the beating heart of global trade, its pulse is about to get slower. Faced with uncertainty about which fuels to use in the long term to cut greenhouse gas emissions, many shipping firms are sticking with ageing fleets, but older vessels may soon have to start sailing slower to comply with new environmental rules.

Jul 11  - South Korea’s FLC bought about 65,000 tonnes corn in private deal
- traders
South Korea's Feed Leaders Committee (FLC) purchased about 65,000 tonnes of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from South America in a private deal earlier this week without an international tender being issued, European traders said on Friday. The corn was purchased at an estimated $321.29 a tonne c&f with an additional $1.75 a tonne surcharge for additional port unloading.

Jul 08  - First LSSR from Georgia arrives at US Atlantic Coast since 2018
The US feedstock market has been notably thin on supply since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, causing prices to soar.

Jul 08  - KPI OceanConnect sees attention shifting from scrubbers to alternative bunker fuels
The Hi-5 is currently near record highs but with global caps on CO2 and other greenhouse gases in 2030 and 2050, respectively, enthusiasm for scrubbers looks to be easing as the shipping industry looks to the next steps in pollution abatement.

Jul 08  - India's Nayara offers low sulfur fuel oil for July 27-29 loading
Nayara is an occasional seller of low sulfur fuel oil while the company only produces LSFO when the economics are favorable.

Jul 08 - Ukraine to summon Turkey envoy after Russian grain ship sailed
Ukraine will summon Turkey's ambassador to seek clarification, its foreign ministry said on Thursday, a day after a Russian-flagged cargo ship suspected of carrying stolen Ukrainian grain left a Turkish port. The dispute comes at a time of record food prices globally, as conflict in Ukraine, the world's largest grain supplier, has fuelled concerns about food security.

Jul 08 - Egypt ramps up wheat purchases via direct deals as prices dip
Egypt's state grains buyer has ramped up direct purchases of imported wheat this week, buying without issuing international tenders and even closing a rare purchase of a German wheat cargo from Egypt’s own private sector. The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) has so far bought around 1.3 million tonnes of wheat in the new marketing year which began in July, amid a dip in global prices not witnessed since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

Jul 07 - Russian grain ship leaves Turkish port - data
A Russian-flagged cargo ship, the Zhibek Zholy, which was suspected of carrying stolen Ukrainian grain, left the Turkish northwest port of Karasu late on Wednesday, Refinitiv ship tracking data showed. On Sunday, Ukraine's ambassador to Turkey said Turkish authorities had detained the ship. Reuters previously reported that Ukraine had asked Turkey to arrest the ship.

Jul 07 - South Korean mills buy 50,000 T U.S. wheat, 100,000 T Australian
A group of South Korean flour mills on Wednesday bought about 50,000 tonnes of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States and 100,000 tonnes to be sourced from Australia, European traders said. The wheat was all bought on an FOB basis with a range of types purchased, they said.

Jul 06 - FBX weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 2% to $7,425/FEU. This rate is 31% lower than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) dipped 2% as well to $9,872/FEU, and are 29% lower than rates for this week last year.

- More signs of slowing consumer demand surfaced this week with reports of manufacturing and new orders slowing and of US retail spending unexpectedly dipping slightly in May. Falling ocean container rates, especially on the transpacific, suggest that capacity continues to exceed demand.  Asia – N. America rates fell 2% this week, with West Coast shipments now costing about half what they did in April.  These rates are more than 30% lower than this time last July when prices were beginning their 80% peak season spike over the course of the month.

- Prices have fallen even as carriers have increased the number of blank sailings in May and June to try and match capacity to falling demand. So far there are fewer canceled voyages planned for later this month, suggesting that, at least for now, carriers are expecting an increase of activity deeper into peak season.

- Volumes from Asia to Europe have already fallen on an inflation-driven decrease in demand. And though prices have dropped more than 25% since the start of the year, port congestion – which is only getting worse –  is nonetheless keeping rates well above the norm.  Any peak season increase in volumes would only make things worse.

- An increase in traffic to the US could also be challenging as East Coast ports struggle with worsening congestion. Though operations have improved at LA/Long Beach, congestion is still a problem there too, with a growing backlog of containers waiting to be moved by rail.

- Despite calls from major retailers to extend the existing West Coast labor contract, the ILWU’s agreement expired at the end of last week making a strike a legal option, and another threat to operations. But both sides of the table continue to be optimistic that a deal will be reached without disruptions.  

- In air cargo, the recovery of belly capacity continues on many lanes, with Freightos Air Index Europe - N. America rates now $3.80/kg, 25% lower than in early May. A ground handling shortage in Frankfurt, meanwhile, is causing freighter cancellations, and could put upward pressure on costs through the hub.

Jul 06 - Sri Lankan bunker operations unlikely to be impacted by monsoon in July
Bunker operations in Sri Lanka were expected to be normal in July, with moderate demand as the monsoon season continues, sources said, adding that sales have been lower of late than seen during a busy June.

Jul 06 - Zhoushan-Singapore delivered bunker spread narrows to seven-month low
The bunker supplier also added that the tight LSFO supply situation in China is recovering at a quicker pace compared to Singapore, thus the firmer bunker prices at the world's largest bunker hub.

Jul 06 - Iraq's SOMO sells straight-run HSFO for July-Sept loading
SOMO is a regular seller of straight-run fuel oil from its refineries in Iraq.

Jul 06 - Asia's bitumen premium to HSFO hits record high on tight supply, weak HSFO
Supply of bitumen in Asia has tightened due to lower production as regional refiners maximize output of middle distillates, bitumen traders said.

Jul 06 - June fuel oil barge volumes traded in London MOC declined 19.51% on month
Marine fuel 0.5%S markets saw tight supply across Europe in the past weeks as refiners have been using sweeter crude lately to maximize production of products like gasoline.

Jul 06 - Front month open interest for Singapore ICE HSFO contracts falls 16% in June
Market sources said Asia could also be one of the major destinations for Russian HSFO cargoes after the West placed sanctions on Russian oil imports.

Jul 06 - EXCLUSIVE-Kyiv asks Turkey to probe three more Russian ships it alleges transported stolen grain
Ukraine has asked Turkey to help investigate three Russian-flagged ships as part of Kyiv’s efforts to probe what it alleges is the theft of grain from Russian-occupied territory, according to official documents. In a June 13 letter, which hasn’t previously been reported, the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office asked Turkey’s justice ministry to investigate and provide evidence on the three named ships it suspects have been involved in transporting grain allegedly stolen from recently occupied Ukrainian territories, such as Kherson.

Jul 06 - U.S. urges G20 to press Russia to reopen sea lanes for grain delivery
Food and energy security will figure prominently in a meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Bali this week and the group's members should insist Russia support U.N. efforts to reopen sea lanes blocked by Moscow's war in Ukraine, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday. Ramin Toloui, assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs, told reporters Secretary of State Antony Blinken would raise energy security in the main G20 ministers' session on Friday and in bilateral meetings in Bali.

Jul 05 - Zelenskiy says Ukraine is in talks with Turkey, UN on grain exports
Ukraine is holding talks with Turkey and the United Nations to secure guarantees for grain exports from Ukrainian ports, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Monday. "Talks are in fact going on now with Turkey and the U.N. (and) our representatives who are responsible for the security of the grain that leaves our ports," Zelenskiy told a news conference alongside Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.

Jul 05 - Egypt's GASC buys nine wheat cargoes via direct purchases -traders
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, is believed to have bought around 444,000 tonnes of wheat directly from trading houses on Monday, traders said. The purchase comprised 214,000 tonnes of Russian wheat, 170,000 tonnes of French wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat, traders said.

Jul 04 - Back to the future? Cargo giant Cargill turns to sails to cut carbon
In a new take on ancient technology, Cargill, one of the world's biggest charterers of ships, is to add state-of-the art sails to a vessel early next year to test whether wind power can cut its carbon emissions, a top company executive said. With about 90% of world trade transported by sea, shipping accounts for nearly 3% of the world's CO2 emissions, yet environmental campaigners say efforts by the sector to cut emissions are slow.

Jul 04 - Argentina grains truck traffic to ports rises after end of protest
Grains truck traffic to Argentina's major ports rose strongly on Friday after a haulage protest over diesel costs and shortages was resolved, a boost to exports from the world's top shipper of processed soy and the No. 2 of corn. Truck numbers entering ports rose back above 3,000 on Friday, according to data from Agroentregas, which monitors trucking activity. That was up from a low of 650 on Tuesday.

Jul 01  - 0.5%S marine fuel East-West spread hits all-time high on stronger Asian prices
Singapore marine fuel 0.5%S prices are typically higher than Rotterdam, allowing cargoes to move from the West to the East.

Jul 01 - Russia-Ukraine war - Blacksea Snake Island
- Russian forces announced they had abandoned the strategic Black Sea outpost of Snake Island, in a major victory for Ukraine that could loosen the grip of Russia's grain export blockade.
- Russia's defense ministry described the decision to withdraw from the outcrop as a "gesture of goodwill" that showed Moscow was not obstructing United Nations efforts to open a humanitarian corridor allowing grains to be shipped from Ukraine's ports.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin still wants to seize most of Ukraine, but his forces are so degraded by combat that they likely can only achieve incremental gains in the near term, the top U.S. intelligence officer said.

Jul 01  - First cargo ship leaves Ukraine's occupied port of Berdyansk  - official
A first cargo ship has left the Russian-occupied Ukrainian port of Berdyansk, a local official said on Thursday, after Russia said the port had been de-mined and was ready to resume grain shipments. "After a stoppage of several months the first cargo ship has left the Berdyansk port," Yevgeny Balitsky, a Russian-installed official in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia region, wrote on the Telegram messaging service.

Jul 01  - Argentina trucker strike ends, boosting grains exports
An Argentine truckers strike ended on Thursday, after some unions upset with diesel shortages reached a deal to lift the one-week protest around the major port of Rosario, which is expected to help the flow of grains for export going forward. The truck driver protest over high fuel prices has paralyzed corn and other grains exports just as the bulk of the harvest was headed to ports for shipment to foreign markets.

Jun 30  - Egypt's GASC buys 815,000 tonnes of wheat in tender
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), bought 815,000 tonnes of mainly French wheat in a tender, marking its biggest single purchase in years as prices slightly ease. The purchase comprised 350,000 tonnes of French wheat, 240,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat, 175,000 tonnes of Russian wheat and 50,000 tonnes of Bulgarian wheat, GASC said.

Jun 30  - South Korea’s MFG buys estimated 136,000 T corn in tender - traders
South Korea's Major Feedmill Group (MFG) has purchased an estimated 136,000 tonnes of animal feed corn all expected to be sourced from South America in an international tender which closed on Wednesday, European traders said. Two consignments each of 68,000 tonnes were both bought from trading house Olam both at an estimated $349.99 a tonne c&f plus a $1.75 a tonne surcharge for additional port unloading.

Jun 29  - KPI OceanConnect sees 63% rise in 2021-2022 bunkered volumes at Hong Kong
Volumes at Hong Kong rose 63% on the year and those in China increased 20%, the company said in a statement June 28, without providing further numbers.

Jan 29  - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 15% to $7,599/FEU. This rate is 14% lower than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) dropped 13% to $10,113/FEU, and are 13% lower than rates for this week last year.

- More indications of falling demand for imports to the US and elsewhere were reported this week, including a drop in inbound ocean volumes at some US ports in June, dips in orders for certain goods from Chinese manufacturers, and more signs of excess inventory for certain goods in the US as well.  
- And of course, falling transpacific ocean rates also show that demand is decreasing: Asia - US prices to both coasts dropped by more than 13% since last week, are at least 13% lower than this time last year marking the first annual decrease since H1 2020.  And – though still well above pre-pandemic norms – prices are trending down at a time they were already climbing on peak season demand a year ago.  

- Asia - US West Coast rates have now fallen more than 50% in Q2.

- Asia – N. Europe prices have been stable since early May – possibly due to worsening congestion at European hubs – but are 30% lower than at the start of 2022.
- Of the major tradelanes, only transatlantic prices are higher than at the start of the year. Europe

– US East Coast rates are 42% higher than a year ago, and about 4X pre-pandemic norms. Demand has remained strong, and – even with capacity diverted from Russian ports to the lane –  congestion in European and East Coast ports continue to slow operations and put pressure on rates.

Questions remain for what the rest of the year will look like.
- A recent Sea-Intelligence analysis indicates that the drop in exports from Shanghai during the lockdown was mostly compensated by shifts to other ports. Together with signs that demand is slow, this insight makes a possible surge in volumes out of Shanghai as it reopens even less likely.
- If underlying transpacific demand has eroded significantly enough, then we could expect rates to continue to fall even as we move deeper into the traditional peak season. At the same time, if carriers find themselves with excess capacity, we could also expect them to start canceling sailings which would slow the price decline.
- And finally, though labor negotiations on the US West Coast are reportedly making progress, new labor issues that could affect logistics are developing in Europe and among Canadian and US rail workers.

Jun 29  - Poland says EU goal for Ukraine grain movement not feasible by July
The European Union's goal to move 20 million tons of grain out of Ukraine by the end of July is not feasible amid little progress in implementing EU and U.S. initiatives to ease logistics problems, the Polish agriculture minister said on Tuesday. Speaking to Reuters in an interview, Henryk Kowalczyk accused Brussels of giving Poland, which shares a long land border with Ukraine, little assistance, including with factors like a lack of equipment such as mobile grain loaders or containers.

Jun 29  - Jordan buys estimated 60,000 tonnes wheat in tender, traders say
Jordan's state grains buyer purchased about 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 CHS at an estimated $445.00 a tonne c&f for shipment in the second half of September, they said.

Jun 28  - Saudi's SAGO buys 495,000 tonnes of wheat in tender for shipment Nov-Jan
Saudi Arabia's state grain buyer SAGO on Monday bought 495,000 tonnes of wheat in an international purchasing tender for shipment from November 2022 to January 2023. SAGO said the average price for the wheat purchased was $441.93 per tonne.

Jun 28  - Grain stocks in Aqaba unaffected by toxic gas leak in port
- official
The grain stockpile in Jordan's Aqaba port is safe after a toxic gas leak there on Monday, state news agency Petra cited the general manager of Jordan Silos And Supply General Company as saying. Work is protectively halted on Monday and Tuesday in the port for further checks, the general manager, Imad Ali Al-Tarawneh, said, according to Petra.

Jun 27  - Limited stockpiles push Zhoushan's July term ex-wharf bunker premiums higher
The limited availability of very low sulfur fuel oil cargoes means buyers are not very keen to purchase large parcels, a trader said.

Jun 27  - Singapore marine fuel 0.5%S cash differential hits record high on supply tightness
There was not enough marine fuel oil in the market to meet demand amid higher gasoil values, as blending components were being taken by the gasoil market and little was left for marine fuel 0.5%S, market sources said.

Jun 27  - Finding new Ukraine grain export routes is top goal in food crisis - Germany
Setting up reliable transport routes for grain from Ukraine is a top priority to prevent a global food crisis and will be a leading topic at a conference on the supply strains on Friday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said. German Agriculture Minister Cem Oezdemir, speaking at a joint news conference with Baerbock, said Ukraine was being blackmailed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and therefore it was necessary to develop new transport routes for the long term.

Jun 27  - Argentine truck protest enters third day, grain ports operational
Argentine truck unions extended a widespread protest over fuel price hikes and diesel shortages on Friday, but the dismantling of some road blockades meant that truck traffic and operations in the country's key Rosario grains ports returned to normal. The protests, which started Wednesday, coincide with the peak period of the harvest cycle in the South American country, which is the world's top exporter of processed soy oil and meal, the No. 2 for corn and an important wheat producer.

Jun 24  - Bangladesh to cut HSFO imports in July on austerity measure to curb energy use
The government has implemented a new regulation that shops and shopping malls need to close after 8 pm every day.

Jun 24  - Singapore Residual fuel stocks rise 6% to 21.35 mil barrels

Singapore fuel oil imports declined 38.6% week on week to 612,787 mt over June 16-22, the data showed.

Jun 24  - Boris Johnson signals UK's willingness to demine, help export grain from Ukraine
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday Britain was willing to assist with demining operations off Ukraine's southern coast and was considering offering insurance to ships to move millions of tonnes of grain stuck in the country. Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine and blockade of its Black Sea ports has prevented the country, traditionally one of the world's top food producers, from exporting much of the more than 20 million tonnes of grain stored in its silos.

Jun 24  - Turkey says it is investigating claims of Russia shipping stolen Ukrainian grain
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that Ankara was investigating claims that Ukrainian grain has been stolen by Russia and shipped to countries including Turkey, but added the probes had not found any stolen shipments so far. Kyiv's ambassador to Ankara said in early June that Turkish buyers were among those receiving grain that Russia had stolen from Ukraine, adding he had sought Turkey's help to identify and capture individuals responsible for the alleged shipments.

Jun 23  - Higher clean MR market lure dirty MR tankers to clean up for higher earnings
The sharp rise in earnings in the clean Medium Range or MR tankers is luring their dirty counterparts to clean up their ships to improve their returns as well, market participants said June 23.

Jun 23  - Singapore marine fuel oil swap crack hits all-time high amid cutter stock tightness

The high gasoil crack spread is also driving the crack spread of marine fuel oil higher as some 70% of marine fuel oil consists of middle distillates, market sources said.

Jun 23  - Marine fuel 0.5%S spread between Santos, Buenos Aires changes direction in June
A traditional pricing discount for marine fuel 0.5%S in the port of Santos vs. the port of Buenos Aires has flipped in June amid strong competition and a period of low demand in the Argentinian port.

Jun 23  - Russian oil tankers get India safety cover via Dubai company
India is providing safety certification for dozens of ships managed by a subsidiary of top Russian shipping group Sovcomflot, official data showed, enabling oil exports to India and elsewhere after Western certifiers withdrew their services due to global sanctions against Moscow. Certification by the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), one of the world's top classification companies, provides a final link in the paperwork chain - after insurance coverage - needed to keep state-owned Sovcomflot's tanker fleet afloat and delivering Russian crude oil to overseas markets.

Jun 23  - Strong rouble, lack of vessels to hamper start of new export season for Russian wheat
A strong rouble, high export tax, ongoing problems with freight and lack of forward sales are expected to hamper the start of the new export season for Russian wheat in July despite an expected record crop, analysts and traders said. Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter and which supplies mainly to the Middle East and Africa, will start harvesting the new crop within days and amid Western sanctions imposed on Moscow after it sent thousands of troops to Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Jun 23  - Russia, Turkey to pursue talks on Ukraine grain exports
Russia and Turkey agreed to pursue talks on a potential safe sea corridor in the Black Sea to export grain from Ukraine after discussions in Moscow, the Russian and Turkish defence ministries said on Wednesday. In a statement, Turkey's defence ministry said a Turkish dry cargo vessel, the Azov Concord, had also safely left Mariupol as a result of the talks, and added the ship was the first foreign ship to leave the port since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Jun 22  - Zhejiang Mercantile Exchange unveils Zhoushan's bonded LSFO bunker price data
Zhejiang Mercantile Exchange -- in collaboration with Shanghai Futures Exchange and Shanghai International Energy Exchange, has started publishing Zhoushan's bonded low sulfur fuel oil bunker pricing data on its website.

Jun 22  - FBX weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) dipped 3% to $8,934/FEU. This rate is just 1% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) fell 1% to $11,589/FEU, and are 16% higher than rates for this week last year.

- There were more signs this week of inventory surpluses and a resulting slowing in orders by major retailers suggesting a decrease in demand – at least for certain goods – as consumers shift spending to services or to the inflated costs of necessities, or both.

- A recent survey of freightos.com marketplace users shows that SMB importers are experiencing these trends too: More than half of respondents report they’ve placed peak season orders early in the hopes of building inventory. Two-thirds said they are already experiencing a decrease in demand, with 84% of those attributing that dip to inflation.

- Minimal port congestion in Shanghai shows there’s still no sign of a surge of pent up demand many expected to follow the city’s reopening.  Port congestion has also continued to improve at LA/Long Beach in the last two months, with fewer than 20 ships waiting for a berth currently, as a near record number of containers were processed in May.

Jun 22  - Turkish team to discuss Black Sea grain corridor in Russia this week  - sources
Ankara's military delegation will travel to Russia this week to discuss details of a possible safe sea corridor in the Black Sea to export Ukrainian grain, Turkish presidency sources said on Tuesday.  Russia's TASS agency confirmed plans for the talks, citing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Jun 22  - Algeria starts buying milling wheat in tender
- traders
Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC has started buying optional-origin milling wheat in an international tender which closed on Tuesday with initial purchases estimated around $445 a tonne c&f, European traders said in first assessments. Estimates of tonnes bought were still awaited but one trading house estimated about 400,000 tonnes would be bought.

Jun 21  - VLCC arrives in Southwold to supply NWE with non-Russian diesel
A diesel-laden Very Large Crude Carrier, or VLCC, arriving in Europe June 21 brought some relief to supplies in the region after months of tightness as importers have looked for replacements for Russian-origin products.

Jun 21  - Old is gold: sky-high cost of ageing ships sounds inflation SOS
Shipping companies are transforming rust buckets into gold mines in a modern-day alchemy that could fuel already rampant inflation for years to come. The disruption to world trade caused by pandemic lockdowns and a shortage of new cargo vessels has pushed freight rates for ageing container ships to record highs.

Jun 21  - EU's top diplomat calls Russia's blockade of Ukrainian grain a war crime
Russia is committing a war crime by blocking the export of millions of tonnes of Ukrainian grain, the European Union's foreign policy chief said on Monday as EU foreign ministers met to discuss ways to free up the crop amid a global food crisis. Ukraine is one of the top wheat suppliers globally, but its shipments have stalled and more than 20 million tonnes of grain have been trapped in silos since Russia invaded the country in February and subsequently blocked its ports.

Jun 20  - EU seeks to release Ukrainian grain stuck due to Russia's sea blockade
European Union foreign ministers will discuss ways to free millions of tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine due to Russia's Black Sea port blockade at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday. Ukraine is one of the top wheat suppliers globally, but its grain shipments have stalled and more than 20 million tonnes have been trapped in silos since Russia's invaded the country and blocked its ports.

Jun 20  - France's Macron sceptical on Russia Odesa grain deal, sees Romania option
France's president said on Friday he saw little chance of an agreement with Russia for now to get grain out the Ukrainian port of Odesa, but said there were talks to regenerate rail routes linking Odesa to the Danube in Romania as an alternative. Ukraine's inability to use its major deep-sea port, Odesa, because of Russia's military incursion has led to a jump in global food prices and warnings by the United Nations of hunger in poorer countries that rely heavily on imported grain.

Jun 17  - Russia says it is assisting exports of Ukrainian foodstuffs via Azov Sea
Russia said on Thursday it was facilitating the export of grain and oilseeds from Ukraine through Russian-held transit points on the Azov Sea, without explaining who was providing the foodstuffs for export. Ukraine, like Russia one of the world's biggest exporters of grains and oilseeds, has accused Russia of stealing grain from territories in Ukraine that its forces have seized.

Jun 17  - ICE exchange coffee heads to U.S. from Europe as weather bites supply - sources
Commodity traders are shipping arabica coffee from Europe-based ICE futures exchange warehouses to the United States, five trade sources told Reuters, reflecting the impact of erratic weather on global supply that could raise costs for the popular drink. The bulk of global arabica coffee, the most commonly used variety, is produced in central and south America so shipping it from one major consuming region to another is highly unusual.

Jun 17  - Biden signs ocean shipping bill in bid to reduce export backlogs - Reuters News
President Joe Biden on Thursday signed legislation to improve oversight of ocean shipping, which lawmakers say will help curb inflation and ease export backlogs. The bipartisan bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a 369-42 vote earlier this week. Biden said he had "promised to crack down on ocean carriers whose price hikes have hurt American families."

Jun 17  - Romania expects surplus grain crops this year, to keep exports going - Reuters News
Weather and higher production costs mean Romania's grain crops will be somewhat lower than last year's bumper harvest, but still ensure enough surplus for exports, Agriculture Minister Adrian Chesnoiu said. Romania has been among the largest grain sellers in the European Union and is an active exporter to the Middle East, with Egypt the main buyer.

Jun 16  - Global port congestion, high shipping rates to last into 2023  - execs
Global port congestion is set to continue until at least early 2023 and keep spot freight rates elevated, logistics executives said on Wednesday, urging charterers to switch to long-term contracts to manage shipping costs. The COVID-19 outbreak has lengthened ship delivery times since 2020, pushing up freight costs, while the Russia-Ukraine conflict and lockdowns in Shanghai have added to supply chain disruptions this year.

Jun 16 - Turkey says Ukraine grain ships could avoid mines, Russia offers safe passage
Russia on Wednesday said it has offered "safe passage" for Ukraine grain shipments from Black Sea ports but is not responsible for establishing the corridors and Turkey suggested that ships could be guided around sea mines. Ukrainian grain shipments have stalled since Russia's invasion and ports blockade, stoking global prices for grains, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizer. The United Nations is trying to broker a deal to resume Ukraine exports and Russian food and fertilizer exports, which Moscow says are harmed by sanctions.

Jun 15  - Residual fuel oil stocks rise, imports, exports fall: EIA

Jun 15  - FREIGHTOS BALTIC INDEX Weekly UPDATE

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 4% to $9,178/FEU. This rate is just 4% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) fell 2% to $11,710/FEU, and are 18% higher than rates for this week last year.
- The detection of new COVID cases in Beijing and Shanghai last week had authorities implementing targeted restrictions in some areas and renewed the threat of another lockdown.  

- Meanwhile, ocean rates out of China, which have fallen significantly since March, remained level this week suggesting the potential surge of pent up volumes hasn’t materialized yet. Though Asia - US West Coast rates are still about 6.5X their level in June 2019, they are now only 4% higher than this time last year, and Asia - N. Europe prices are now down year on year for the first time since mid-2020.
- Any significant increase in container traffic out of Asia – either from Shanghai reopening or from the expected increase during peak season –  would likely exacerbate the existing congestion and delays at destination ports, which in turn will put more pressure on rates.
- Labor disputes – like the recently resolved trucker strike in South Korea – are another wrinkle threatening to make matters worse at some key hubs. But while members of a German port workers union stopped working for several hours last week in response to stalled negotiations, latest indications are that US West Coast longshore workers and the Pacific Maritime Association will come to an agreement without strikes or lockouts.  
- Early this week the US congress passed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act aimed at keeping US exports moving even during times of peak imports, bringing equity to detention, demurrage and other surcharges, and strengthening the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).
- Though the new law includes little related to container rates, its passage was preceded by remarks from President Biden targeting ocean carriers for the extreme spike in logistics costs and their contribution to inflation. His speech prompted backlash from the carrier industry and others who point out that the FMC determined that spiking ocean rates are a result of market conditions and not of anti-competitive behavior.

Jun 15  - Asian buyers eye French, Romanian wheat after Ukrainian supply blocked
Asian flour millers are likely to increase wheat purchases from France and Romania in the new crop year starting July as supplies from key global exporter Ukraine remain cut off following the invasion by Russia, trade sources said.World prices rallied to an all-time high in March after the Feb. 24 invasion. India's subsequent move to curb wheat exports and adverse weather in the United States have heightened concerns over grain supplies.

Jun 15  - Iraq procured 1.8 mln tonnes of wheat so far -state news agency
Iraq has procured 1.8 million tonnes of wheat so far, while it needs 3 million tonnes for strategic reserves, Iraq's state news agency (INA) reported on Tuesday, citing the Trade Ministry's spokesman. "The overall amount [of wheat procured] may reach 2 million tonnes, with what we have available it is possible )the wheat) will suffice the country until next November," ministry spokesman Mohammed Hanoun said.

Jun 14  - U.S. House passes ocean shipping bill to allay export backlogs
The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation Monday to improve oversight of ocean shipping, which supporters say will help curb inflation and ease export backlogs. The bill was approved 369-42 and will head to the White House for President Joe Biden's signature. Biden said in a statement he looked forward to signing it into law.

Jun 14  - India holds ample rice stocks, no plans to curb exports  - food secretary
India, the world's biggest rice exporter, has ample stocks of the staple and there is no plan to restrict exports, the top official at the food ministry said on Monday. India's surprise decision to ban wheat exports on May 14 raised concerns about potential curbs on rice exports as well, prompting rice traders to step up purchases and place atypical orders for longer-dated deliveries.

Jun 13  - The sea mines floating between Ukraine’s grain stocks and the world
As the United Nations tries to broker a path for grain from Ukraine and temper worries about a global food crisis, hundreds of mines laid along the Black Sea present a practical nightmare that will take months to resolve even after any agreement. The Black Sea is crucial for shipment of grain, oil and oil products. Its waters are shared by Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia and Turkey, as well as Ukraine and Russia.

Jun 13  - Ukraine grain exports via Poland, Romania face bottlenecks 
- deputy foreign minister
Ukraine has established two routes through Poland and Romania to export grain and avert a global food crisis although bottlenecks have slowed the supply chain, Kyiv's deputy foreign minister said on Sunday. Dmytro Senik said global food security was at risk because Russia's invasion of Ukraine had halted Kyiv's Black Sea grain exports, causing widespread shortages and soaring prices.

Jun 10  - Some 601,115 tonnes of Ukrainian grains pass through Romanian Black Sea port
Ukraine has sent some 601,115 tonnes of grains to the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta since Russia invaded on Feb. 24, with an additional 120,294 tonnes en route, the port said on Thursday. The grains it has sent by barge, train and truck to the Romanian port amount to roughly 3% of the 20 million tonnes it needs to move before the new harvest starting at the end of July to avoid bottlenecks and forestall a global food crisis.

Jun 09  - First Indian wheat cargo clears inspections in Egypt (AgriCensus)
- The first Indian wheat cargo of 55,000 mt that was reported sold back in late April has reached the Egypt port Alexandria and passed all the needed inspections, trade sources said Thursday.
“Mana (the vessel name), first Indian wheat vessel to Egypt shipped by Mera Group, has passed all tests in Egypt and will commence discharge tomorrow,” Neal Sahni, CEO and Co-Founder of Mera Group said.

- The sale was reported back in late April just along with the news that Egypt's agriculture plant quarantine agency has approved Indian origin wheat for import, after lengthy discussions on the issue of a fungal disease known as “karnal bunt” that is present in Indian wheat.
“We worked very hard to ensure that we ship the quality as per the parameters of the Egypt Government and we are glad we succeeded,” Neal also said.
The vessel was set for shipment in May and was partially loaded when the Indian government banned the commercial export of wheat May 13, therefore the Indian government allowed it to complete the loading.

- Meanwhile, four of the 19 vessels nominated to leave during May carrying a total of 232,000 mt of wheat are still stuck in Indian ports, while at least one did not even reach the port and switched destination, according to line up and marine traffic.

Jun 09  - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 11% to $9,574/FEU. This rate is just 9% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) dropped 14% to $11,908/FEU, and are 28% higher than rates for this week last year.

The container market is in flux, though it seems no one can be sure what the multiple signs will mean.

While some measures record a drop in orders for US-bound imports in April and May, enough arriving and backlogged containers were still processed in April to put volumes 5% higher than last year. May and June volumes are projected to be even higher than April, 7.5% greater than in 2021 and tied for the third highest monthly volumes on record, with July and August not far behind.

The recent dip in orders almost certainly reflects the lull in manufacturing while Shanghai was shut down. But the long anticipated shift in consumer spending from goods to services as the pandemic fades seems to have surfaced in the last couple months as well, and could also mean that part of the dip was due to a decrease in underlying demand.  

Major retailers like Target and Walmart report carrying too much inventory of certain goods like furniture and electronics. Target is canceling new orders and working to shed inventory. A shift to services together with inflated prices for necessities is driving some of that overstock.  But some spending is moving to increases in demand for other types of goods like apparel.

Many observers have expected a surge in volumes out of China as Shanghai reboots. But if the net underlying demand actually deteriorated during the lockdown, or enough importers had already pulled orders forward, then there may be no surge in the short term and less chaos and pressure on rates during peak season when compared to last year’s peak.

- On the other hand, the volume projections for the summer remain higher than last year and well above pre-pandemic levels. Port congestion is still a problem, and any significant increase in traffic could mean an increase in delays and prices as capacity is stuck waiting in line.

Same goes for container rates. On the one hand, transpacific rates have plummeted during the lockdown. Asia - US West Coast rates fell another 11% this week and are down nearly 40% since late March, and transpac air cargo rates fell 38% in May to less than $9/kg too. If dropping consumer demand is the main driver then we should expect rates to keep falling. But on the other hand, analysis of the freight futures market suggests prices aren’t set to decrease much more in the near term, should climb later in peak season, and should remain elevated into next year.  Contract rates remain elevated too.

- What to make of all this?
Inventory gluts and shifts in consumer spending are clearly new developments and concrete signs that inflation and the wane of the pandemic in the west are starting to change the market. On the other hand, there is still likely enough demand and congestion to increase delays and ocean rates as Shanghai reopens and peak season progresses, though perhaps not to the extremes seen last year. Taken together, this mix of sometimes competing indications may signal the start of a gradual return to a new normal.

Jun 08  - Tight LSFO stocks push Hong Kong-delivered differentials to all-time high
Supply tightness in Singapore has supported the FOB Singapore premium since the second half of May, which strengthened bunker premiums in Hong Kong.

Jun 08  - Russian attack destroys warehouses of major Ukrainian commodity terminal, governor says
Russian shelling destroyed the warehouses of one of Ukraine's largest agricultural commodities terminals in the Black Sea port of Mykolaiv over the weekend, the head of the region said on Tuesday. Ukraine, one of the world's leading grain producers and exporters, operates dozens of export terminals along the Black Sea where cities are regularly shelled by Russia. A Russian blockade is preventing Ukraine from using the sea for exports.

Jun 07  - Ukraine not ready to export grain via Belarus  - Zelenskiy
Ukraine is not ready to agree to a plan to export its grain by rail across Belarus for shipment via the Baltic Sea to bypass Russia's blockade of its Black Sea ports, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Monday. Zelenskiy told a news conference in the capital Kyiv that there could be as much as 75 million tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine this autumn.

Jun 07  - Panicked traders step up forward Indian rice purchases after wheat export ban - sources
India's surprise ban on wheat exports has prompted rice traders to increase purchases and place unusual orders for longer-dated deliveries, fearing the world's top rice exporter may restrict those shipments as well, four exporters told Reuters. In the last two weeks, traders have signed contracts to export 1 million tonnes of rice for shipments from June through September and are opening letters of credit (LCs) quickly after signing deals to ensure the contracted quantity will be sent even if India restricts exports, the people said.

Jun 06  - Egypt rejects ship carrying Indian wheat originally intended for Turkey
Egypt barred the entry of a ship carrying 55,000 tonnes of Indian wheat originally intended for Turkey because it did not meet quarantine requirements, Egyptian plant quarantine chief Ahmed El Attar said on Saturday. “We rejected the ship before it entered Egypt," El Attar told Reuters, adding that Turkish quarantine authorities had already blocked the arrival of the vessel.

Jun 06  - India says no plans for now to curb food exports
India has no plans to curb food exports for now, Piyush Goyal, the Minister for Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution said on Friday, weeks after New Delhi banned private wheat exports. "As of now we do not see the need to do it on any other commodity," Goyal said answering a query whether the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was considering banning the export of food products such as rice.

Jun 03 - MARINE FUEL 0.5%S - Supply tightness on cutter stock shortage to remain through summer
The global marine fuel 0.5%S market saw extreme supply tightness in May because of a lack of cutter stock, a trend sources said is likely to continue in the coming months.

Jun 03 - FOB Singapore MOC fuel oil trades rise 6.5% on month in May
Singapore marine fuel 0.5%S trade volume fell 12% month on month to 440,000 mt in May, the data showed.

Jun 03 - Indian mills waiting to export 1.5 mln T sugar after selling 8.5 mln tonnes
India has exported around 8.5 million tonnes of sugar since the current season began on Oct. 1, with exporters likely to contract another 1.5 million tonnes for overseas sales in the next five months, trade and government sources said on Thursday. India, the world's biggest sugar producer and consumer, on May 24 imposed restrictions on exports of the sweetener for the first time in six years by capping exports at 10 million tonnes.

Jun 03 - Algeria bought around 90,000 T wheat in small-port tender - traders
Algeria's state grains agency OAIC bought around 90,000 tonnes of milling wheat in an international tender this week that covered two small ports, European traders said. The tender, which closed on Tuesday, had sought wheat for shipment to one or both of the ports of Mostaganem and Tenes.

Jun 02 - Marine gasoil jumps almost $100/mt in Med amid latest EU sanctions news
According to Kpler shipping data, gasoil imports to the Mediterranean fell by 1 million barrels in May, contrasting with a 470,000 barrel build in Northwest Europe.  

Jun 02 - Singapore ex-wharf June low sulfur marine fuel premiums surge on supply concerns
"Our supply is fine. We are offering in early June" the source said.

Jun 02 - South Korea delivered 0.5%S bunker tightness set to ease in June as supply returns
"Our supply is fine. We are offering in early June" the source said.

Jun 02 - Russia says it is facing difficulties exporting grain due to sanctions on ships
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that Moscow is facing difficulties exporting grain due to sanctions against its ships. "There are also problems with the export of Russian grain... Vessels that carry Russian grain have fallen under sanctions," Lavrov said during a visit to Saudi Arabia.

Jun 02 - Indonesia has issued palm oil export permits for nearly 180,000 t - official
Indonesia, has issued export permits for 179,464 tonnes of palm oil as of June 2, a senior trade ministry official said on Thursday, after a ban on shipments was lifted last week. The government has issued 160 export permits to 18 companies for the shipments, said Oke Nurwan of the trade ministry.

Jun 01  - Marine gasoil jumps almost $100/mt in Med amid latest EU sanctions news
According to Kpler shipping data, gasoil imports to the Mediterranean fell by 1 million barrels in May, contrasting with a 470,000 barrel build in Northwest Europe.

Jun 01  - Singapore ex-wharf June low sulfur marine fuel premiums surge on supply concerns

"Our supply is fine. We are offering in early June," the source said.

Jun 01  - South Korea delivered 0.5%S bunker tightness set to ease in June as supply returns
"Our supply is fine. We are offering in early June," the source said.

Jun 01  - FBX Weekly Overview (Freightos)

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) fell 6% to $10,762/FEU. This rate is 33% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) fell 5% to $13,796/FEU, and are 84% higher than rates for this week last year.

- All eyes are on Shanghai as the manufacturing hub begins reopening after more than two-months locked down. There are already some initial signs of progress, including improvement in trucking availability. But the decrease in available exports – despite ocean carriers’ reductions of capacity – continued to push transpacific ocean rates down this week with Asia - US West Coast rates dipping 6% to less than $11,000/FEU, their lowest level since last July and more than a 30% drop since the start of the lockdown. This price is 33% higher than a year ago, which is modest by 2022 standards as West Coast rates through April had been around triple their 2021 levels.

- Blank sailings seem to have kept Asia - North Europe prices level in May. Rates fell just 2% to $10,579/FEU since the end of April – and are now level year on year for the first time since the summer of 2020 – though they have decreased a total of 12% since the start of the lockdown.

- Expectations are that Shanghai’s reopening will lead to an increase in ocean demand, and carriers will reportedly increase capacity on this anticipation.

- Despite the fall in spot rates, long term transpacific contract rates have continued to increase, suggesting that demand remains strong among large importers, or at least that they are willing to pay more for the hope of more secure space through longer-term commitments as peak season begins.

- As Shanghai reopens, concerns are growing about the impact of a possible surge of ocean containers to already-congested destination ports.  Congestion has worsened during the lockdown at major European hubs as warehousing and labor shortages have led to container yards clogged with imports.

- This congestion, as well as delays at US East Coast ports and strong demand, have led to an 18% increase in transatlantic rates since the start of the year. North Europe - US East Coast rates ended the month at $8,395/FEU, a new FBX high on this lane and nearly double the price from a year ago.

Jun 01 - First cargo ship leaves Mariupol since Russia took the city - separatist leader
A ship has left the Ukrainian port of Mariupol for the first time since Russia took the city and is headed east to Russia with a load of metal, the Russian-backed separatist leader of the Ukrainian breakaway region of Donetsk said on Tuesday. Ukraine said the shipment of metal to Russia from Mariupol, whose capture gave Moscow an overland bridge linking mainland Russia and pro-Russian separatist territory to annexed-Crimea, amounted to looting.

Jun 01 - Jordan buys 60,000 tonnes of wheat in tender, traders say
Jordan's state grain buyer is thought to have purchased 60,000 tonnes of wheat in an internaional tender that closed on Tuesday, European traders said. The wheat was believed to have been bought from trading firm CHS at $499.50 a tonne, cost and freight (c&f) included, for shipment in the second half of August, the traders said.

May 31 - India asked to supply more than 1.5 mln tonnes wheat
India has received requests for the supply of more than 1.5 million tonnes of wheat from several countries that need the staple to overcome shortages triggered by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, trade and government sources said on Monday. "More than half a dozen countries have approached India for more than 1.5 million tonnes of wheat and we will see how to go about these requests," said a government official who didn't wish to be identified in line with official rules.

May 31 - Malaysia may review palm kernel cake exports to secure chicken feed supply
Malaysian authorities will discuss a possible review of the policy on palm kernel cake exports, which can be used as animal feed, in an effort to stabilise chicken supplies in the country, the commodities ministry said on Tuesday. Last week, Malaysia said it will halt all chicken exports from June until production and costs stabilise amid soaring prices.

May 30 - Algeria issues wheat tender for shipment to small ports -traders
Algeria's state grains agency OAIC has issued an international tender to buy milling wheat for shipment to one or both of Mostaganem and Tenes, two small ports, suggesting a limited volume may be purchased, traders said on Sunday. The optional-origin tender specified possible shipment dates covering all of July and August if wheat is sourced from main supplier regions including Europe, with shipment required one month earlier if wheat comes from South America or Australia, the traders said.

May 30 - Russia may start building more vessels for grain exports - minister
Russia may start building more vessels for grain exports, the country's agriculture minister Dmitry Patrushev told a conference on Friday. Russia competes with the European Union and Ukraine to supply wheat to the Middle East and Africa.

May 27  - Wartsila sees long-term role for oil in shipping on scrubber advances
Exhaust gas cleaning systems, or scrubbers, were fitted to 16% of the shipping fleet in 2021, according to S&P Global.

May 27  - LSFO arbitrage flow to Singapore remains shut for June on record high backwardation
Steeply backwardated markets discourage arbitrages because of the risk of having to price against a further out month in the event of vessel delay.

May 27  - China's fuel oil exports seen continuing downward trend in May amid tight supply
The delivered marine fuel bunker premiums in Zhoushan to Singapore delivered bunker had widened to an all-time high of $45/mt over May 10-12 for the first time since Jan. 23, 2020, S&P Global data showed.

May 27  - Singapore Residual fuel stocks rise 12.5% on higher imports
Singapore's fuel oil imports stood at 938,864 mt in the week to May 25, over double 391,979 mt seen in the previous week, the data showed.

May 27 - Black Sea ports still the best way to get Ukraine's grain moving fast
Ukraine is desperately trying to export its vast stores of grain by road, river and rail to help avert a global food crisis but has no chance of hitting its targets unless Russia's blockade of its Black Sea ports is lifted, a government official said. Before Russia sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, the country had the capacity to export up to 6 million tonnes of wheat, barley and maize a month but exports collapsed to just 300,000 tonnes in March and 1.1 million in April.

May 27 - Egypt raises accepted moisture level for imported wheat
Egypt, often the world's largest wheat importer, will allow wheat shipments with a moisture level of up to 14% for a year, up from 13.5%, due to current global supply conditions, a trade ministry document seen by Reuters showed on Thursday. Egypt usually sources most of its supplies from Russia and Ukraine, where conflict has disrupted its purchases of relatively cheaper Black Sea wheat and inflated global prices.

May 26  - FBX weekly Overview ( Freightos )

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Daily) decreased 18% to $11,455/FEU. This rate is 44% higher than the same time last year.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Daily) fell 9% to $14,570/FEU, and are 99% higher than rates for this week last year.

- Authorities in Shanghai are set to begin the reopening process on June 1st. In the meantime, with manufacturing still restricted, transpacific ocean rates continued to fall. Asia - US West Coast rates fell 18% this week to $11,455/FEU and are 28% lower than at the start of the lockdown in late March. Asia - North Europe prices are now only 15% higher than this time last year, and about level with prices in June 2021.

- Most in the industry are expecting pent up demand to send a surge of ocean exports towards destination ports like LA/Long Beach when manufacturing in Shanghai rebounds.  And with about 30 ships currently waiting for a berth, congestion levels at LA/Long Beach – though well below those seen at the start of the year – are already significant. But authorities at US ports are hopeful that lessons learned and adjustments made over the last two years will make this next possible wave less disruptive. The ports of LA/Long Beach, for example, are reportedly considering implementing a long-threatened penalty on import containers that aren’t moved promptly off the container yards. With many retailers bringing in peak season goods early to get ahead of possible delays like last year’s, warehousing space is also already scarce in many places.  

- At the same time, consumers shifting away from big ticket household items like furniture and appliances is leading to excess inventory for some types of goods. This trend is another factor clogging up warehouses and threatening to back up incoming containers to the ports if import volumes spike.

May 26 - Hong Kong June marine fuel 0.5%S bunker to firm on soaring Singapore premium
Hong Kong imports bunker fuel mainly from Singapore, therefore the fundamentals and price trends in Singapore are typically reflected in the Hong Kong bunker market with a time lag.

May 26  - Talk to Ukraine about ports, not us, says Russia ahead of U.N. talks in Moscow
A senior U.N. official is due to visit Moscow in the coming days to discuss reviving fertilizer exports, Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said on Wednesday, stressing that the talks were not linked to a resumption of Ukrainian grain shipments. Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Ukrainian grain shipments from its Black Sea ports have stalled and more than 20 million tonnes of grain are stuck in silos, while Moscow says the chilling effect of Western sanctions imposed on Russia over the war have disrupted its fertilizer and grain exports.

May 26  - India has no immediate plan to lift wheat export ban,
commerce minister says
India has no immediate plans to lift a ban on wheat exports, but will continue with deals which are done directly with other governments, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal told Reuters. The world's second biggest producer of wheat banned private overseas sales of the grain on May 14 after a scorching heat wave curtailed output and domestic prices hit a record high.

May 26  - Hong Kong June marine fuel 0.5%S bunker to firm on soaring Singapore premium
Hong Kong imports bunker fuel mainly from Singapore, therefore the fundamentals and price trends in Singapore are typically reflected in the Hong Kong bunker market with a time lag.

May 25 - China strikes deal to allow Brazilian corn imports
China's customs authority signed an agreement with Brazil to allow imports of Brazilian corn, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday, posing a possible threat to U.S. exports. The agreement signals China is seeking to replace corn it would normally purchase from Ukraine, a major global grain exporter, analysts said.

May 25 - Lithuania receives first Ukrainian grain by rail for onward shipment
Lithuania has received its first rail delivery of grain from Ukraine for onward shipment from Klaipeda port, state-owned railway company LTG said. With Ukraine's ports blocked by Russia's invasion, the major grain grower has been unable to export nearly 25 million tonnes of grains, causing global food prices to soar.

May 24 - India's top mining, steel groups warn of adverse impact from export duty hikes
The increase in export taxes on iron ore, announced by the Indian government over the weekend, will lead to large surpluses at home, and mainly hit producers of low grade ores that depend on overseas markets, a mining industry body said on Monday. On Saturday, the government announced that with effect from Sunday export tariffs on new iron ores and concentrates would be raised to 50% from 30%, and duties on pellets would be hiked to 45% from zero.

May 24 - Russian wheat prices rise with global prices, exports slow down
Russian wheat export prices rose last week following higher wheat prices in Paris, analysts said on Monday, adding that the country's exports continued to slow down due to seasonal factors. Prices for wheat with 12.5% protein content from Black Sea ports were at $395-405 free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, up $10 from a week earlier, the Sovecon agriculture consultancy said.

May 23  - Kenya to allow duty-free import of 540,000 T of maize  - finance minister
Kenya's has authorised the importation of 540,000 tonnes of maize duty-free until August to forestall a looming shortfall, the finance minister said. The East African nation, which only allows maize imports in special circumstances, is facing an acute drought in some areas.

May 23  - China's coking coal imports from Russia hit record high in April

China's coking coal imports from Russia surged to a record in April, as buyers took advantage of a large discount against other supplies. The world's biggest coal consumer brought in 1.71 million tonnes of the metallurgical coal from Russia last month, more than double the 761,287 tonnes in the same period in 2021, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Friday.

May 21 - Demand for LSSR sees premiums over 0.5% fuel oil sustained
Premiums peaked on May 18, with LSSR FOB NWE cargoes assessed by Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, at a $13.50/mt premium to Marine Fuel 0.5% FOB Rotterdam Barges, with the premium narrowing again on May 19 to $11.25/mt.

May 21 - Singapore Residual fuel stocks hover near three-year low on weak imports
The stocks increased from a three-year low of 17.46 million barrels the week before, the data showed.

May 21 - South Korea's delivered 0.5%S bunker premium surges to all-time high on tight supply
South Korea's delivered marine fuel 0.5%S premium to Singapore marine fuel 0.5%S cargo surged to $157.12/mt May 19, an all-time high since the launch of marine fuel 0.5%S bunker assessments in July 2019, S&P Global Commodity Insights data showed, due to supply tightness.

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 freightos.com 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.

 

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