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Old January 1st, 2005, 10:01 PM   #1
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CHINA | Shipping News

Buoyant trade has shipping firms ordering new vessels
Hong Kong Standard Staff reporter
January 1, 2005

China's shipping companies have been rushing to add new vessels, betting that the robust international trade and demand for their services will continue in 2005.

China Shipping Development said on Friday it has ordered five crude oil vessels for US$242 million (HK$1.88 billion), while China Shipping Container Lines agreed to buy a 27-year-old container ship for 71 million yuan (HK$66.8 million).

"Since the first quarter of 2004, the crude oil transportation market has been very busy," China Shipping Development said. "The directors ... believe that the shipping market will maintain persistent growth in 2005."

Strong global economic growth has fuelled energy consumption and demand for consumer and industrial goods, thus benefiting shippers.

"As there is an increase in the demand for container spaces in the company's domestic trade lanes, the company intends to deploy the [newly acquired] vessel in such trade lanes in order to further strengthen its shipping capacity and to satisfy such increasing demand," China Shipping Container said.

The shipping firm also agreed to buy the remaining 50 per cent stake it does not own in Shanghai Puhai Shipping, a sub-route services provider, for 29.7 million yuan and plans to trim capital injection into the unit by 300 million yuan to 200 million yuan over the next two years. The remainder will be used to buy or build ships, it said.

Guangzhou Shipyard will build four 52,500-tonne crude oil vessels for China Shipping Development, the largest the shipbuilder will have constructed, for US$144 million. The ships are expected to be delivered between 2007 and 2008.

Another 298,000-tonne vessel, to be built by a Dalian-based firm, will be delivered in November 2007.

China Shipping Development shares rose 0.78 per cent on Friday, and gained 20 per cent in 2004. China Shipping Container was up 0.81 per cent, but have shed 1.57 per cent since their debut in June. Guangzhou Shipyard shares tumbled 13.66 per cent in 2004.
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 11:34 PM   #2
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China Merchants confirms US$673 mln Shanghai port buy

HONG KONG, Dec 30 (Reuters) - State-backed China Merchants Holdings (International) Co. Ltd. on Thursday confirmed that it will spend 5.57 billion yuan (US$672.7 million) to buy a 30 percent stake in container terminal operator Shanghai International Port (Group) Co. Ltd.

China Merchants, which will gain a foothold in Shanghai's fast-growing container port through the deal, said about 20-25 percent of the purchase price will be funded with internal resources and the rest through borrowings.

Shares in China Merchants, which have rallied in anticipation of the Shanghai investment, were suspended on Wednesday afternoon pending an announcement. Reuters reported on Wednesday that China Merchants was making the Shanghai Port investment.

The company said it has applied with the Hong Kong stock exchange for a resumption of trading on Thursday morning.

China Merchants sold its tanker business and spun off its toll roads earlier this year in a group reorganisation to focus on its fast-growing port services business. Its interest in Shanghai, the world's third-largest container port behind Hong Kong and Singapore, has been well known in the market.

State-controlled Shanghai International Port Group will be converted into a joint stock company as part of the deal.

China Merchants shares reached a post-1997 intraday high of HK$14.30 on Dec. 21. The stock rose 1.8 percent to HK$14.10 before it was suspended on Wednesday.

(US$=8.28 yuan)
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Old January 9th, 2005, 07:16 PM   #3
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Lloyd's List
January 10, 2005
China Shipping plans to increase freight rates to fund expansion
Keith Wallis in Hong Kong

CHINA Shipping Container Lines is set to raise freight rates by up to 6% this year as its seeks to spend Yuan 3.5bn ($427m) on new containerships and boxes. About 85% of the cash, Yuan 2.97bn, is earmarked for investment in new vessels.

CSCL general manager Jia Hongxiang declined to specify the number or size of ships but his comments are believed to relate to a raft of newbuildings CSCL has ordered in the past 18-24 months.

The carrier, which listed in Hong Kong last June, has nine 4,250 teu boxships on order at Dalian New Shipbuilding. The vessels, including two ordered in July, will be delivered this year and next.

CSCL also has five 4,250 teu containerships on order at Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai which are also due for delivery this year and next.

While CSCL has made staged payments during the fabrication of the vessels, typically CSCL would pay up to 70% of the cost of each ship on delivery.

Mr Jia did not specify where the money would come from, but CSCL's Hong Kong listing raised $ 985m. The company, ranked tenth among the world's container lines, is aiming to be the third largest line by 2010.

- Grimaldi has ordered three more ships from Uljanik Shipyard, bringing to 14 the orders it has placed with the Croatian shipbuilder over the past four years.

The latest $ 200m order calls for delivery of three ro-ro ships with space for 3,000 cars and 1,300 teu as container capacity, with delivery set for 2008-09.

The previous 11 orders at the yard have been for pure car truck carriers of 4,300-5,400 car capacity.

Eight of the newbuild PCTCs, including all three larger 5,400 car capacity vessels, have been delivered so far. These have all been deployed within the Euromed network.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 07:06 PM   #4
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China shipbuilders rushing to satisfy booming economy

LONDON, Jan 30 (AFP) - China is rushing to build vessels to ship home the huge amounts of commodities its booming economy demands, amid reports it is also constructing military bases to help safeguard its shipments of oil.

"China is building ships as fast as it can," said Dennis Petropoulos, an analyst for British shipbroker Braemar Seascope.

"It would like to build more and there are people in there opening shipyards, and there are projects to increase shipbuilding capacity, but those projects take time and will not come on stream for three to five years."

The International Energy Agency (IEA) warned earlier this month that the world's ship-building yards were booked up for years in advance.

"China will move its cargoes on any ships it can," Petropolous said.

"There are projects to increase capacity in China, definitely, because (South) Korea and Japan cannot increase their capacity.

"Shipyards in Korea and Japan are booked out until 2007 and maybe a good chunk of 2008 has been allocated. Chinese shipyards are booked out until 2007 but not a large chunk of 2008 has been allocated," he added.

China has meanwhile launched a plan to double its current port capacity by 2010 by strategically developing facilities in the Bohai Rim and the Yangtze River and Pearl River deltas, state media reported last month.

The blueprint adopted by the State Council, or China's cabinet, said the three port areas would focus mainly on containers, iron ore, crude oil and coal.

China's booming economy expanded 9.5 percent last year after 9.3 percent in 2003, according to official data published last week.

The fourth quarter alone showed growth steaming ahead at 9.5 percent year-on-year, up from 9.1 percent in the previous three months despite Beijing's efforts to cool the economy.

Analysts meanwhile said that Chinese growth would continue to win strong support from the country's thirst for imported raw materials.

"The Chinese authorities are thinking, let's put this (material) on our own ships rather than chartering other people's ships", an industry source told AFP.

"With oil prices going up and freight prices going up at the same time, they

suddenly feel a bit out of control," added the source, who wished to remain anonymous.

While China needs vessels to transport its vast amounts of imported commodities, the country was also reportedly developing military bases and diplomatic ties from the Middle East to the South China Sea in order to protect its oil shipments and strategic interests.

China's "string of pearls" strategy is according to an internal report prepared for US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and recently reported by The Washington Times.

China's move reportedly includes a new naval base under construction at the Pakistani port of Gwadar, naval bases in Myanmar, a military agreement with Cambodia, strengthening ties with Bangladesh and an ambitious plan under consideration to build a 20-billion-dollar canal in Thailand to bypass the Strait of Malacca.

"We need to acknowledge that China is indeed a net importer of energy resources and therefore has a long-term and immediate interest in enhancing energy security," said Jürgen Haacke, an expert in southeast Asian affairs at the London School of Economics.

But he said China had a long way to go to secure the safety of its shipping routes.

"There is a tendency in the media to exaggerate the achievements which China has had to date when it comes to the efforts to enhance the energy security particularly as regards control over shipping lanes," Haacke said.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 07:05 PM   #5
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Big Container-Shipping Firms Have Room Aboard for Growth
By Mary Kissel
1 February 2005
The Asian Wall Street Journal

Hong Kong -- THERE'S STILL TIME to load up on shares of the two biggest makers of shipping containers, analysts say.

During 2003 and 2004, China International Marine Containers (Group) and Singamas Container Holdings gave investors an enjoyable ride. Shares of CIMC, as the company with about 50% of the world market is known, rocketed 236%. Shares of Singamas, which has about 30% of the market, surged 167%.

Analysts consider the Chinese companies a duopoly in the business of making twenty-foot equivalent units, also known as TEUs, the most common box type of container. They say the companies, benefiting from industry consolidation and growing world trade, should do well again for 2005.

While it's unlikely the shares can repeat their recent gains, analysts say they could rise 10% to 20% for 2005, compared with predictions of single-digit returns in global stock markets.

"In this industry you've only got two players, they have pricing ability," and despite competitive pressures, they have managed to pass steel price increases on, says Louisa Lo, a fund manager at Schroder Asset Management in Hong Kong. "They benefit from the economy of scale," she adds.

The Chinese duopoly was quick to capitalize on buying opportunities in the wake of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. As container makers in once-dominant South Korea fell into bad financial straits, the two snapped them up. The Chinese companies diversified their product range and gained powerful market positions.

While the container industry was consolidating, trade links between China and the U.S., the current engines of world trade, were strengthening. Beijing's entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 encouraged more companies to set up shop in China, assemble goods and transport them to U.S. consumers. The cycle remains strong, as does China's growth: Beijing announced last week that China's economy grew 9.5% year-to-year in the fourth quarter. That was significantly higher than many economists estimated, though few expect China's growth to continue at that pace.

Last week CIMC, based in Shenzhen, said that its 2004 net profit would likely be three and a half times the 2003 figure, thanks to better sales volume and higher container prices. CIMC shares trade in U.S. and Hong Kong dollars on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Singamas, which is based and listed in Hong Kong and trades in Hong Kong dollars, will release its annual results the week of March 21.

"It's been one of the best shipping cycles in 20 years," says Christopher Lee, an associate director at Standard & Poor's Asian-Pacific Equity Research in Hong Kong.

The heady run hasn't been without hiccups. Container makers rely heavily on steel to produce their products, and the metal accounts for a big chunk of a box's final selling price. So a spike in global steel prices early last year tested CIMC and Singamas.

CIMC, because of its potent market share, managed to pass through price increases to its customers, but Singamas struggled to do the same and saw its profit margins narrow. Mr. Lee expects Singamas's operating margins -- which average about 6% to 7%, compared with CIMC's 16% -- to improve as the smaller company digests recent acquisitions and raises productivity.

In the longer term, some analysts fear that a slowdown in global economic growth could damp container orders. But the container makers have a hidden source of demand: a backlog of purchases from shipping lines. It can take a year and a half to deliver a small ship to a customer, and most companies order their containers at least three to six months in advance. Thus, even if economic growth rates trend down, analysts predict the increase in container demand will remain steady at about 11% a year over the next three years, compared with a historical average of 8%, based on the ship-construction pipeline.

"The container ship and box are like a car and its tire," says Michael Chan of investment bank BOC International in Hong Kong. "You can't have a car ready with no tires." Mr. Chan, who has an "outperform" rating on both stocks, expects CIMC to rise about 30% this year while Singamas gains about 25%.

Shipping-container companies also have benefited from a rise in the price of their product, which has mirrored the increases in steel, jumping to US$2,200 a container from about $1,400 in 2004, according to Smith Barney. Even if prices moderate this year, analysts don't expect a large decline in profit for CIMC and Singamas because they operate on a cost-plus basis, adding a commission after they buy steel at the market price. The companies can do this, market observers say, because of their duopoly.

CIMC and Singamas shares look inexpensive when compared with broader stock markets. According to S&P's calculations, CIMC and Singamas are trading at about nine and eight times, respectively, their projected 2005 earnings, compared with an average of about 16 to 18 times for the broader Hang Seng index.

"Before the China growth story, nobody paid too much attention to Singamas," says Winson Fong, deputy chief investment officer for Asia Pacific ex-Japan at SG Asset Management, a unit of Societe Generale SA of France. Mr. Fong bought Singamas shares in 2003 at about HK$1.50 (19 U.S. cents) each; they closed yesterday in Hong Kong at HK$4.75. "We're comfortable to stay long Singamas," he says.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 09:49 PM   #6
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Cosco Shiprepair looking to build
Irene Ang
18 February 2005
Tradewinds

A Chinese giant traditionally known for repair work is moving into shipbuilding.

China's biggest vessel repairer, the Cosco Shiprepair Group, is poised to break into the shipbuilding arena.

A source close to the company says Cosco Shiprepair is in negotiations with shipowners from China and the US to build handymax bulkers. The ships will be of around 53,000 dwt.

Sources tell TradeWinds that Cosco Shiprepair is planning to construct the newbuildings at its new yard in the Zhoushan archipelago.

Last year, the company bought a privately owned repair yard on Liuheng Island and is planning to spend CNY 2bn ($240m) to transform the site into a mega-repair facility. It aims to get 20% of China's enormous amount of repair work. The new Zhoushan repair yard is scheduled for completion by the end of 2005. It will have three repair berths of 70,000 dwt, 100,000 dwt and 150,000 dwt, two drydocks of 150,000 dwt and 300,000 dwt and one panamax-size slipway.

Cosco Shiprepair is planning to use the slipway for newbuilding construction. It aims to deliver its first vessel at the end of 2007 or early 2008.

Industry sources say Cosco Shiprepair has not worked out the number of ships that it would be able to construct in a year because shipbuilding is a total new business for the company.

Cosco Shiprepair was formed in January 2003, when the commercial activities of Cosco's four yards were merged in a new Shanghai headquarters.
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Old February 20th, 2005, 09:03 AM   #7
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what are the world's 10 largest shipping companies? Maresk..K-Line, Hanji Evergreen maybe? is COSCO up there?
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 04:31 PM   #8
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China To Increase Anti-Terror Measures For Its Ports '05
01 March 2005

BEIJING (AP)--China said Tuesday it plans to establish anti-terror teams this year to monitor global terrorist activities and prevent attacks on its ports.

In 2005, the Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine will improve port emergency plans and come up with more effective anti-terror measures, said the administration's Vice Minister Ge Zhirong.

"We are going to get together a group of relevant experts from the administration to analyze terrorist activities taking place overseas for any new methods they might be employing" and to come up with counter measures, Ge said.

China's Cabinet ordered increased terror monitoring in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S. but the administration has so far "not detected any items of a terrorist nature in China's ports," Ge said at a press conference.

"But we are going to better prepare ourselves for the worst case scenario to prevent the future occurrence of such terrorist activities," he said.

Maritime and defense experts in Asia have warned that commercial shipping routes and ports are vulnerable to terrorist strikes.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 04:37 PM   #9
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China container transport market blooming
02 March 2005
Xinhua's China Economic Information Service

BEIJING, March 2 (CEIS) – The growth momentum of China’s container shipping market continued into 2005, with abundant resources of goods and stable transport charges.

The Shanghai Shipping Exchange (SSE) put the integrated shipping charge index at 1173.23 points on January 28, rising by 3.6 percent.

The price indexes on the European and Mediterranean routes stood at 1,543.60 points and 1,673.12 points, down 1.8 percent and 5.1 percent respectively over the last month of 2004, with that on the European route registering 1,300 US dollars/TEU, and that via the Shanghai Port, the lowest 1,250 US dollars/TEU. Shipping companies forecast that the price can hardly climb in the next month due to cargo shortages.

The price on the North American route was kept stable without apparent rises in the sources of cargo. The integrated shipping charge index for W/C America service released by the SSE on January 28 stayed at 1,361.97 points. Statistics showed that the container throughput of W/C America/Long Beach/Los Angles rose by 11 percent over 2003 to reach 13.1 million TEUs, including 5.8 million TEUs at Long Beach port and 7.3 million TEUs at the L.A. port, up 24 percent and 1.98 percent year on year, with the combined growth of less than 18 percent over the previous year.

The Japanese route handled more containers, with the price adjusted upward to 300 US dollars/TEU. Its integrated shipping charge quoted at 858.93 points, up 5.1 percent. The amount of cargo is expected to go upward until the busy month of March.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 05:28 PM   #10
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Cosco Pacific expands on back of box demand
4 March 2005
Lloyd's List

AS DEMAND leaps for boxes, Cosco Pacific has decided to spend $353m this year expanding its container capacity, writes Sam Chambers in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong-listed subsidiary of China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co is the world’s fourth-largest container leasing firm, with around a 10% market share. It is also an extensive investor in container terminals, primarily in China. It will add 178,300 teu this year, 15% more than it added last year. At the end of 2004, Cosco Pacific owned 919,128 containers.

Also initialled on Cosco Pacific’s 2005 budget is $350m for terminal acquisitions including at Dalian, Tianjin and Guangzhou in China as well as at Long Beach in California. In a recent report, investment bank Morgan Stanley suggested Cosco Pacific will earn $200m in 2004, $301m in 2005 and $316m in 2006. Its full-year results are announced today.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 05:29 PM   #11
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HK COSCO Pacific Agrees To Buy Stakes In 4 China Ports
4 March 2005
Dow Jones

The four port projects include a 30% stake in a four-berth terminal at the Tianjin port in northern China and a 20% stake in a five-berth terminal at Ningbo, Zhejiang province.

The two terminals are expected to begin operations in the second half of 2007.

COSCO Pacific has also agreed to take a 20% stake in a five-berth terminal in Nanjing, which is already operational.

In southern China, COSCO Pacific has agreed to take up a 35%-40% stake in the Nansha port in Guangzhou, which will start operating in the first half of next year.

COSCO Pacific is 54%-owned by mainland shipping group China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co., commonly known as COSCO Group.

- By Julie Wang
- Edited by David Riordan
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Old March 6th, 2005, 05:06 PM   #12
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Shenzhen container throughput up 16.6pc
5 March 2005
South China Morning Post

The volume of trade handled at the port of Shenzhen last month expanded a comparative 16.6 per cent as western demand for China-made goods continued.

Containerised throughput in Shenzhen - generated mainly by terminals in Chiwan, Shekou and Yantian - exceeded 974,300 20-ft equivalent units (teu) for the month despite the impact from a week of holidays in China.

Yantian, the Hutchison-managed terminal on the eastern side of the Pearl River Delta, again led all Shenzhen ports, moving more than 449,500 teu, or 8.8 per cent more than last year. Chiwan moved almost 262,000 boxes, up a comparative 36.6 per cent. Shekou moved a little more than 149,100 boxes, up 12.3 per cent. The remainder was handled across the port's smaller berths.Russell Barling

asia-pacific carriers move 117m passengers in year

More than 117 million business and leisure travellers flew on Asia-Pacific-based airlines last year, up 22.5 per cent on the Sars-depleted numbers of 2003.

The 17 members of the Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines managed to boost their aggregate load factor - the proportion of seats filled - 3.4 percentage points, to 73.1 per cent.

Cathay Pacific beat all association members in December last year with a load factor of 79 per cent. The volume of cargo carried by members last year grew 13.8 per cent to 48.6 billion freight tonne kilometres, an industry measurement equal to a kilo of goods flown one kilometre.Russell Barling

general motors venture expands buick range

General Motors (GM), the world's largest carmaker, has expanded its Buick range and cut prices of previous versions to compete with Volkswagen and other carmakers in China.

Shanghai General Motors, a venture between GM and China's largest carmaker, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, has started marketing two new versions of the Excelle and a new version of its luxury Regal, according to the company.

The price of the Excelle had been cut to 117,800 yuan, while the older version of the Regal now sold for 203,800 yuan, it said. Shanghai GM did not disclose the size of the discounts or previous prices for the cars.Bloomberg

hactl volume drops as holiday eats into demand

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd (Hactl) saw business decline last month due to the Lunar New Year festivities affecting demand for flights to and from the mainland.

Provisional figures released yesterday indicated Hactl's volumes for the month dipped a comparative 12.4 per cent to 146,362 tonnes. The decline was led by imports, which fell 18 per cent to 45,378 tonnes. Exports were down 14.7 per cent for the month at 75,443 tonnes.

Cumulative tonnage at Hactl in the first two months reached 321,134 tonnes, or up 2.7 per cent on last year.

Russell Barling
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Old March 8th, 2005, 07:04 AM   #13
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China Shipping to Buy 39 Extra Ships
By Mai Tian
08 March 2005
China Daily

China Shipping (Group) Ltd, the country's second largest sea transport operator, will buy 39 ships this year at a cost of 8 billion yuan (US$966 million) to meet surging demand.

The company's plan is part of its strategy to be running one of the world's largest three fleets by 2010.

Li Kelin, president of China Shipping (Group), told Reuters that the new ships, including 6 oil tankers, will add 2.2 million tons to the company's total capacity, an increase of 17 per cent.

China Shipping, parent of Hong Kong-listed China Shipping Container Lines and China Shipping Development, has a fleet of 417 ships, including 90 oil tankers and 120 container vessels.

Their deadweight reached 13 million tons in 2004.

A company spokesman yesterday declined to comment on the report.

Reuters reported the group will finance the acquisitions with bank loans and existing funds.

China Shipping is enjoying rapidly increasing demand for its services, spurred by a bottlenecked rail network since 2003.

Much of China's coal has to be moved off the tracks and onto water to be shipped from major ports in North China, such as Qinhuangdao, to markets in the east and south.

The company delivered more than 100 million tons of coal last year, or 5 per cent of the country's total coal output.

The increase saw China Shipping reap a windfall last year. It posted a pre-tax profit of 8.5 billion yuan (US$1 billion) in 2004, up 340 per cent from 2003.

"China's existing transport capacity is inadequate to meet the demand for coal," said Li, who is attending the annual meeting of China's National People's Congress.

"The situation will last two to three years," he added.

Li was also quoted as saying that the group's shipping prices should rise by 3 to 4 per cent this year, driven by rising oil prices.

Global shipping rates reached record highs over the past year on the back of voracious demand from developing countries, like India and China, for coal, oil and other raw materials.

China Shipping earlier said it planned to increase its container capacity from the current 280,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) to 650,000 TEUs by 2010, ranking it third in the world.
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Old March 12th, 2005, 11:06 PM   #14
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Top Chinese container line COSCO sails for HK IPO
By Alison Leung

HONG KONG, March 11 (Reuters) - China's top shipping group, China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co. (COSCO), plans to float its container shipping arm, the world's seventh largest, in a Hong Kong IPO that is expected to raise more than $1 billion.

Hong Kong-listed COSCO Pacific Ltd., which leases shipping containers and operates terminals, said on Friday that sister firm China COSCO Holdings Co. Ltd. had submitted paperwork to the stock exchange to list its H-shares.

The shipping sector is booming worldwide thanks to China's surging economy. Many experts expect freight rates and volumes to hit fresh highs this year, but some question how much longer the momentum can last and worry about a flood of new capacity poised to enter the market.

"We think the container shipping industry has already passed its peak in the current cycle," ABN AMRO analyst Osbert Tang wrote in a research note on rival shipper Orient Overseas (International) Ltd.

COSCO Holdings will hold state-run COSCO Group's interests in container shipping and related businesses and will become the direct parent of COSCO Pacific.

But COSCO Pacific's listing position and its businesses will remain unchanged, the statement said.

Analysts said including a controlling stake in COSCO Pacific in the newly formed company will help the listing vehicle offset some of the cyclical risk inherent to shipping lines.

"COSCO Pacific is trading at around 16 times P/E while container shipping firms are only around 4 times," said Michael Chan, an analyst at BOC International.

The company gave no financial details of the proposed listing. A source familiar with the situation said the deal should be worth more than $1 billion.

Shares in COSCO Pacific have jumped 52.4 percent over the past year, giving it a market value of US$4.87 billion. Its shares ended 2.35 percent higher on Friday.

COSCO Group operated 123 container ships with total capacity of more than 300,000 20-foot-equivalent units (TEU) at the end of 2004, analysts said.

In January, it ordered four 10,000 TEU container ships, the largest in the world, from South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries Co.

HSBC and UBS are underwriting the deal. (Additional reporting by Daisy Ku in Beijing).
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Old March 13th, 2005, 04:48 PM   #15
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Wharf's MTL to get Shenzhen port project approval soon

HONG KONG, March 8 (Reuters) - Wharf Holdings' (0004.HK) Modern Terminals Ltd. said on Tuesday it will get Beijing's final approval soon for a container terminal project in southern China with a total investment of up to 7 billion yuan (US$845 million).

"I believe we will have approval for Dachan Bay in the next two to three months," said Modern Terminals Managing Director Erik Christensen.

MTL announced last year that it would take 65 percent of the first phase of the Dachan project, which will have total capacity of about 2 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) a year.

The project is located in China's southern boomtown of Shenzhen, a key gateway to the country's huge Pearl River Delta manufacturing base.

China's State Council introduced a master plan last December with an aim to co-ordinate port development in the nation and that delayed approval of the project, Christensen said.

"Initially it caused a bit of delay but it doesn't matter because while we are waiting for the approval we are still building," he told reporters after a ceremony to celebrate MTL's handling of its 50 millionth container in Hong Kong.

The terminal was expected to begin operations in the second half of 2007, Christensen added.

Market sources had said the Chinese government delayed approval at container port development in Shenzhen to avoid putting too much pressure on the world's busiest container port of Hong Kong, which has been losing market share to the cheaper Shenzhen port.

MTL also expects total throughput at its container terminals in Hong Kong's Kwai Chung terminals to rise about 8 percent this year after it added about 11 percent to 4.5 million TEUs in 2004.

The company is investing HK$1 billion to upgrade facilities at its container terminal No. 1, 2 and 5 in Kwai Chung. It also operates four berths at Kwai Chung's Container Terminal 9.

The project will boost MTL's total container handling capacity in Kwai Chung by 25 percent to just over 7 million TEUs a year after the upgrade is completed in 18 months.

"It is much cheaper than buying a new one (terminal)," Christensen said.

The government is encouraging Kwai Chung operators to upgrade their facilities to expand capacity of the 22 berths at Kwai Chung to about 1 million TEU each. Kwai Chung handled about 14 million TEUs of goods last year.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 04:49 PM   #16
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More investment on the way as Yantian terminal growth continues
7 March 2005
Lloyd's List

WHILE TOC Asia 2005 is taking place in the container capital of the world, Hong Kong, the real future of the container terminal industry in this localised area lies north of the border in Shenzhen.

The area that was all paddy fields 20 years ago has suddenly catapulted up to become the fourth largest container port in the world with throughput last year of 13.66m teu, noticeably outstripping the main terminals in Hong Kong’s Kwai Chung district for the first time.

Those with a China visa will have the opportunity of visiting Shenzhen’s premier container facility — the city’s only deepwater port — Yantian International Container Terminals on the morning of March 17.

Established in 1994 as a joint venture between Hutchison Port Holdings and Shenzhen Yantian Port Group, YICT’s throughput is flying at the moment.

It has opened four 9,000-teu berths in the past two years in addition to its existing five 5,000 teu berths.

Early statistics out this year show no let-up in Shenzhen and Yantian’s growth. January throughput for the city as a whole rose 41% year on year in the pre-Chinese New Year rush and for Yantian the figures were up 39% to 589,000 teu, not far off its all-time record of 600,000 teu.

In terms of key developments this year for YICT, the Shenzhen municipal government has vowed to invest heavily in highway construction.

A total of Yuan1.7bn ($205m) will be invested this year to build a highway to solve the traffic bottleneck in the eastern port area of the city.

The 11.34 km road is scheduled for completion in 22 months with a designed speed of 80 kilometres an hour.

The construction of the highway is designed to cope with the busy traffic caused by the booming Yantian port, which handled 6.26m teu last year.

However, the Wutong mountain has blocked the traffic between the Yantian district and the central area.

“The new highway will ease the traffic pressure and help to improve the residents’ living environment as well as the investment environment,” says vice-mayor Xu Zongheng.

Discussing what delegates can expect on their tour of one of the jewels in the crown of the Hutchison Port Holdings empire, Anthony Tam, the company’s corporate communications manager, tells Lloyd’s List: “The terminal visit has attracted a very good response.

“There will be a yard tour as well as a general container terminal visit with a brief explanation of the terminal, its functions and its location.”
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Old March 16th, 2005, 05:47 PM   #17
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Flying performance sees port surpass rival Kwai Chung
16 March 2005
Lloyd's List

SPECULATION was rife in the middle of last year that Shenzhen, whose container throughput was flying once again, might even surpass its northern neighbour Shanghai to become the nation’s leading box port, writes Sam Chambers in Hong Kong.

In the event, though, Shenzhen narrowly lost out to Shanghai. However the port, which surpassed the 10m teu mark for the first time in 2003, did get the satisfaction of beating out the main Hong Kong terminals of Kwai Chung by 230,000 teu for the first time.

Ominously for Hong Kong, Shenzhen’s growth was 90% direct shipment related while Hong Kong saw growth primarily from lower revenue generating transhipment boxes. Port officials said the increase in box volumes was helped by a raft of new shipping services, which rose by 25 to 131 last year, coupled with the inauguration of five new berths. These included the second phase of Shekou Container Terminal, and additional facilities at Chiwan and Yantian.

The Shekou Container Terminal project has a number of investors, including Swire Pacific and Modern Terminals.

Work is now proceeding on phase three of SCT and Yantian International Container Terminal, jointly owned by Hutchison Port Holdings, the world’s largest port operator, and the Yantian Port Group.

In September, Shenzhen port started to charge shippers port-construction fees of Yuan40 ($4.83) per 20 ft box and Yuan80 per 40 ft box, narrowing the cost gap between the special economic zone and Hong Kong. This year it will, along with Hong Kong, implement security surcharges amounting to Yuan50 per teu, with transhipment boxes and empties exempt.

Port operators are all eyeing further terminals around the Shenzhen area, including Mawei and a large site at Dachan Bay which will have the Whart-controlled Modern Terminals on board. While Shanghai’s expansion is focused around Yangshan Shenzhen continues to grow from a variety of locations.
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Old March 29th, 2005, 06:27 AM   #18
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CONTAINER SHIPPING - Capacity growth: is all the teu in China?
Paul Sandle
28 March 2005
International Freighting Weekly

The global shipping industry is riding high at the top of the biggest boom it has experienced for 80 years.

Shipowners made US$80bn last year, according to Martin Stopford, MD of Clarkson's Research, and the lines are posting record profits on the back of soaring freight rates.

The boom has been caused by a lack of new capacity coming into the market coinciding with an increase in world trade, led by a strong global economy and the emergence of China as a manufacturing powerhouse.

But since the demandsupply pendulum starting swinging back in the lines' favour in 2000, shipyards' orderbooks have filled up, particularly for vessels over 8,000teu.

The record amount of extra capacity coming on stream in the next few years – 150 large vessels will join the east-west trades by 2008 – has led some commentators to predict a return to the days of boom and bust.

But the lines are confident rates will hold up and the good times will continue. A spokesman for OOCL, which recently unveiled a doubling of profits for last year, says:

"During the course of 2004, the supply and demand balance remained firmly in our favour and at the present time it is hard to find any data to suggest that this favourable situation will alter in the near term." It is no news that the main driver of the market has been China. But if China is the catalyst, other factors, including the growth in merchandised trade, which at 9.5% is running at more than twice global GDP growth of 4%, and pressure on transport infrastructure, particularly in the US and Europe, have contributed to the tightening in capacity and high rates.

Martin Stopford, speaking at the China Shipping 2005 conference in Shanghai earlier this month, said China's influence was felt most strongly now because its boom was synchronised with a period of growth in the global economy.

China started on its upwards trajectory in the 1990s, he points out, but two recessions – the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the bursting of the dotcom bubble in 2001 – eclipsed the impact it was having on trade flows, particularly on the import of raw materials.

"The recession in the rest of the world had freed up shipping capacity, making the speed at which China was soaking up shipping capacity less apparent, " he says.

"But when the business cycle turned up again in 2003/04 and the world economy grew rapidly, the world found itself seriously short of ships for the first time in 30 years." The emergence of China as a trading superpower has had an impact on demand, which outstrips the growth of its own domestic economy.

"In 2004, China still accounted for 10% of world imports, but China's share of year-on-year growth in sea trade averaged 48% during the period 1998-2004, " Stopford says.

What has been different in China's rise compared with previous emerging maritime economies, such as Japan and South Korea, is that the Chinese government has not planned its sea freight requirements, he says.

"I believe China's business model, which relies heavily on market forces, has played a significant part in determining the extremity of freight markets over the last two years, " he says.

China's growth in the import of raw materials, much of which are then exported as manufactured goods, combined with a strong global economy has caused freight rates to "break out" from their historical cycle.

According to the Howe Robinson Container Index, in January 2004 rates shot through the previous high, achieved in August 1995, and have continued on a steep curve ever since. Ayear later, they stand 70% above the historical peak.

Although demand has been growing most strongly on the east-west trades, Nick Hubbard of shipbroker Howe Robinson says a lack of new capacity on other routes has caused the demand-supply imbalance.

"The 502,000teu which entered service on the eastwest rates, leading to an oversupply of 79,000teu, was more than offset by a shortage of new capacity on the northsouth and feeder routes, where only 136,000 of the 650,000teu that were required entered service, " he says.

The situation will be repeated this year, he claims, with an estimated undersupply across the total market of 266,000teu, or 3%.

"This does not allow for congestion on both US coasts, and in Panama, Europe and India, which increases the demand for small ships and reduces fleet efficiency through delay, and the inefficiency of displacement, " he adds.

Over the course of this year, he predicts the continuing tightening of supply will cause rates to rise at a similar pace, ending the year 20-30% higher than where they started.

But the upward curve will start to level off in 2006 as more capacity enters the market, he predicts.

"The pendulum in the supply-demand balance will be swinging back towards an increase in supply outpacing demand by 0.5%, " he says.

But he warns that a levelling off of rates at a level 30% higher than today depends on demand staying strong.

"If growth in demand weakens, down to an average level of 9%, freight rates would crash and charter rates would also fall significantly, but both would remain above the last alltime high, " he says.

"If there is an economic crisis, and demand weakens to 5%, both freight and charter rates would be devastated." Arthur Kroeber, MD of China Economic Quarterly, outlined the reasons why the growth of China has had such a major impact on freight rates at the China Shipping 2005 conference.

China is still far from becoming a consumer economy, according to Kroeber.

Although the domestic economy is powering ahead, it is "factory Aselling to factory B selling to factory C, which then exports.

"China combines Japan style export capacity with American-style import appetite, " he says.

This could leave it susceptible to a global downturn in demand and a falling off of inward investment.

But Kroeber thinks there is only an outside chance of this happening. China's role as a trade aggregator means that even if US demand slows, China's trading position will remain strong.

Adownturn will put pressure on costs, he says, and manufacturers will respond by moving more Asian manufacturing to China.

Hubbard acknowledges that the outlook on rates needs to take into account more than just the supply/demand equation.

Even with deliveries hitting an all-time high in 2006, there will still be a shortage of ships below 4,000teu, he says.

"There's a deficit of ships to trade between China and the rest of Asia, " he says. "More hub services will need more small ships – that's exactly what's not being built at the moment."

The fastest increase in rates is already being seen in the intra-Asia trades.

P&O Nedlloyd recorded profits in its container line of US$388m last year compared with US$96m in 2003 driven by an average increase in rates of 13%. Although it says growth was strong on the Asia-Europe and transpacific routes, it was Asia, and intra-Asia in particular, that boomed.

"Overall volume growth in the Asia trades reached 11% and freight rates increased by 19% across all trades, " it says.

"The strongest volume growth was in the intra-Asia trade."

And it is not just a tightening in the supply of ships that will keep rates high – it is also a tightening in the supply of the rest of the infrastructure needed to cope with accelerating global trade.

Congestion is already compounding the supply/demand imbalance, and unlike the shortage in vessels, the situation will not ease in the next two years, at least not in the US and Europe.

The impact of worsening congestion on the global freight industry is high on the agenda of Bruce Calton, associate administrator for policy and international trade maritime administration in the US Department of Transportation.

"Simply stated, the huge trade volumes out of China are overwhelming large segments of the total transportation infrastructure, " he says. "It is happening in the US and it is happening in Europe. Not surprisingly, it's also happening here in China." He says more delays will be the inevitable consequence of failing to improve infrastructure in pace with global trade expansion.

"It is quite clear that we have forever lost the luxury of assessing shipping markets in isolation, " he says. "On the contrary, global shipping markets are now the key driver shaping both public and private decisionmaking in all aspects of freight transportation." Congestion on the US west coast last year led to volumes moving to the east coast.

"Strong volume growth of 17% on the transpacific trade was moderated by the impact of congestion on the west coast of the US, " says a spokesman for PONL. "As a result, the service from Asia to the east coast via the Panama Canal showed the strongest growth in the region." Changing trade flows to avoid congestion also have the effect of swallowing up new capacity as well as putting up costs.

Stanley Shen, general manager corporate marketing at OOCL, says it takes five vessels to operate an Asiawest coast loop on a 35-42 day round trip, whereas a 63-105 day trip to the east coast requires nine vessels.

This is just one of a range of factors that analysts fail to take into account enough when looking at the supply/demand balance, he says.

"Predictions use the value of trade as the measure of growth when what is important in container traffic is the volume of goods, " he says.

In an era of low inflation, the value of many consumer goods – for example, DVD players – has fallen, which disguises the increase in volume, he says.

"Actual slot utilisation also falls short of declared slot capacity because of operational technicalities.

There's also a trend towards increased containerisation, including goods such as wool, cotton, grain and produce." These changes in trade patterns and the impact of congestion leads OOCLto remain bullish on rates despite all the capacity coming on stream.

"Even were a supply surplus [of static slots] to arise it is likely to be less severe than some are predicting and therefore, is likely to have only a marginal effect upon freight rates, " says chairman CC Tung.

"Indeed, some of these same independent commentators and analysts are now starting to come around to this point of view once they account for the congestion factor and its potential impact upon effective tonnage supply, especially on the transpacific trade lanes." With high demand for their services, the shipping lines have had no difficulty in finding customers, and some forwarders have been left scrambling around to secure capacity, particularly from Asia to Europe and from Asia to the US.

But the forwarders have gained some leverage from the increasing trade imbalance, particularly between Asia and Europe.

Exel is one logistics operator that operates a global partner carrier programme with the container lines, which offers them eastbound cargo in return for guaranteed slots westbound.

"We try to supply nine carriers with the majority of our volume, " says Charles McGurin, Exel's sea freight director in the UK. "The programme is a huge help in securing capacity. We can provide them with exports to China, mainly in the engineering, hi-tech and pharmaceutical sectors." OOCL, however, is confident that it can offer shippers the levels of service they require, and it is not so bothered about finding lowrate return cargo.

"On the westbound [transpacific] service, we carry empty boxes to make the turnaround as fast as possible, " Shen says.

Osamu Suzuki, MD of MOL(Asia) agrees that the trade imbalance is also a factor that will keep rates high. "On the transpacific trades, 50% of containers come back empty. This has to be taken into account in pricing, " he says.

Customers may not be as preoccupied by rates as industry analysts suggest, according to Suzuki.

"Customers know more – they are service-driven rather than rate-driven, " he says.

"China will keep on growing, keep on increasing exports to the US and Europe.

Trade growth will be 15-16% on the transpacific [routes] and the same on AsiaEurope, " he says. "We will easily fill capacity growth.

"The increase in demand has led to a more efficient industry. The next time the market downturn comes, the industry will be more flexible." China, as well as being the source of much of the demand for new capacity, has its sights set on being the source of most of the new ships as well.

Its stated aim is to overtake Japan and South Korea and reach the top of the shipbuilding league in 1015 years. If the lines are correct in their long-term outlooks on rising demand, China's yards should still be busy in 2015.
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Old April 1st, 2005, 04:41 PM   #19
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China to abide by single-hulled tanker ban - official

BEIJING, April 1 (Reuters) - China plans to impose an international ban on the use of single-hulled dirty tankers, due to take effect next Tuesday, a government official said, but traders and shippers doubt whether it could be done on time.

However, Chinese-flagged boats plying domestic routes would not be bound by the ban, said the official from the Communications Ministry, which deals with international shipping issues.

"China will abide by the IMO ban on single-hulled boats starting on April 5," the ministry official, who declined to be named, said on Friday.

China's fuel oil trade will be severely disrupted if these vessels are barred from entering the southern port of Huangpu, the largest in China, which takes in nearly half its total fuel oil imports and sees about 1.0-1.5 million tonnes of the product a month.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is imposing the ban on "unprotected" single-hulled tankers carrying heavy-grade oil, in the wake of the sinking of the Prestige, a single-hull tanker, off the Spanish coast in November 2002.

Tankers delivered before April 5, 1982, will be banned from the IMO deadline, while younger vessels will be phased out by Dec. 31, 2005.

The official said the ministry had yet to inform the market of the impending ban, adding it would do so "as soon as possible". The official declined to comment further when asked what measures Beijing would take to enforce it.

Chinese traders and shippers said they had not yet received any notification.

"China will follow IMO's ban but don't think that can be put into force as soon as next week," said a shipping agent in Huangpu.

Chinese fuel oil players have fixed most of their April arrivals into Huangpu using single-hulled panamax tankers since they have not been notified of any ban.

A Guangdong-based maritime official said his office knew of the ban but had not yet been instructed to implement it.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 05:04 AM   #20
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China plans to enforce phasing out single-hulled dirty tankers - report
5 April 2005

HONG KONG (AFX) - China is planning to enforce the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) regulation to phase out single-hulled dirty tankers, The Standard reported, citing unnamed sources.

A ban on 'unprotected' single-hulled tankers carrying heavy grade oil was imposed by the IMO after such a tanker sank off the Spanish coast in Nov 2002.

As of Tuesday, tankers delivered to customers before April 5, 1982 have been banned and new deliveries will be phased out by Dec 31, 2005.

Concerns about the ban have pushed up freight rates by up to 5 pct for 60,000-ton vessels plying the Singapore-South China route, the report said.

However, most tankers delivering fuel oil to China are single-hulled and at least six such vessels delivering about 360,000 tons of fuel oil are due to arrive in China soon, according to the report.
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