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"We wish to convey our sincere thanks to your organization which has been professionally handling our biz since 2003. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone of your staff members who supported and helped us during the hard times and gave us workable solutions and ideas to reach our business objectives. Al Rana Equipment & Machinery Trading Eng. Bassam Nowfat - Managing Director"

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International News

MISC BAGS EXXON LNG CHARTER DEAL

Malaysia’s MISC has secured agreements with Exxon Mobil’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SeaRiver Maritime, for 15-year time charter contracts for two of its LNG carriers.

The 174,000 cu m ships are currently under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea for delivery in early 2023.

MISC’s president Yee Yang Chien commented: “This is certainly a landmark moment for MISC, and we are proud to expand this strategic partnership with ExxonMobil through SeaRiver in providing best-in-class shipping solutions, beginning with petroleum and now LNG.”

INTERNATIONAL SEAWAYS CASHES OUT OF NAKILAT LNG JOINT VENTURE

New York-listed shipowner International Seaways (INSW) has sold its 49.9% stake in its joint venture with Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat) for $123m in cash.

The joint venture, which is now 100% owned by Nakilat, owns Q-Flex LNG carriers Al Gattara, Al Gharrafa, Al Hamla and Tembek. The four vessels are valued at a total of $489.2m according to VesselsValue.

Lois Zabrocky, president and CEO of International Seaways, commented: “Nakilat and INSW worked in partnership to conclude this transaction, demonstrating the high level of teamwork the companies have shared for over 15 years. Nakilat continues to be a very valued INSW partner and remains an important part of our ongoing commitment to our business relationships in Qatar. By monetizing our interest in the joint venture, we unlocked significant value for shareholders and further strengthened our balance sheet.”

COSCO OPERATES TANKERS IN THE DARK AS SANCTIONS SEE RATES CLIMB TO NEW HIGHS

Up to one third of the fleet of Cosco Shipping Tanker (Dalian) have switched off their automatic identification system (AIS) transponders in the wake of Washington slapping sanctions on the company two weeks ago, according to ship tracking data carried by Refinitiv Eikon.

The Cosco subsidiary, along with another Chinese tanker firm, Kunlun, were hit by sanctions for transporting Iranian crude, making up to 50 VLCCs “untouchables”, according to Intertanko president Paolo d’Amico, and sparking one of the greatest tanker rate rallies seen this decade, with spot rates tripling to more than $120,000 a day for VLCCs and the booming rates spilling down to other tanker sizes with suezmaxes now commanding in excess of $80,000 a day and aframaxes fixing for around $70,000 a day.

GLOBAL LNG-ASIAN PRICES HIT THREE-WEEK HIGH; TANKER RATES RISE

Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose to a three-week high this week ahead of winter demand, while tanker rates nearly doubled on limited availability of vessels.

Spot prices for November-delivery to Northeast Asia LNG-AS are estimated to be about $5.80 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), up by 25 cents from last week, said several sources who are market participants.

Prices for December delivery are estimated to be about $6.45 per mmBtu, they added.

Higher oil prices and shipping rates, which have nearly doubled in a week could boost spot LNG prices further, sources added.

LNG tanker rates rose after China National Offshore Oil and Gas Company (CNOOC) sought tankers to charter looking to replace ships it had previously hired that are linked to a Chinese company sanctioned by the United States for allegedly transporting Iranian oil, they added.

Cosco operates tankers in the dark as sanctions see rates climb to new highs.

CRUDE AND GAS TANKER RATES SAIL TO NEW HIGHS

Shipping just about any type of fuel this week has proven hugely expensive with rates for all tanker types soaring to levels not seen since before Lehman Brothers collapsed 11 years ago and VLCCs now entering record territory.

On the back of Washington’s sanctions against Chinese tankers owned by Cosco and Kunlun, ongoing scrubber retrofits and oil majors including ExxonMobil and Unipec distancing themselves from any ships with links to Venezuela tonnage is tight and charterers anxious. Latest spot rates show VLCCs being taken on subs for more than $30o,000 a day, with suezmaxes from West Africa to the US Gulf now above $120,000 a day and aframaxes trading at around $66,000 a day. LR and MR product tankers have seen solid upticks in earnings too this week.

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