09-01-2023 China’s reopening seen as a positive for shipping, By Sam Chambers, Splash
China’s reopening to the world over the weekend is seeing considerably more jet fuel about to be consumed in the world’s most populous nation, while for crew managers there’s relief that the country has made crew changes far easier for the first time in nearly three years. As part of its dismantling of its zero-covid policy Beijing has allowed travel in and out of the country with transport officials also revealing over the weekend that crew leaving or joining ships in China will no longer need to quarantine. Seafarers coming from overseas must now only take a covid test 48 hours prior to the departure of their last port of call before entering the People’s Republic.
Scenes of packed airports and family members meeting each other after years apart have been plastered across multiple media channels in the 36 hours since China lifted its travel restrictions, with a host of airlines stating they will now ramp the volume of flights in and out of the country regardless of the soaring rates of covid infections being experienced across the republic.
Chinese oil demand fell last year for the first time in 20 years. This year the International Energy Agency expects to see a rise of 800,000 barrels per day, representing nearly half of global growth in oil demand. “[T]here are some indications that the worst may be past with short-term mobility indicators in major cities improving and Chinese refineries returning to the global market,” a new report from Arctic Securities stated today.
Despite the lifting of draconian covid policies, the rates of infection ripping through the country are impacting supply chains with ports understaffed in recent weeks, and trucking availability strained, while shipyards are struggling to complete newbuild and repair work to schedule as thousands of staff call in sick.