Archive

Reuters blog archive

from Photographers' Blog:

Singapore – Gateway to Asia

Singapore

By Edgar Su

Singapore’s port is one of the busiest in the world and has long been a key part of the island’s economy. I took some time last year to document the shipping hub, and was surprised to see how closely life in Singapore is linked to it.

Walking along the coast on a fine day, you’ll see countless ships anchored in the sea around the city-state. At East Coast Park, where many leisure activities take place, I saw a group of school girls conducting soccer training as tankers lined up to make a call at the port. It was quite a peculiar scene - in the foreground daily life was going on, but in the backdrop a massive industry was working around the clock to get cargo shipped or vessels refueled.

Even from atop Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel - a modern landmark that houses some of the most lavish entertainment for visitors spending top dollar - you have a full view of vessels waiting silently for their turn to enter the port.

According to its Maritime and Port Authority, Singapore sees around 140,000 calls from vessels every year. Its many terminals work around the clock to serve them, often handling 60,000 containers a day.

from Breakingviews:

China’s shipbuilding supertanker will turn slowly

By John Foley

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

In 1433, China abandoned its costly maritime ambitions, forfeiting for centuries its chances of oceanic dominance. It is unlikely to make the same mistake again. While the tribulations of China Rongsheng show that the country’s modern shipping industry is in trouble, a sector with such strategic and symbolic importance can stay afloat long after its financial appeal has run dry.

from Breakingviews:

Hong Kong dockers’ pay sets tone for future strife

By Peter Thal Larsen

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

Hong Kong’s port strike is over, but the tensions that sparked it remain. Dockers are feeling the squeeze of Hong Kong’s rising living costs, while port operators face challenges from China’s slowing and shifting economy. Labour relations look set to stay tense.

from The Observatory:

Our polar backyard

The Arctic is not under-covered. Some might even say the opposite is true. The polar bear has been “the poster child of climate change” for years, for instance, but communications experts worry that journalists’ fascination with the charismatic animal has made global warming seem like a distant problem and hindered public engagement. Reporters should localize climate-change coverage, these experts say, by focusing on energy use, public health, and other “backyard” angles.

It is possible to localize the Arctic itself, however. A good example of how this is done is a terrific 14-page special report in The Economist’s June 16-22 issue, which explores what “the vanishing north” means for global politics, trade, and natural resources.

from Breakingviews:

Titanic’s century-old metaphor misses the point

By Edward Hadas

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Life is like boarding a boat that sets sail and sinks. That Zen-like wisdom came to life, and death, for the roughly 1,500 people who drowned a century ago when the RMS Titanic sank on its maiden voyage. As it says in the Bible, “Even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others.” There’s nothing like a disaster on a luxury liner to bring the lesson home.

from Breakingviews:

UPS could be bidding against itself for TNT

By Christopher Swann and Quentin Webb
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

TNT shareholders are waiting for a much bigger buyout package. There’s good reason for the Dutch parcel service to expect UPS, its American suitor, to sweeten its bid of 4.9 billion euros, or $6.3 billion, given the huge synergies that would probably result from the union. But with rivals FedEx and DHL inhibited in varying ways, TNT investors may not get the bidding war they’d like.

UPS hasn’t unwrapped the expected cost savings from acquiring TNT. Stripping out expenses would be relatively easy, though, given UPS’ formidable presence in Europe. And the opening offer suggests it would retain a large slug of these benefits for itself.

from MacroScope:

Baltic shipping index getting drier

An obscure gauge of shipping costs rose to prominence in geeky macro circles during the financial crisis because its plunge provided a telling lead on the economic crash that unfolded in 2008 and 2009. Now, the Baltic Dry Index has again taken a nosedive, falling to its lowest level in more than two decades.

This time, analysts are explaining it away as a reflection of an increased number of carriers at sea.

from Krishna Das:

ANALYSIS-Small ships to unlock rate boon for bulk owners

By Krishna N Das and Jonathan Saul

BANGALORE/LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Dry cargo shippers with smaller vessels are shifting to more-risk, more-reward spot markets, eyeing rising demand for sugar and grains -- commodities well suited to versatile supramax and handysize ships.

Ship owners generally prefer long-term charters in a weak market. The Baltic Dry Index <.BADI> o-year lows in recent weeks but confidence has been rocked by South Korean dry bulk group Korea Line Corp <005880.KS> filing for bankruptcy protection, highlighting the risk of charter-party defaults.

from Money on the markets:

ANALYSIS-Small ships to unlock rate boon for bulk owners

[CROSSPOST blog: 2049 post: 28]

Original Post Text:
By Krishna N Das and Jonathan Saul

   BANGALORE/LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Dry cargo shippers with smaller vessels are shifting to more-risk, more-reward spot markets, eyeing rising demand for sugar and grains -- commodities well suited to versatile supramax and handysize ships. 

    Ship owners generally prefer long-term charters in a weak market. The Baltic Dry Index <.BADI> has tumbled to around two-year lows in recent weeks but confidence has been rocked by South Korean dry bulk group Korea Line Corp <005880.KS> filing for bankruptcy protection, highlighting the risk of charter-party defaults.

from Global Investing:

Not so rough waters?

Given high volatility in global financial markets, the waters appear to be less rough in the shipping industry -- which generates annual global revenue of over $600 billion.

The industry, which transports almost 90 percent of global trade, has gone through a choppy ride after the credit crisis as a slowdown in global trade hit charter rates  and vessel values, aggressive use of leverage for new ship building led to bloated order books and maritime lending markets were dysfunctional.

  •