Valemaxes could spell Capesize market’s doom

The first of the new Valemax very large ore carriers (VLOCs) loaded 400,000t of iron ore at the Brazilian port of Tubarao this week — spelling possible doom for Capesize shipowners. The vessel, which at over 300metres long is bigger than most skyscrapers, is part of Brazilian iron ore producer Vale’s plan to shift nearly all of its output away from the spot freight market.

A total of 36 of these behemoth 400,000 deadweight tonne (dwt) Valemaxes are already on the market, carrying 1.6mn tonnes each every year between Brazil and either China, Oman or Malaysia — from where it is shipped on to China.

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Cold chaos highlights gas supply tightness

This blog will focus on topics to be covered in the upcoming Argus European Natural Gas webinar for the first quarter of 2018. Invitations to the webinar will be sent to subscribers soon.

The rapid rise in UK NBP and Dutch TTF natural gas prompt prices during the cold snap has grabbed headlines. But the lack of supply flexibility this week has taken all winter to create.

The Dutch system operator bought balancing gas for €545/MWh, while NBP within-day prices hit £1.94p/th, up from yesterday’s day-ahead market close of 91.15p/th.

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Hard exit, soft exit

Hard Brexit, Soft Brexit, fudged Brexit – the UK population daily endures the obfuscations and mutual denunciations of a political class unable or unwilling to formulate an exit strategy from the EU. And the mode of exit – crashing out or conscious uncoupling — may well determine the economic impact of the divorce.

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