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MABUX World Bunker Index (consists of a range of prices for 380 HSFO, VLSFO and MGO (Gasoil) in the main world hubs) continued downward trend in the period of Mar.09-13:

380 HSFO 309.79 → 288.79 USD/MT (minus 21.00 USD)

VLSFO 428.00 → 382.00 USD/MT (minus 46.00 USD)

MGO 509.87 → 467.85 USD/MT (minus 42.02 USD)

• Standard Club is advising its members that – pending further clarification from the relevant authorities regarding restrictions on wash water discharges – vessels calling at Brazilian ports should switch to a closed-loop, if equipped with a hybrid scrubber, or use IMO 2020-compliant fuel while entering in national waters

• The International Maritime Organization (IMO) expects that the new 0.50% global sulphur cap will mean a 77% drop in overall SOx emissions from ships and the big shipping associations are ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the industry’s ability to cope with the regulations, according to a statement issued yesterday by BIMCO.

• With four incidents reported in February, a total of eight incidents have been reported in the Singapore Strait since the start of the year, all in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS). In its February report on piracy and armed robbery incidents in Asia, the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) noted 10 cases of armed robbery onboard vessels and no piracy incidents.

• The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has reported that the Somali Shipping Code has been completed. The IMO anticipates that the Code – the culmination of six years’ work, supported by the IMO and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) – will be a ‘significant step forward’ for Somalia’s maritime sector and will ‘ensure the necessary legal and administrative processes are in place’ to build its capacity.

• The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and Lithuanian LNG and oil terminal operator AB Klaipėdos Nafta have signed a 25-year loan agreement to finance the purchase of a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) for LNG operations. Currently, the FSRU Independence used for LNG imports to Lithuania is leased on a ten-year arrangement.

• At an informal meeting in Opatija, Croatia on 11 March, EU Transport Ministers voiced their support of the EC’s Green deal, which includes bringing shipping into an emissions trading scheme, and emphasised that ‘any measure toward carbon neutrality must be flag neutral whilst ensuring a level playing field and avoiding carbon leakage.’

• The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has announced that its headquarters in London is currently closed to visitors and staff, as a precautionary measure due to the coronavirus. In a notice posted on its website this morning (12 March), the IMO said that this move followed on from yesterday's assessment by the World Health Organization (WHO) that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic.

• With the commitment of Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, signatories to the Poseidon Principles now represent over $150 billion in loans to international shipping – more than 30% of the global shipping finance portfolio. The Poseidon Principles, which were launched in June 2019, require financial institutions to disclose the climate alignment of their shipping portfolios with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) target of reducing vessels’ greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2018 levels.

• The first cargo of very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) from Jinxi Petrochemical Corp, a PetroChina refinery, was destined for the Port of Zhoushan in east China.

• The February bunker sales volumes from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) were up about 2.6% year-on-year at around 3.88 million metric tonnes (mt). They were down about 14% on 4.51 million mt sold in January – but it is usual for sales to drop in February and 2020 also started with a very strong month, bolstered by the IMO 2020 switch-over.

• South Korea’s sole producer of high sulfur fuel oil for the domestic bunker market has resorted to seeking export outlets for its output amid an unprecedented drop in demand in recent weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, market sources said. GS Caltex, the only one of South Korea’s four refiners to produce HSFO to meet domestic bunker demand, has sold an MR-sized HSFO cargo to a Chinese buyer.

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