- The Maritime Emissions Project Forum
The Baltic Exchange will be holding an open forum on 12 December (3 pm to 7 pm) to celebrate and learn more about the upcoming launch of a new maritime air emissions monitoring and reporting initiative led by the Baltic in partnership with GeoSpock, UCL and UMAS.
The maritime emissions project is an independent data repository for the capture and storage of data related to maritime emissions. The project aims to help maritime organisations and stakeholders address their emissions challenges in a transparent way, harnessing technology to facilitate emissions quantification, visualisation and reporting in a dynamic and flexible manner.
This session will discuss the initiative and showcase the maritime emissions digital platform, after which attendees will be invited to register their interest and contribute towards its continued development. The forum will be followed by a drinks reception at the Baltic Exchange.
You can read more about the project here.
Register your place here.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com for further details.
- Christmas in Athens
Members are invited by the Chairman of the Baltic Exchange, Denis Petropoulos, to join him at the Baltic’s annual Athens Christmas Reception at the Hilton Galaxy Rooftop Bar from 6 pm on 5 December.
We look forward to welcoming members and invited guests from across the Greek market for cocktails and canapés to celebrate the start of the Christmas Season.
Those interested in attending are invited to register on our event page here.
- Take part in research on dry bulk index production methodsTwo students (Magnus Ullereng and Henrik Kleven Moen) undertaking a Master Thesis at the Norwegian School of Economics are examining the benefits and drawbacks of the different ways of producing dry bulk freight market indices, including an in depth look at the Baltic Exchange’s indices.A survey can be found at https://nhh.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0ufxkkc8laEkn2tMembers are encouraged to respond and share their views anonymously.
- Tom Stockton elected as Wet FFABA Chairman
Tom Stockton, of Clarksons-Platou, has been elected as Chairman of the Wet FFA Brokers’ Association (FFABA). He replaces Angus Procter of Braemar ACM-GFI, who has chaired the group, which represents the worldwide community of tanker Forward Freight Agreement (FFA) brokers, since 2018.
Founded in 1997, the FFABA is the worldwide association for Forward Freight Agreement (FFA) broking firms. Working with the Baltic Exchange, the FFABA organises educational workshops and industry forums in major shipping centres, with the aim of promoting FFAs as an important tool for managing exposure to freight rates.
Tom Stockton said:
“I’m delighted to have been elected Chairman of the Wet FFABA. With the geopolitical and regulatory environment constantly changing and redefining the shape of the shipping world, FFAs will continue to become an ever more important risk management tool. We have seen more new and returning players over the last 12 months than at any time over the last seven to eight years and I expect to see that trend continue.”
“More owners could be involved in the market and we, as the FFABA are the ones to facilitate this. We will hold the FFABA Forum, scheduled for the Monday of IP Week (24 February 2020), and I intend to propose further events throughout next year – not just in London but also the USA, the fastest growing area for wet FFAs.
“I intend to continue the good work of previous FFABA Chairman and look forward to the opportunities and challenges of the year ahead.”
The Baltic Exchange provides the tanker FFA market with daily independent assessments of 33 dirty and clean routes and responds to new trades and routes by introducing new assessments.
In 2019 the Exchange introduced five new clean and dirty routes and new $/mt forward curves for TD22 and TD25.
Tom Stockton has worked as tanker FFA broker at Clarksons-Platou since 2018, having previously worked at ICAP Shipping.
- Baltic Carol Service
The Baltic Exchange is delighted to invite members to join us at the Baltic Exchange on 17 December for the annual Baltic Christmas Carol Service. Mince pies and mulled wine will be served from 3.30pm with carols from the City Singers Aldgate starting at 4pm.
- Baltic supports The Mission to Seafarers with ‘Tap for Change’ this Christmas
To support their mission during this Christmas period, the Baltic Exchange will be displaying a contactless donation box in reception for donations to the charity from 2 – 9 December 2019.
All donations are gratefully welcomed.
If you are unable to visit the Baltic offices during this time period however, you can donate The Mission to Seafarers online here.
- Funeral details following the passing of Percy Woodcock
Members will learn with regret that Percy Woodcock passed away recently. He was first elected a member of the Baltic Exchange in 1949. He was a Principal for Moxey Savon & Co Ltd / Moxey Savon (Chartering) Ltd between 1977-2001 and became a Retired member of the Baltic in 2001.
Mr Woodcock’s funeral will be held on Thursday 19 December 2019 at 1200, Kensal Green Crematorium, 980 Harrow Road, London NW10 5NX. Afterwards, the Wake at Mason Arms, Harrow Road (walking distance).
- Member update: 4 December
The following individuals have applied for membership of an existing member company:
Company Individual Braemar ACM Shipbroking Ltd – Braemar Naves Corporate Finance Ltd Mr H Wunder Glencore International AG – Glencore Singapore Pte Ltd Mr C Zhu ICDAS Mr A Hosdir
Any comments should be passed to Karen Karanicholas by 11 December 2019.
- No let up for commodity concerns
It’s the time of year where commentators start churning out forecasts on what freight markets can expect for the coming year. Their prognoses are usually wildly diverse, but like the last chocolates in the box, you can’t resist the guilty pleasure of digesting them, even if they are all coffee creams.
Major shipbuilding financier and Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation ING has favoured the freight market with a relevant commodity outlook for 2020. As part of its wider 2020 FX outlook report, its commodity strategists Warren Patterson and Wenyu Yao have given their thoughts on copper, iron ore, coal, soybeans and crude oil.
Kicking off with copper, ING has concerns for 2020. The ongoing trade war and slowing global manufacturing activities have not been offset by struggling demand growth from major China and major European consumers. Into 2020, copper mine supply growth is set to increase although the outlook is still vulnerable to potential disruptions, particularly with weak prices that could cut into some smelters’ margins. “Demand in China is hoping for some support from stimulus measures from the infrastructure sector, but it is still too premature to be sanguine on the global demand recovery until we see solid signs of stabilisation in global activity, as well as solid developments from China-US trade talks,” said ING. Overall, its outlook for 2020 on copper is bearish.
Iron ore is hoping to move on from a volatile 2019, when Brazil’s Vale dam accident tightened supply. Capacity has returned, alongside a recovery in Chinese iron port stocks, which has put prices under pressure. All this has led to another bearish 2020 outlook. “We expect that further Brazilian capacity will be brought back to the market over the course of the year, while there is still plenty of uncertainty around the global economy, and so this is likely to keep some pressure on steel mill margins.” However, there is a risk that Vale’s capacity may not return as quickly as anticipated, which could keep the seaborne market tighter than expected.
Prospects for coal do not raise hopes either. A switch from coal to gas for power generation – underpinned by strong EU carbon prices and weak gas prices – weighed heavy on coal demand in 2019, and the trend is set to continue into 2020.
Demand for soybeans – the “poster child for the trade war between the US and China”, according to ING – has had a resurgence of late with Chinese buyers returning to the market for US soybeans, with the government providing tariff free quotas. “However, we will likely need to see tariffs fully removed rather than just quotas being provided, in order to turn significantly more bullish on the market,” said ING.
On the supply side, the US soybean crop is expected to be significantly smaller this marketing year as farmers reduced 2019 plantings in light of the ongoing trade war. For 2020 US plantings, much will depend on how trade talks evolve over the coming quarter. But while a trade deal would be positive for US soybeans, it would in fact be bearish for Brazilian soybeans, with Chinese buyers likely to switch back to US soybeans.
On the wet side, surplus supply of crude oil is expected to return over the first half of 2020 which will weaken prices. ING forecasts that benchmark Brent crude will average $59 per barrel over the first part of the year, while averaging $62 per barrel for the year as a whole.
However, this price forecast is predicated on OPEC+ not only extending its current output cut deal beyond March 2020, but also makes more significant cuts at least over the first quarter. “The magnitude of additional cuts needed to keep the market in balance is up to 1m barrels per day, we believe,” said ING.
The trade war also comes into play here and while demand growth is forecast to recover in 2020, this expectation depends on how quickly China and the US can come to a resolution in their ongoing trade war.
Perhaps, commodity charterers and brokers should consider a new tack: Gold is noted by ING as a “safe haven” that bucks the problems impaling commodities that need to be shipped. Gold prices hit a multi-year high in 2019 and that strength is set to continue. If central banks continue to buck increasing interest rates, gold prices and demand will rise further. Gold could indeed be a safe haven for those seeking refuge from what is looking to be a bearish coming year for both wet and dry commodities.
Warren Patterson is head of commodities strategy and Wenyu Yao is senior commodities strategist at ING, think.ing.com.
- Baltic Caledonia Society lunch
This year’s Baltic Exchange Caledonia Society St Andrew’s Day lunch took place on 29 November, bringing together the Baltic membership and friends at the iconic London Scottish Regiment HQ.
The traditional playing of the bagpipes was heard before guests were treated to a starter of fresh Scottish smoked salmon followed by haggis, neeps and tatties.
Following a fine selection of Scottish cheeses, Baltic Exchange Chairman, Denis Petropoulos, held a charity raffle and auction for the St Nicholas School in Tema, Ghana. Prizes and lots ranged from villas in Athens during Posidonia week, to a Chairman’s lunch at the Baltic Exchange.
Photos from this year’s Baltic Caledonia Society lunch are now available via the Baltic Flickr account.
- Baltic Exchange CC meets in Singapore for inaugural Principals Vs Brokers match
In their first venture for some time in Singapore, the Baltic Exchange Cricket Club re-assembled at the Dempsey Hill SCC for a well-planned inaugural Principals Vs Brokers match last Friday (29 November).
The brokers started with a strong showing, James Urquhart taking an incredible two wickets in the first over, leaving the Principals baffling for an escape hatch. This was then to be compounded by the Broker’s captain and fixture organiser, Charlie Russell, who dismissed the Principal’s captain Vaughan English as the rain started to make the wicket increasingly soggy. As the sky grew darker, as it can at this time of year over the island state, John Dean from China Navigation managed to fight both the brokers and the weather to total 30 before retiring to allow his comrades to take a bat.
All of the above managed to take place within about 10 overs, an increasingly stoic effort as the rain amplified to deluge and water levels turned from pools of puddles on the pitch to wider street flooding across the city. As with many well-laid plans, the real escape came in the form of the bar where the beers flowed and players relaxed into their weekends while further plans for follow up games were laid for the course of 2020.
The Baltic is keen to promote similar fixtures for the BECC and other sports clubs in Singapore including, football, go-karting, tennis etc.. Those interested in taking part should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.