Monday, 14 October 2019

More ships join those lying idle off Chinese ports as import restrictions bite

There has been a sharp increase in the number of vessels laden with coal lying idle off China's coastline following the introduction of import restrictions in April on thermal coal at the country's major ports, market sources said this week.

Ships were queuing off a number of ports in the southern provinces of Guangxi, Guangdong and Fujian, along the eastern coast and up to Shandong province, sources said.

"Imported coal not meant for local enterprises' usage is not allowed to clear customs," a China-based trader said, adding that the import restrictions were putting a lot of pressure on the market.

S&P Global Platts cFlow vessel tracking software showed Friday that 243 ships loaded with coal were stationary off the coast of China, up from a count of 102 ships when the previous round of port restrictions were imposed at the end of October last year.

The stationary coal ships include 25 that are lying idle in the Hong Kong Regional Vessel Queue, 13 in the Ningbo/Zhoushan Anchorage Area, and six in the Rizhao queue, according to cFlow.

Market sources have reported extensive delays and longer queues for ships arriving to discharge seaborne thermal coal at several ports.

"The restrictions have been tightened since April," another Chinese trader said. "But the impact became more obvious now as utilities are using up their import quotas."

The Platts cFlow software can detect and track the location of individual cargo ships, their current status in terms of whether they are stationary or moving, the type of cargo, intended destination and estimated arrival time, and other key operational information.

The African Loon, a 61,255 mt coal ship that arrived from Indonesia's Adang Bay port, has been waiting in the Hong Kong Regional Queue since June 30. The estimated arrival date for the ship at Xinsha port was June 30.

Also in the queue Thursday was the Tuo Full 11, a 77,500 mt ship laden with coal that left East Kalimantan on June 27 and entered the queue on July 2, and the Janna S, a Panamax that missed its original estimated arrival time in Guangzhou of July 3.

Two Panamaxes from Indonesia, the Rosco Sandalwood and the Long Dar, have been waiting in queue for customs clearance since July 8, according to Platts cFlow.

On Wednesday, 12 ships were waiting in China's Ningbo Anchorage, four of them having departed from Newcastle in June.

The Capesize Anangel Vision, which had been scheduled to reach Zhoushan on July 9, was waiting for clearance off the eastern province of Zhejiang.

Two other Capesize ships, Lowlands Longevity and True Navigator, have been lying idle at Ningbo Anchorage with an overdue arrival date for Zhangjiagang of July 7 and July 1 respectively, according to cFlow.

Six ships carrying coal have been waiting at Rizhao port in northern China, including two Capesize ships from Australia that have been in queue for over a week.

They include the CHS World, a 174,200 mt ship that entered the queue on July 9 with an overdue arrival date at Rizhao of July 10, and the Yue Shan, a 177,800 mt coal ship from Newcastle, also with an original arrival date of July 10.

-- Yuchen Huo, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
-- Edited by E Shailaja Nair, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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