Baltimore opens third temporary shipping channel

  • Spanish Market: Agriculture, Coal, Freight, Metals
  • 22/04/24

A third temporary shipping channel has opened at the Port of Baltimore to allow more vessel traffic around the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Located on the northeast side of the main channel, the new passage has a controlling depth of 20-ft, a 300-ft horizontal clearance, and a vertical clearance of 135-ft.

When combined with two other temporary channels opened earlier this month the port should be able to handle "... approximately 15 percent of pre-collapse commercial activity," said David O'Connell, the federal on-scene coordinator.

The main shipping channel of the Port of Baltimore — a key conduit for US vehicle imports and coal exports — is expected to be reopened by the end of May, the Maryland Port Administration said earlier this month.

The bridge collapsed into the water late last month when the 116,851dwt container ship Dali lost power and crashed into one of its support columns. Salvage teams have been working ever since to remove debris from the water and containers from the ship in order to clear the main channel.


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21/06/24

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation: Update

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation: Update

Adds comment from an EU official in paragraph six London, 21 June (Argus) — The US government has urged the European Commission to delay the implementation of the EU's deforestation regulation (EUDR), which is due to come into force from 30 December. "We are deeply concerned with the remaining uncertainty and the short time frame to address the significant challenges for US producers to comply with the regulation," US authorities said in a 30 May letter seen by Argus that was signed by agriculture secretary Thomas Vilsack, commerce secretary Gina Raimondo and US trade representative Katherine Tai, and addressed to the commission's vice-president, Maros Sefcovic. The US authorities have together with "several stakeholders" identified four "critical challenges" for US producers to understand and comply with the EUDR: no final version of the EUDR information system for producers to submit the mandatory due diligence documentation has been established yet; no implementation guidance has been provided — with the traceability system expected to launch in November; many EU member states have not designated a competent authority to enforce the regulation; and finally, the EU has an interim decision to classify all countries as standard risk, regardless of forestry practices. Should these issues not be addressed before the EUDR starts being enforced, it "could have significant negative economic effects on both producers and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic", the letter said. "We therefore urge the EU Commission to delay the implementation of this regulation and subsequent enforcement of penalties" until the challenges have been addressed, it added. An EU official confirmed receipt of the US letter to Argus and said the commission would reply in due course. A number of EU member states had also urged the EU to revise the EUDR in March, although the EU environment commissioner said at the time that the EU was ready for implementation and that they did "not see any issues". The EUDR requires mandatory due diligence from operators and traders selling and importing cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soya, rubber and wood into the EU. Derivative products that contain, have been fed with or made using cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, soya, rubber and wood — such as leather, chocolate and furniture as well as charcoal, printed paper products and certain palm oil derivatives — are also subject to the regulation. Firms must ensure that products sold in the EU have not caused deforestation or forest degradation. The law sets penalties for non-compliance, with a maximum fine of at least 4pc of the total annual EU turnover of the non-compliant operator or trader. The regulation requires geolocation data for proof of traceability, and does not accept the widely used mass-balance approach, which has often been cited by industries as one major challenge for implementation. The EUDR will establish a system to assess the risk for individual countries, but the US Department of Agriculture has previously said that even if the US were classified as a low-risk country, compliance would still be costly and challenging, and at least $8bn/yr of US agricultural exports to the EU would be affected. By Erisa Senerdem and Dafydd ab Iago Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation


21/06/24
21/06/24

US urges EU to delay deforestation regulation

London, 21 June (Argus) — The US government has urged the European Commission to delay the implementation of the EU's deforestation regulation (EUDR), which is due to come into force from 30 December. "We are deeply concerned with the remaining uncertainty and the short time frame to address the significant challenges for US producers to comply with the regulation," US authorities said in a 30 May letter seen by Argus that was signed by agriculture secretary Thomas Vilsack, commerce secretary Gina Raimondo and US trade representative Katherine Tai, and addressed to the commission's vice-president, Maros Sefcovic. The US authorities have together with "several stakeholders" identified four "critical challenges" for US producers to understand and comply with the EUDR: no final version of the EUDR information system for producers to submit the mandatory due diligence documentation has been established yet; no implementation guidance has been provided — with the traceability system expected to launch in November; many EU member states have not designated a competent authority to enforce the regulation; and finally, the EU has an interim decision to classify all countries as standard risk, regardless of forestry practices. Should these issues not be addressed before the EUDR starts being enforced, it "could have significant negative economic effects on both producers and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic", the letter said. "We therefore urge the EU Commission to delay the implementation of this regulation and subsequent enforcement of penalties" until the challenges have been addressed, it added. The US authorities are understood to not have received a formal reply to the letter from the commission yet. A number of EU member states had also urged the EU to revise the EUDR in March, although the EU environment commissioner said at the time that the EU was ready for implementation and that they did "not see any issues". The EUDR requires mandatory due diligence from operators and traders selling and importing cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soya, rubber and wood into the EU. Derivative products that contain, have been fed with or made using cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, soya, rubber and wood — such as leather, chocolate and furniture as well as charcoal, printed paper products and certain palm oil derivatives — are also subject to the regulation. Firms must ensure that products sold in the EU have not caused deforestation or forest degradation. The law sets penalties for non-compliance, with a maximum fine of at least 4pc of the total annual EU turnover of the non-compliant operator or trader. The regulation requires geolocation data for proof of traceability, and does not accept the widely used mass-balance approach, which has often been cited by industries as one major challenge for implementation. The EUDR will establish a system to assess the risk for individual countries, but the US Department of Agriculture has previously said that even if the US were classified as a low-risk country, compliance would still be costly and challenging, and at least $8bn/yr of US agricultural exports to the EU would be affected. By Erisa Senerdem Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Pilbara Minerals eyes more Pilgangoora lithium output


21/06/24
21/06/24

Pilbara Minerals eyes more Pilgangoora lithium output

Singapore, 21 June (Argus) — Australian mining firm Pilbara Minerals has started a feasibility study into raising spodumene production capacity at its Pilgangoora operations in Western Australia. The P2000 expansion project will more than double Pilgangoora's output capacity to over 2mn t/yr, the firm said today. Pilbara forecasts Pilgangoora's output to average around 1.9mn t/yr of 5.2pc grade spodumene in the first 10 years after the P2000 expansion is completed, with production starting from 2028, if it does go ahead. Pilbara estimates A$1.2bn ($798mn) of capital expenditure for the project, which includes building a new ore flotation plant but excludes the extra capital expenditure needed for the mine to support the expansion. The firm approached Australian federal government financing agencies for the project's funding, which it said provided non-binding letters of support for "up to A$400mn" after the initial engagement. "The timing of the P2000 Project will be subject to the successful outcome of the next level of feasibility study, project approvals and the market outlook at the time of the financial investment decision," said the firm. The feasibility study is expected to be completed in October-December 2025, but the firm remained cautious about assuring a final investment decision (FID). Any FID decision needs to come after the study outcome, said managing director and chief executive Dale Henderson. "That's more than a year away, which is frankly an eternity in the lithium industry." The P2000 project will come after the firm's P680 and P1000 projects, which Pilbara Minerals has decided to plough ahead with . The P680 and P1000 projects would raise Pilgangoora's output capacity to 1mn t/yr. The firm earlier this year defended its lithium downstream strategy and is exploring building a downstream conversion plant with Chinese refiner Ganfeng. By Joseph Ho Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

S Korea’s Hanwha buys US’ Philly Shipyard for $100mn


21/06/24
21/06/24

S Korea’s Hanwha buys US’ Philly Shipyard for $100mn

Singapore, 21 June (Argus) — South Korean conglomerate Hanwha's subsidiaries have signed a contract to buy US-based Philly Shipyard for $100mn, marking Hanwha's entry into the US shipbuilding industry. The deal is expected to be finalised by this year's fourth quarter, subject to regulatory approvals and fulfilment of other conditions, Philly Shipyard said on 20 June. This acquisition will make Hanwha the first South Korean firm to enter the US market, according to Hanwha. Hanwha Ocean plans to diversify its sales by securing overseas production bases. "We will expand beyond the Middle East, southeast Asia and Europe to the US market," said Hanwha Systems chief executive Sung-chul Eoh. Philly Shipyard is a subsidiary of Norwegian industrial investment company Aker, specialising in building commercial ships that operate off the coast of the US mainland in accordance with the US' Jones Act. The Jones Act is a longstanding US law that requires shipments between two US ports to be done on US-flagged, US-built and US-crewed ships. Philadelphia-based Philly Shipyard has built about 50pc of all large Jones Act-compliant commercial vessels, such as tankers and container vessels, in the US since 2000. Rising demand for new vessels, particularly LNG carriers and oil tankers, and limited shipyard capacity have driven investments in shipyards and newbuild vessels. Higher freight because of shifting trade flows, stretched voyage times because of Cape of Good Hope reroutes in response to the Red Sea conflict have also encouraged tanker shipowners to increase their orders for new builds. Argus-assessed freight rates for 75,000t Long Range 2 shipments from the Mideast Gulf to Japan year-to-date average rose to $54.64/t on 20 June compared with an average of $40.29/t in 2023. Expectations of rising tanker demand, a limited order book until recently and an ageing tanker fleet further encouraged shipowners to renew their fleet, a market participant said. Around 18pc of the world tanker capacity is likely to be over 19 years old by 2025, according to shipbroker Braemar. Crude tanker demand in 2024 will increase by 6.5-7.5pc compared with a 5.5pc increase in 2023, shipping association Bimco forecasts. By Sean Zhuang Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Liberty’s Dalzell plate mill suspends offers


20/06/24
20/06/24

Liberty’s Dalzell plate mill suspends offers

London, 20 June (Argus) — UK-based Liberty Steel has suspended offers for plate from its Dalzell mill in Scotland, market participants said today. The mill has been grappling with low margins, while the wider Liberty group has also been struggling, mothballing some mills and looking to sell others. "[Dalzell] is unable to purchase slabs at a competitive enough rate to allow them to continue operations," one source said. A source close to the company said the mill continues to produce and fulfil its order commitments. But several participants said it had suspended offers, suggesting it may not be taking new orders for fresh rollings. A Liberty Steel spokesperson declined to comment. Sluggish demand and high input costs have been weighing on plate re-rollers' profit margins across the European mainland as some Italian and northern European mills are reportedly producing around break-even levels . Competitive imports from Asia have also played a role in driving European offers down. Into the UK, Korean S275 plate was heard at £620-630/t ($785-798/t) cfr this week. "[These are] frightening prices. Not surprised that Liberty cannot compete at these levels," one participant commented. Liberty recently said it would enter creditor protection in the Czech Republic , and announced it would close the coke ovens at its Hungarian operation. It said in May it would look to sell or recapitalise its EU rolling lines . By Carlo Da Cas Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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