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The week in charts: Dark fleet consolidates Russian oil shipments dominance | Reward outweighs risk for Ukraine’s Danube traders | Box spot rates hold

Lloyd’s List weekly showing of the data and figures behind our news, analysis and markets coverage

Non-domestic arrivals to Israel slow as security risks rise, fewer tankers are shipping under the G7 cap, and boxship charter rates still falling while terms get shorter 

THE number of anonymously owned, elderly tankers from the dark fleet* loading oil from Russia has surpassed Greece-linked vessels for a second consecutive month, as higher oil prices continue to recalibrate market responses to Western sanctions, writes markets editor Michelle Wiese Bockmann. 

Those tankers defined as being part of the dark fleet comprised 39% of vessels that called at five key Russian Baltic and Black Sea ports during October, when measured by deadweight, Lloyd’s List analysis shows.

*Lloyd’s List defines a tanker as part of the dark fleet if it is aged 15 years or over, anonymously owned and/or has a corporate structure designed to obfuscate beneficial ownership discovery, solely deployed in sanctioned oil trades, and engaged in one or more of the deceptive shipping practices outlined by US State Department guidance issued in May 2020. The figures exclude tankers tracked to government-controlled shipping entities such as Russia’s Sovcomflot, or Iran’s National Iranian Tanker Co, and those already sanctioned. Download our explainer on the different risk profiles of the dark fleet here

Lloyd’s List Intelligence Seasearcher subscribers can add the Lloyd’s List dark fleet to their watchlists here



Reward outweighs risk for owners trading into Ukraine’s Danube river ports

Continuous Russian drone attacks and the presence of sea mines make Ukraine’s Danube river ports a high-risk destination, but regional shipowners remain undeterred in their pursuit of lucrative trading opportunities, writes data analyst Bridget Diakun.

No meaningful drop in commercial trade has occurred despite Russia’s efforts to deter and disrupt trade, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence vessel-tracking data.

Between March and June, some 1,616 cargo-carrying vessels arrived at either Izmail, Reni or Kiliia. From July to October this figure was 1,599, a drop of 1.1%.



Box spot rates hold but competition fears emerge

Container spot freight rates continued to climb last week as carrier efforts to halt the fall continued to bear fruit, writes container shipping editor James Baker.

The Shanghai Containerised Freight Index was up 5.5%.

It remained above the 1,000 mark for the second week in a row.



Non-domestic arrivals to Israel slow as security risks rise

Arrivals of cargo-carrying vessels into Israeli ports from foreign markets are down 11.3% in the three weeks following Hamas’ attack on the country, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence vessel-tracking data.

Some 235 vessels berthed in one of Israel’s ports between October 8 and October 28, in the three weeks until October 7 this figure was 265.

Although vessel arrivals are down, we are not seeing a continuous decrease indicating a degree of stability, writes data analyst Bridget Diakun.



Boxship charter rates still falling while terms get shorter

Containership charter rates are continuing to descend with smaller tonnage worst affected by a slump in demand, which began to take effect in the second quarter, writes data analyst Rob Willmington.

Average containership charter rates have dropped by up to 38% since May, with 1,700 teu regional feeder units being most affected by oversupply, according to Braemar data.

Nevertheless, there are signs that rates for this sector may have reached a floor, at least for modern tonnage, as demand for regional feeder units is on the rise in Asia.



Should ships use grey methanol?

Stena Bulk and Proman last week started a fund to raise capital for methanol ships, and said that using grey methanol would help bridge the gap to greener fuels, write sustainability editor Enes Tunagur and multimedia editor Declan Bush.

But grey methanol, the normal kind made today, using natural gas, represents is 8% higher CO2-equivalent emissions than very low sulphur fuel oil on a well-to-wake basis, because of the emissions released from making it and transporting it. Green shipping researchers say this makes it worse for the climate than conventional fuel.



Bulker master stabbed in Malacca Strait robbery

A master was stabbed in an alleged sea robbery on bulk carrier Merchia (IMO: 9702493) in the Strait of Malacca, writes senior reporter Karen Ng.

According to data from Lloyd’s List Intelligence on October 31, the vessel was en route from South Africa to Singapore and was boarded by five to six perpetrators at 2000 hrs on October 26.

There have been 124 piracy and maritime crime incidents this year according to the Lloyd’s List Intelligence casualty database.

More than 60% of the incidents took place in the South China, Indochina, Indonesia and the Philippines region.



Only one boxship on the market for potential recycling

Data tracked by Lloyd’s List shows that 71 boxships with a combined capacity of some 138,000 teu have been sold for recycling since the fourth quarter of 2022.

Following a flurry of activity in September and October only one containership is being circulated for recycling sale. A broker contacted by Lloyd’s List said that the 1,228 teu Ocean Silkway (IMO: 9117131), which is due for special survey, is inviting offers for demolition, writes data analyst Rob Willmington.



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