Category Archives: Shipping

Libya: Libyan Ports Company refuses to go to Benghazi

The Misrata-based Libyan Ports Company has refused to relocate its headquarters from Misrata to Benghazi after being ordered to do so by the Beida-based government of Abdullah Al-Thinni.

The company, previously known as the Socialist Ports Company, said the order infringed Law No. 21 which established company in 1985 and which stated that the headquarters were in Misrata.

Last month, following lobbying from the company officials based in Benghazi, the Beida government ordered the Misrata management to transfer the company to Libya’s second city. The order said that this was to be a temporary measure.

As a result of it and its rejection by the board in Misrata, there are now two parallel port companies. The Benghazi one, recognised by the interim government as well as the Libyan National Army and the House of Representatives, is headed by Captain Tarek Al-Thabet.

Source: LH
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Tanker Market: “Libyan” Factor a Boon for Suezmax and Aframaxes’ Fortunes

The resurgence of Libyan oil production will offer support to Suezmax and Aframax tankers, in terms of demand, but in the short-term, prospects aren’t that rosy. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Charles R. Weber noted that “Libyan crude production posted strong gains during May, rising from 700,000 b/d at the end of April to a three‐year high of 800,000 b/d early during May and subsequently concluding the month at 827,000 b/d, according to the country’s National Oil Company. The gains follow a restart of production at the Sahara oil field late during April after a weeks‐long closure and a restart of the El Feel (Elephant) field during May after having been offline for two years. A technical issue led to a short blip in production at the Sahara field – the country’s largest – during mid‐month likely implies that the average production rate for the month will be lower than the headline figures suggest, but directional improvements and multiple‐year highs imply a positive demand‐side development for Aframax and Suezmax tankers servicing regional cargo flows”, said the shipbroker.

Indeed, CR Weber notes that “a fresh influx of cargoes during late May proved quite supportive of Aframax rates – if only briefly. Aframax TCEs on the MED‐MED route jumped from just $10,700/day at the start of the month to over $25,500/day by May 24th. Contributing to the gains were modest supply gains from Ceyhan, as well as coverage of prompt cargo purchases of North Sea crude grades (during a brief Brent contango futures structure ahead of the OPEC production cut extension) which simultaneously propelled NSEA‐UKC Aframax TCEs to over $30,000/day. Suezmax rates in the same markets rallied in tandem as they have been trading at an effective floor dictated by Afrramaxes, with $/mt rates matching those of the smaller class. Any cheer among owners was short‐lived, however, as Aframax TCEs have largely corrected: presently, the MED‐MED route yields ~$9,776/day and the NSEA‐UKC route yields ~$11,977/day”, it said.

According to CR Weber, “the outlook for the remainder of Q2 and the start of Q3 doesn’t appear particularly rosy, despite potential for Libya to yield a steadier and elevated export flow during the coming months. Natural Aframax demand in the North Sea market is set to decline m/m during June, and the July program shows the fewest loadings of 2017. Meanwhile, Ceyhan loadings are unlikely to observe much further upside following May’s gains. Adding to prospective negative pressure, Suezmaxes appear poised for a wider supply/demand imbalance in the West Africa region, which could elevate vies by Suezmax units for Aframax cargoes. Nigeria’s Forcados crude stream is poised to return following repairs to the pipeline linking fields to the Forcados terminal. Though notionally positive for Suezmaxes (the traditional workhorse of West African exports) the return of Forcados could weaken regional crude differentials to Brent. This would make West African crude more attractive to Asian buyers seeking to offset a lack of supply growth in the Middle East due to extended OPEC production cuts with purchases elsewhere, thereby supporting VLCCs at the expense of Suezmaxes”.

The shipbroker added that “on a YTD y/y basis, VLCC demand in West Africa has grown by 28% while Suezmax demand has shrunk by 25%. Meanwhile, both the Aframax/LR2 and Suezmax fleets are grappling with extraordinarily high net fleet growth rates as a massive newbuilding delivery program is ongoing amid limited phase‐outs of older units. The Aframax/LR2 fleet is has expanded by 2.7% YTD and is projected to conclude the year with a net annual growth rate of 6.9% for 2017 while the Suezmax fleet has expanded by 5.4% YTD and is projected observe a net annual growth rate of 10.0%. Moreover, the majority of this year’s newbuildings have yet to enter the Atlantic basin. Our analysis of AIS and fixture data shows that the average Suezmax newbuilding does not appear in the West Africa market for 95 days after delivery – and of the 26 Suezmax units delivered since 1 Jan, just five have traded cargoes from West Africa so far. To put the volume of recently delivered units that have yet to enter the region into perspective, there are around 10 spot market‐serviced Suezmax loadings and 17 total Suezmax loadings in West Africa, per week”, the shipbroker concluded.

Source: HSN 6.6.2017

Libya: Tobruk call for Tunisian boycott after Tunis customs seize containers

A top Tobruk businessman is demanding a boycott of Tunisian goods after describing Tunisian customs as pirates for seizing containers from two Libya-bound vessels.

Ibrahim Al-Jarari chairman of the Tobruk Chamber of Commerce and Industry last month called for a ban on Tunisian ships entering Libya ports.  Now he is extending his demand to include Tunisian goods.

The problem appears to have begun when this February customs officers at the port of Sfax found some 25 million packets of cigarettes in 15 containers aboard the Panamanian-flagged Med Prodigy. Tunisia’s customs chief Adel bin Hassan was reported by local radio station Saraha FM to have hailed the customs’ seizure as the largest ever and said the cigarettes were worth $17 million.

The Med Prodigy’s captain is alleged to have told customs officials the cigarettes came from Turkey and had been ordered by a Libyan businessman for delivery to Misrata.  The vessel had sailed to Sfax from Valencia. According to MarineTraffic.com, it is still in the port nine weeks later. Tunisian customs hasnot explained if the shipping manifest for the containers was incorrect.

However, Jarari insisted to Alwasat that the goods were not being smuggled, that the documents were not falsified and that the shipment was legal.

Less clear is a second incident this March. This time Tunisian sources claim customs men intercepted another Libya-bound container ship at sea and escorted it to Tunis’ Rades port. There they allegedly found five containers full of Chinese-made sneakers. It is not thought that this vessel, which has not been named, was detained after the containers had been offloaded. Nor has it been explained how a shipment of sneakers could be so illegal that a container ship would need to be intercepted on the high seas by a customs cutter

LH 16.04.2017

 

Libya: NOC’s Statement to Soon Lift ‘Force Majeure’ Following Opening of Oil Ports in East Libya

Libya’s National Oil Corporation today said it would begin work immediately to restart exports from Oil Crescent ports.

“We welcome statements from the Libyan National Army allied with House of Representatives and the president of the HoR, Aguila Saleh, that the ports should be placed under NOC’s control,” said NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla. “ our technical teams already started assessing what needs to be done to lift force majeure and restart exports as soon as possible.”

“As Libyans we have a common interest in keeping our oil flowing. By raising oil production and exports we can reduce our budget deficit and pay for vital services.” 

“We can raise production to 600,000 b/d within four weeks and to 950,000 b/d by the end of the year from around 290,000 b/d at present. However, this is dependent on receiving essential funds from the budget and on the Oil Crescent ports and the closed pipelines in the southwest being opened and kept open.”

“I hope this marks the beginning of a new phase of cooperation and coexistence between Libya’s factions, as well as an end to the use of the blockade as a political tactic.”

Under a unity agreement signed in July, ‎NOC recognizes the Presidency Council as the highest executive authority and the House of Representatives as the highest legislative authority. A central aim of the agreement is to ensure that Libya’s oil wealth is used for the benefit of all Libyans.

all exports from Libya must be according to UN Security Council resolution 2259.

Tripoli 13/09/2016

Libya: Tobruk Port Struggles with High Cargo Volumes

Tripoli, 4 July 2016:

Tobruk, the only fully-functioning eastern port is buckling under the sheer weight of cargo arriving on its docks its director has warned today.

Ghaith Thami has said that the port is running out of warehouse space as a wide range of cargos piles up awaiting truckers to take them away. The port’s difficulties are being made worse by unpaid salaries for dock workers. In order to get the goods they have ordered, Thami said that some businessmen were actually paying the dockers themselves.

With the exception of the non-unionised Khoms, no Libyan port has a particularly outstanding record in normal times. Tripoli has been notorious for the refusal of dock workers and truckers to handle more than one or two containers per shift.

Thami gave no figures for recent cargo ship movements into the port. He said however that  he had asked the town’s municipal council to provide extra storage space. The municipality was in turn pressing the Libyan Central Bank the provide the funds the pay salaries. He did not say if this was the Tripoli or Beida central bank.

It is also unclear what impact the port congestion is having on the local Customs department. But Thami warned that many of the goods stuck in warehouses had been ordered for Eid and entrepreneurs were desperate to have them delivered.

Benghazi and Derna ports remain too dangerous for ships to unload and truckers to carry offloaded cargo away.

LH 5.7.2016

 

Libya: NOC Agree to Unify – Offficial Press Release

Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of the National Oil Corporation of Libya, and his counterpart appointed by the government in Bayda, Nagi el-Maghrabi, today agreed to unify the National Oil Corporation.

Mr Sanalla will continue as NOC chairman and Dr el-Maghrabi will join the NOC board.

“There is only one NOC, and it serves all Libyans,” said Mr Sanalla. “This agreement will send a very strong signal to the Libyan people and to the international community that the Presidency Council is able to deliver consensus and reconciliation. I’m sure it will now build on this success to bring unity and stability to other government institutions.”

“We made a strategic choice to put our divisions behind us and to unify and integrate NOC as directed by the House of Representatives and the Chairman and Members of the Presidency Council,” said Dr el-Maghrabi. “There is no other way forward. This is for the good of Libya.”

The agreement recognizes the Presidency Council as the highest executive authority in the country, and the House of Representatives as the highest legislative authority. NOC will submit periodic reports to committees established by both authorities.

In the agreement, NOC undertakes to ensure Libya’s oil wealth is for all Libyans and all Libyans must benefit from it without exception, in accordance with the guidance issued by the House of Representatives and its President.

The two sides jointly agreed a unified budget for the remainder of the current financial year, and took steps to address any imbalances resulting from the period of division.

The agreement makes infrastructure rehabilitation a priority, especially in the city of Benghazi in preparation for the relocation of NOC’s new headquarters. The parties expressed a strong desire that the NOC board should meet regularly in Benghazi in the interim if security conditions permit.

2 July 2016