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Ship Recycling Market in Limbo

The ship demolition market is plagued by a high level of uncertainty leaving the market analysts in limbo when it comes to discerning which direction the market will take.  Despite the lack of tonnage, reports suggest that there is a general apathy from the actual ship recyclers making it very hard to judge market sentiment, Clarksons Plateau said in its latest shipbroking report. “Asking cash buyers for an indicative price in today’s market for a particular vessel is intriguing at this time. Without any real transparency and confidence, the price differential between varied cash buyers could be a USD 20/ldt gap. Thus, only when several sales are reported do we ascertain the true value of a unit and market sentiment,” Clarksons added. “We certainly had expected to see more supply than is c...

Hyundai Heavy Rejigs Management Structure

South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has made changes in its management team ahead of establishing a holding company structure. Through the reshuffle, unveiled in a stock exchange release on November 14, the company’s vice chairman and co-CEO Kwon Oh-gap will resign and assume a different role in the company, while HHI’s current president and chief executive Kang Hwan-goo will take sole leadership of the company. Additionally, Choi Ki-sun has been promoted to vice president and will be in charge of managing the company’s subsidiaries, according to media reports. It is understood that Kwon Oh-gap will continue as a representative of the holding company. The name and launch date of the holding firm are yet to be unveiled. The changes have been made as part of HHI’s plan to...

HMM to Set Sail for 6th Place in World by Placing Orders for 20 Super Containerships

Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) aims to become a top 10 global shipping company by ordering 20 super large containerships. HMM is expected to have a capacity of 800,000 TEUs and rank sixth in the world when the company secures a super large containership fleet.  According to the investment bank (IB) industry and shipping industry on November 15, HMM will order 20 large-sized container ships starting early next year. “HMM will order 20 large-sized vessels, including nine 20,000-TEU containerships and 11 11,000-TEU containerships for aggressive fleet expansion,” a high-ranking official in the IB industry said. “This strategy aims to deal with major shipping companies’ expansion through mergers and acquisitions and the introduction of super large ships.” This is twice the size...

MacGregor to Cut 190 Jobs amid Cost Savings

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has informed that it could lay off some 190 employees globally as part of its plans to achieve annual cost savings of around EUR 13 million. MacGregor, which employed globally 1,876 persons at the end of September 2017, said that the measures are estimated to affect especially the operations in Norway, Germany, China and Singapore. The company unveiled its cost cutting plans, which include the split of Smart Ocean Technology division into Cargo Handling division and Advanced Offshore Solutions division, and started statutory cooperation negotiations. The planned savings measures are estimated to be reached in 2018. They are expected to result in restructuring costs of EUR 7 million in the final quarter of 2017. MacGregor said that the objective of the savings i...

Singaporean Shipbuilders Making Korea’s Big 3 Shipbuilders Tense

Ared flag was raised for Korean shipyards such as Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and Samsung Heavy Industries which had dominated the offshore plant market. This is because they are losing orders to Singaporean shipyards which have not been even recognized as their competitor so far.  In particular, bidding prices submitted by Singaporean shipbuilders are much lower than those of Korean shipyards. Of course, it is still unclear whether or not the bidding prices suggested by Singaporean shipbuilders can give rise to profits. There is still a possibility that Singaporean shipbuilders are suggesting unreasonably low bidding prices to receive orders to build up their experience. One thing is clear. If this trend holds, it will become nearly imposs...

DSME Sells Mangalia Yard in Romania at $26 Million

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) announced on November 10 that the company sold off its subsidiary Daewoo-Mangalia Heavy Industries based in Romania.  DSME signed a sales and purchase agreement (SPA) with Damen Shipyards Group, the Netherlands’ largest shipbuilding company to sell its 51 percent stake in the Mangalia shipyard at 29 billion won (US$25.87 million). The two companies will finalize the transaction by November 29. The latest sale of the Mangalia shipyard will lighten the financial burden on DSME. The shipyard was a joint venture of DSME and Romania’s state-run shipbuilder 2 Mai Mangalia Shipyard (2MMS) established in 1997 when DSME was an affiliate of Daewoo Group. The Mangalia shipyard ranked among top 10 leading companies in Romania in four years afte...

SK Chemicals to Set Up Joint Venture with Eastman Chemical Company

According to industry sources, SK Chemicals is planning to build its fourth polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) production plant in Ulsan City with Eastman Chemical Company. The two companies are currently discussing details of the plan in the final stage of negotiations.  Eastman Chemical Company is currently the largest specialty chemical product and chemical material manufacturer in the world. Eastman Chemical Company and SK Chemicals are in a league of their own in the field of PETG production as well. Experts point out that their joint venture and joint plant operations are quite unexpected in this regard. At present, SK Chemicals is running three PETG production factories in Ulsan City and the South Korean company has built and run the three facilities on its own. “Eastman Chemi...

Bitcoin Prices Fluctuate Sharply with Server Problems at Virtual Currency Exchange

  Damage to investors is growing due to the temporary suspension of access to major virtual currency exchanges coupled with sharp fluctuations in virtual currency prices. Investors are filing lawsuits against virtual currency exchanges.  On November 12, virtual currency prices showed sharp fluctuations. Bitcoin prices ranged from 6.5 million won (US$5,850) to 7.99 million won (US$7,190) and Bitcoin Cash also moved between 1.5 million won (US$1,350) and 2.9 million won (US$2,610). In particular, when Bitcoin Cash hit 2,839,800 won (US$2,550), an all-time high, (based on the Bithumb price) at 3:40 pm on November 12, Bithumb’s virtual currency trade service was temporarily suspended due to overheating. At about 5:40 pm when the server recovered, the price of 1Bitcoin Cash already p...

Incheon City to Export Smart City Platform

The Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) Authority announced on November 9 that its platform for smart city model development is exported to Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and India next year. The IFEZ Authority acquired copyrights in March this year and patent rights in June this year to sell the smart city platform it developed both at home and abroad. The IFEZ Authority’s smart city platform is characterized by the U-City Management Center based on advanced ubiquitous technology and in operation around the clock providing a variety of remote public services covering transportation, crime and disaster prevention, environmental management, facility management, etc. Approximately 70 Vietnamese government officials recently visited the IFEZ Authority to learn about Incheon City’s urban development and ...

DSME Posts Profit for Q3

South Korean yard giant Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) ended the third quarter of this year with a profit of KRW 45.7 billion (USD 41 million), compared to a net loss of KRW 284 billion posted a year earlier, Yonhap said. The troubled shipbuilder is significantly better off than last year after a rescue package from the South Korean government in the spring.   DSME, which has battled a highly publicised liquidity crunch for the past two years,  posted profit for the third straight quarter from July through September, largely thanks to cost-cutting measures and increased delivery of offshore facilities. The improvement in the bottom line marks the third straight quarter that the shipyard remained in the black. The shipbuilder logged an operating income of 207 billion won ...

Busan Port Sees Drops in Transshipment Cargoes Except for Those from N. America and Asia

This year, Busan Port is expected to chalk up 20 million containers for the first time in its history but its transshipment cargo trend is unusual.  According to logistics network data by the Busan Port Authority on November 7, until September of this year, Busan Port handled a total of 15,537,000 containers (based on 20-foot containers), 4.77% more than the same period of last year. Korea’s import and export containers increased 7.06% to 7,634,000, but the number of transshipment containers at Busan Port from third countries swelled 2.56% only to 760,300. This year’s growth of transshipment containers is very low compared to 7.2% to 17.1% increases except for temporary declines in transshipment cargoes sparked off by the global financial crisis (2008 – 2009) and the Hanj...

Trump Hopes Progress in Korea-US FTA at Summit Meeting with Moon

US President Donald Trump threw out a strong trade pressure card against South Korea.  US President Trump delivered the US’s position on negotiations over a revision of the Korea-US free trade agreement (FTA), trade imbalance between South Korea and the United States and South Korea’s purchases of US military assets at exclusive and extended summit meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. US President Trump did as expected because he implemented his “two-track” diplomacy of strengthening alliance with Japan and addressing the US’s trade deficit with Japan in Japan, the first destination in his Asian trip. “We appreciate South Korea’s decision to purchase military facilities and weapons from the United States,” President Trump said at the summit. “The trade defici...

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