Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 08 - 2011
---February 14, 2011 11:54 AM Eastern Time
DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/f21a18/greece_shipping_re) has announced the addition of the "Greece Shipping Report Q1 2011" report to their offering.
Greece Shipping Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, shipping associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on Greece's shipping industry.
A further decline in port throughput is on the cards at Greece's ports in 2011 as macro factors affect the forecasts, with total trade predicted to decline by 1.6%.
The uptick in 2010 will therefore be cancelled out, meaning that recovery to historical highs has been pushed further into the future, past out mid-term forecast period.
BMI notes that past few years have been tough on Greece's ports, with throughput buffeted by industrial action and the downturn.
While the negative macro outlook for Greece affects projected port throughput, BMI is buoyed by developments at the ports that suggest the facilities could diversify their client base away from the muted domestic market into areas that could offer more profit and increase throughput by using ports as transhipment hubs or gateways.
Headline Industry Data
* 2011 port of Thessaloniki tonnage throughput forecast -0.10%, following projected growth of 2.75% in 2010.
* 2011 port of Piraeus container throughput forecast -0.90% following projected growth of 10.21% in 2010.
* 2011 total trade y-o-y change forecast at -1.61%.
Key Industry Trends
China Increases Exposure To Greek Maritime Sector - China continues to cement its role in Greece's maritime sector following the China's main terminal operator COSCO taking over operations at one of the container terminals at the port of Piraeus. The terminal operator is seeking to expand its role in the country's logistics network further, with a plan to own and operate the Thriassio transhipment hub.
Chinese banks have also opened their doors to Greek shipping firms seeking finance in order to expand, in another example of Sino-Greek relations on the shipping front increasing.
Thessaloniki Seeks Gateway Role - Thessaloniki is seeking its niche as its bigger container port sister, Piraeus, expands with the help of Greek investment. Thessaloniki is well placed to develop into a maritime gateway for the Balkans.
Risks To Outlook
Unemployment is rising, negatively affecting import demand, and together with a weak export sector this spells disaster for Greece's ports. While we forecast muted throughput growth over the mid term, we do note some developments which could have an upside impact on our current forecasts, namely COSCO Pacific's role at the port of Piraeus and the port of Port of Thessaloniki's plan to develop into a maritime gateway for the Balkans.
Key Topics Covered:
* Executive Summary
* SWOT Analysis
* Global Overview
* Industry Trends And Developments
* Market Overview
* Industry Forecast
* Company Profiles
For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/f21a18/greece_shipping_re
Research and Markets
Laura Wood, Senior Manager,
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Shipping revenue rebounds as home-flag remains steady
---Shipping revenues rebounded in 2010, adding much needed fodder to the national economy. Bank of Greece data reveals the crucial shipping sector put Euros 15.4bn ($21bn) into the national coffers, up 13% on a woeful 2009, after income dipped 30% that year from the record Euro 19.2bn in 2008.
At the same time, data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (Elstat) shows the number of ships flying the Greek flag dipped slightly in 2010, though the capacity of the fleet rose, reflecting the overhaul as larger ships come into the Greek-flag fleet and Greek ownership generally.
With world trade improving, Greek shipowners have benefitted and so has the country. Shipping income is second only to revenues generated by Greek exporters, which in 2010 was Euro 17.081bn.
However, on the downside, the Bank of Greece reports tourism continued to suffer and revenues fell in 2010 for the second year in succession, down 7% to Euro 9.6bn after falling 10.6% in 2009 to Euro 10.4bn. With the easing of cabotage, it is hoped cruising and passenger shipping generally will receive a boost and push up figures in the tourism column. Further, civil unrest in North Africa, especially Egypt, is expected to boost numbers coming to Greece.
On a broader economic level the Bank of Greece reported the c/a deficit narrowed 7% for 2010 to Euro 24bn as consumption fell. The bank said the "year-on-year decrease started in July 2010" and was sharper in December, falling 38.5% to Euros 1.89bn and mainly reflects "a fall in the trade deficit and a rise in the surplus of services balance". This includes transportation and shipping.
Elstat data shows that at the beginning of 2011, the number of ships flying the Greek flag was 2,096, down 14 ship over the 12 months, though tonnage stood at 43.068m gt January 1, up from 41.359m gt at the dawn of 2010. The 2010 numbers are an improvement on those at the beginning of 2008, when 2,082 ships flew the home colours of 39.156m gt.
The change to bigger ships was evident in both the wet and dry sectors, while in the rest of the fleet the number of small ships rose. In 2010 the number of bulk carriers in the home fleet fell from 606 ships to 589 ships, but tonnage rose from 14.9m gt to 15.88m gt. There were 546 tankers in the Greek fleet at the beginning of the year, slipping nine ships from 555, but, as with bulkers, tonnage rose up 680,000gt.
The Greek-flag fleet of other ship types rose 14 ships in 2010 to 965 ships, but the gt fell a little, 1.685m gt to 1.639m gt. Of the fleet, 869 ships are between 100 / 500gt; just over 400 are between 500 / 3,000gt.
The Greek-flagged fleet is the fifth largest in the world, behind Panama, Liberia, Marshall Islands and Hong Kong, but the fleet operated by Greeks under all flags -- some 46 -- is the largest in the world in terms of carrying capacity ahead of Japan, Germany and China, and fourth behind Japan, Germany and China in regard to the number of ships operated.
-- Filed: 2011-02-22
Shipping dominant in China talks
-- Chinese government Vice-President Zhang Dejiang this week expressed Beijing's appreciation for the assistance Greece has offered in the evacuation of thousands of Chinese nationals from strife-plagued Libya, with the first evacuation vessels reaching Crete on Thursday.
Zhang Dejiang made the statement during a meeting in Beijing with visiting Greek Maritime Affairs, Islands & Fisheries Minister Yiannis Diamantidis, in the presence of China's Transport Minister Li Shenglin.
Diamantidis concluded his closely watched week-long visit to China and a series of high-profile contacts with Chinese leadership on Wednesday, with talks focusing on the implementation of a five-billion-dollar development fund for Greek shipowners to build new vessels in Chinese shipyards. The latter agreement was first broached by the Greek and Chinese prime ministers in Athens last October.
Diamantidis met with China's Vice-Foreign Minister Fu Ying and the heads of three of China's biggest banking groups, Bank of China, China Development Bank and Ex-Im, as the prospect of increasing the fund to 10 billion dollars was also raised by the bank executives if demand by Greek shippers dictates greater funding. Chinese bank officials also promised the most competitive lending rates in the world, according to reports, while also pledging to promote investments in Greece by their clients.
In other contacts, Diamantidis signed a bilateral "action plan" with Chinese Transportation Vice-Minister Weng Mengyong, an initiative that foresees financing for ocean-going shipping enterprises, bilateral cooperation in the sector as well as in maritime education. The Greek minister also visited the headquarters of the China Classification Society (CCS), where he was met by CCS President Li Kejun.
Finally, Diamantidis was received by Cosco President Capt. Wei Jiafu at the multinational's headquarters in Beijing, with talks directly centring on boosting Cosco's presence at the port of Piraeus -- where it holds a major and ground-breaking concession -- as well as elsewhere in the east Mediterranean nation. (ANA-MPA)
"The (Piraeus) PCT terminal project opens up a new chapter for Cosco's presence in Greece, as we are becoming a more significant operator of container terminals in the world. Our commitment to make Piraeus a better trans-shipment hub in the region is based on the long term, and we aim to achieve a win-win situation with our Greek partners," Wei said, adding:
(ANA-MPA) "China and Greece are both influential maritime nations. With a globalised economy and prospering trade relations across continents, we see modern shipping routes are functioning like a new Great Wall on the sea, one that links China and Greece in a very unique and extraordinary way."
Caption: Greek Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries Minister Yiannis Diamantidis (L) with Cosco President Capt. Wei Jiafu in Beijing on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011. ANA-MPA / STR
Chinese ship funding may reach $10 bln\
This is what Chinese bank representatives said this week after meeting with Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries Minster Yiannis Diamantidis in China.
Banking officials that met with Diamantidis said that the terms of the loans will be among the most competitive available on the international market and that any bureaucratic problems that may arise will be handled.
Among the lenders expected to be involved in the funding are Bank of China, China Development Bank and Ex-Im.
In the meeting with Captain Wei Jiafu, the chairman of shipping giant China Ocean Shipping Company (Cosco), it was agreed that Cosco would boost its presence in Piraeus and look into further investment possibilities regarding ports, ship building operations and logistics.
Tsakos tipped as latest Greek to order
---Tsakos Group is being tipped as the latest Greek owner to sign up for containership newbuildings.
Market sources say it has firmed up two 9,000-teu post-panamax vessels at Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering at $97m each.
Tsakos group general manager Harry Hajimichael says no order has been placed and would not be drawn on whether a deal is close to being inked.
They would also be its first post-panamax orders, at more than twice the size of any other containership in its fleet of 11.
Currently, its largest boxships are the 4,000-teu panamaxes Hanjin Elizabeth (built 1992) and Hanjin Irene (built 1994).
Prior to this, Tsakos bought secondhand containerships. It owns some smaller vessels that are benefitting from a resurgent charter market.
They include the 1,625-teu Irenes Logos (built 1995), which has just been fixed to Maersk Line for 12 months at a relatively strong $9,700 per day.
Tsakos is an existing client of Sungdong. It previously booked six long-range-one (LR1) products tankers, two aframax tankers and two suezmaxes at the Tongyeong-based yard.
Sungdong has since delivered the products tankers and is due to deliver the 115,000-dwt and 158,000-dwt tankers this year.
The privately owned yard has so far bagged six 9,000-teu boxships of newbuildings worth KRW 650bn ($582m) from European owners this year.
Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) and Greek shipowner Costamare are behind the orders, taking four and two ships each, respectively.
Sungdong will be delivering the first two at the end of next year with the rest following at three-month intervals.
Meanwhile, sources say Goldenport of Greece, which was reported to have booked two 3,600-teu newbuildings at Sungdong in November, is looking to upgrade them to 4,700 teus.
Goldenport commercial director John Dragnis points out that the company has never announced or confirmed the reported orders but comments that both the 3,600-teu and 4,700-teu designs are likely to be used in the north-south trades and the larger design is more likely to fit the pattern.
He notes that when UK-listed Goldenport acquires a ship or commits to a newbuilding project, it makes an announcement in line with its stock-exchange obligations.
Goldenport was said to have paid close to $52m a piece for the 3,600-teu newbuildings and the vessels are set for delivery by late 2012.
By Irene Ang, Gillian Whittaker and Ian Lewis Singapore, Athens and Genoa
Published: 23:01 GMT, 24 Feb 11 | updated: 22:41 GMT, 23 Feb 11
Mitropoulos and Round Table maintain anti-piracy pressure
---Tuesday, 22 February 2011 03:17
During a February 17 meeting between IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos and industry and seafarer representatives, all re-iterated the need for urgent and coordinated action from governments, the shipping industry and the maritime community to address the escalating crisis of kidnap and ransom of seafarers off the coast of Somalia, in the Gulf of Aden, in the Arabian Sea and in the western Indian Ocean.
The meeting agreed on the need for compliance with the IMO guidance and best management practices; the need for improved cooperation, communication with, and deployment of, naval forces operating in the area; and the need for more proactive measures to avoid ships becoming victim to this organised criminal activity at sea.
In noting the reported use of armed personnel by some shipowners in response to the growing threat of piracy attacks, the meeting maintained the position recommended by IMO (namely, that this should be decided by the shipping companies concerned in consultation with the flag state) and, although recognising that some shipping companies felt compelled to employ such personnel, reiterated the need to ensure that the recommended preventive, evasive and defensive measures, including reporting, are effectively implemented.
The meeting welcomed the initiatives taken by IMO towards development of regional capacity through the Djibouti Code of Conduct and recognised the need for further engagement with navies and coastguards from the region.
The contribution being made by naval forces currently operating in the region to protect both humanitarian aid shipments to Somalia operated by the World Food Programme (WFP) and merchant shipping, while also keeping open the vital shipping lanes of the Gulf of Aden and that linking the Persian Gulf with the Cape of Good Hope, was warmly welcomed.
The secretary-general reported on his efforts to encourage increased provision of support to naval and military activities in the region and again called upon governments and states, including littoral states, to recognise the scale of the issue and its potential impacts and to deploy further military assets accordingly.
The secretary-general highlighted the requirement for financial support for both the IMO Djibouti Code Trust Fund and International Contact Group trust funds to enable the establishment of information-sharing centres and training for experts in the region and the ongoing development of an international infrastructure for the prosecution of captured pirates.
As one of the key objectives of the 2011 IMO theme is to provide care, during the post traumatic period, for those attacked of hijacked by pirates and for their families, the meeting welcomed information on the work being undertaken by a group of industry organisations in response.
DnB NOR, NordLB, UniCredit Will Increase Shipping-Finance Deals
---By Niklas Magnusson - Feb 25, 2011 1:00 AM GMT+0200
NordLB is expanding in Hamburg and Asia to capture an increase in demand, Faak said. The Hamburg office, with five employees in shipping finance, will hire two people by the end of the third quarter and may add more employees, he said. The bank also will expand its Singapore operations, Faak said.
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Top Greek ports official quits in row
--- * Monday 21 February 2011, 16:11 * by Nigel Lowry
Mr Diamantidis effectively sacked his lieutenant last week with a decree asking for him to stand down, but Mr Vlachos declined for several days, citing his appointment through an open government procedure.
The minister cited a breakdown in communication after the pair had disagreed on a number of issues.
Little more is known about the substance of the rift, but Mr Vlachos had seen the nature of his job undergo several changes in the past year.
He was originally appointed just over a year ago as secretary-general for the whole shipping brief.
After a mid-year period when shipping policy was virtually in a vacuum, responsibility for the industry was transferred to a more specialised new ministry of Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries.
A deputy minister, Elpida Tsouri, was appointed, while Mr Vlachos was confined to the ports sector.
Dramatic changes to port policy have been drawn up to create three major geographical port systems spanning the country.
A prominent maritime economist, Mr Vlachos is expected to return to an academic career.
Prior to his appointment by the government, he was chairman of the department of maritime studies at the University of Piraeus and had 16 published books and monographs to his name.