SEYCHELLES TO IMPORT LIVESTOCK FROM KENYA

Seychelles will start importing poultry and Livestock meat products from Kenya, instead of Brazil, to help lower his citizens’ cost of living. This was said by visiting President Danny Faure to Kenya during his visit last week. The Seychelles head of state assured that enhanced business cooperation will see his country import meat products (Livestock) and increase cooperation with Kenya in terms of Maritime Security and Tourism.

Seychelles President Visiting Kenya Livestock Sector

President Danny Faure also had a visit at the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) factory during his tour to see the company's products in Athi River, Kenya, to see the standard of Kenyan Livestock set for Export to Seychelles. 

Currently Seychelles imports most of its poultry and beef products from Brazil. According to Kenya Meat Commission’s website the factory is the biggest and most modern licensed export abattoir in East, Central, and the Horn of Africa. 

President Faure was accompanied by the Seychelles Fisheries and Agriculture Minister Michael Benstrong; Ports and Marine Minister Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, chairperson of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce (SCCI) for a tour of the facilities and further explore the possibilities of enhancing cooperation for the trading of agricultural meat products between Seychelles and Kenya. An agreement, derived following successful bilateral talks by President Faure and President Kenyatta on Monday.

African Shipping Line does Livestock shipping from many ports in Africa Including Mombasa, Mogadishu, Berbera and Djibouti.

CONTAINER SHIPPING SET TO GROW IN 2017 : MAERSK GROUP

Container shipping may grow 2%-4% in 2017 as economy revives: Maersk
Singapore (Platts)--30 Mar 2017 456 am EDT/856 GMT

Cargo volumes moved in container ships are expected to grow 2%-4% this year, up from around 1.5%-2% in 2016 as the industry capitalizes on a revival in demand in the US, Europe, China and major oil exporting countries, a senior Maersk executive said Thursday.

"The economy in both Europe and US is picking up though it is not back to the heyday, there is a lot of talk of Chinese economy growing. The oil export-dependent economies in West Africa and South America will benefit for the increase in crude prices," Group Representative Asia Pacific, Maersk Group, Rene Piil Pedersen, said at the Seatrade roundtable discussion in Singapore.



He said oil prices were a double-edged sword as they increased shipping lines' costs but expressed optimism they could be reflected in freight rates.

"It is only when oil prices rise and fall very fast that they are difficult to pass on to the customers," Pedersen said. Maersk's fleet of container ships is less than eight years old compared with the global average of 12, he said. "For an energy efficient fleet, higher fuel prices are less of a problem."

While the demand for container ships is rising, there is a large overall global program of new builds and "there is a big question of how that capacity will be managed," he said.

Last year, there was a significant amount of recycling and scrapping of older ships, that kept the supply in check, he added.

The World Container Index assessed by Drewry Maritime Research, a composite of container freight rates on eight major routes to or from the US, Europe and Asia, fell almost 3% week on week to $1,350.61/40 feet container as of March 23. Nevertheless, the index is more than double what it was a year earlier.

"The increase compared with the previous year is from a very low base and we are not out of the woods yet," Pedersen said.

CONSOLIDATION

The supply and demand for container ships is now more balanced but better capacity management will be required, Pedersen said. "Some consolidation in the container shipping sector has been announced but these are early days and it is yet to take effect," he said.



He was referring to New Ocean Alliance that is expected to begin operations from Saturday and includes the Evergreen Line, CMA CGM, Cosco China Shipping and Orient Overseas Container Line.

Another grouping, called The Alliance has brought together members including Hapag-Lloyd, Yang Ming, MOL, NYK Line, and 'K' Line.

Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co. or MSC, the two market leaders by deployed capacity, already have a 2M Alliance in place. The two companies also have a strategic cooperation agreement with Hyundai Merchant Marine or HMM.

One ramification of the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping last year is the wave of consolidation that followed in the container shipping industry. He said at one point of time around $14 billion worth of cargo was stranded at sea or ports due to the bankruptcy.

"If one has to survive, it has offer a global product. You can't be a small fish in a big lake," Pedersen said. "The consolidation is not huge, the top 20 container shipping companies have now become the top 12. There are still a lot of small players," he said.

The next two years would be tricky because demand would increase but a lot of ships will hit the water, he warned.

Maersk alone will take delivery of nine 14,000 TEU and 11, 19,000 TEU new container ships this year, Pedersen said. The company has not placed any new orders so far this year.

REDUCING COSTS

Pedersen stressed that there was an increasing need to transform the containers business through digitalization.

"This is a huge opportunity for Maersk. Until around three years ago making a booking with us required a couple of hours, now it is in minutes and by next year we want to reduce it as low as five seconds," he said.

A better cost structure around the containers, container ships, terminals and cranes could reduce the overall costs of handling cargoes, he added.

Pedersen cited the example of a case study Maersk did sometime ago, when tracking a cargo of flowers and avocados from East Africa to to Northern Europe revealed involvement of close to 200 sets of documentation or paperwork and engagement with 30 different entities.

"The future lies in using a much more transparent and efficient process to dealing with these entities called the block chain technology which will be seamless and save time and costs," he said.

On the new global norms for sulfur emissions that will be implemented less than three years from now in 2020, Pedersen said the Maersk Group would be ready but was concerned over enforcement.

"The rules are clear, what is not clear is how different [geographical] jurisdictions will police it and may disrupt the level playing field," he said, adding that if were to happen, those like Maersk who followed the rules might be at a disadvantage to others who did not.

ILLEGAL FISHING IN SOMALIA COAST : BIG CAUSE OF PIRACY

Somali pirates who seized a Comoros-flagged oil tanker earlier this week after five years without a major Sea Piracy off the Indian Ocean have released the ship and its crew without conditions, officials said late Thursday.

Security official Ahmed Mohamed told The Associated Press the pirates disembarked the ship, which was heading to Bossaso port, the region's commercial hub, with its eight Sri Lankan crew members aboard. Monday's hijacking of an oil tanker off Somalia's northern coast surprised the international shipping community after several years without a pirate attack on a large commercial vessel there. Naval patrols by NATO members and other countries like China had calmed the crucial global trade route that once saw hundreds of attacks.

But people in this sleepy village saw something like this coming. Some are former pirates themselves who quit in recent years as the international pressure grew and armed guards appeared on cargo ships. They turned to fishing but now say they're the ones being targeted at sea.



In recent years, local officials have warned that rampant over fishing by foreign trawlers was destroying the livelihoods of Somali coastal communities, stoking fears of a return of piracy as a way to make money to secure their way of life. They have blamed Yemeni, Chinese, Indian, Iranian and Djibouti-flagged fishing boats and trawlers.

“The illegal fishing is a very serious problem. Fishing has declined, equipment was confiscated and they destroyed our livelihoods and properties,” said Aisha Ahmed, a fish dealer. The chairman of the fishermen's association, Mohamed Saeed, said frustrations are growing. “They have no choice now but to fight,” he said.

Somalis say illegal, unlicensed, and unregulated fishing forced them to turn to piracy 10 years ago in order to recoup their losses. "We got fed up and took guns to the sea," said one Bosaso fisherman, Mohamed Adan Ahmed.



The hijacked oil tanker was anchored Tuesday off the town of Alula, local elder Salad Nur told The Associated Press. He said young fishermen, including former pirates, had gone searching for a foreign ship to seize out of frustration.

“Foreign fishermen destroyed their livelihoods and deprived them of proper fishing,” he said.

The armed men were demanding a ransom for the ship's release and were holding the crew captive, the European Union anti-piracy operation off Somalia said late Tuesday after making contact with the ship's master. Illegal fishing needs addressing, said John Steed, the director of Oceans Beyond Piracy. “It's an aggressive business and in some cases international fleets pressure, even attack, local fisherman, which breeds resentment,” he wrote in an email.

“We have a famine and food is short. Fish is one answer,” he said, referring to the drought that Somalia recently declared a national disaster. “Fishing communities are angry and out-of-work fishermen have become - and are - pirates.”

In December, NATO ended its anti-piracy mission off Somalia's waters because there was no piracy for the past 4 years. Abdirizak Mohamed Ahmed, the director of the Anti-Piracy Agency in northern Somalia's semi autonomous state of Puntland, said he wasn't surprised by Monday's hijacking. The Incident happened in the Northern Puntland state.

Ahmed said fake fishing licenses issued to foreign fishermen and lenient enforcement of regulations by local authorities are major factors in the increase of illegal fishing. Fishermen have reported several cases of attacks by illegal fishermen, including close-ramming of their boats by trawlers. One fisherman died and another was seriously injured after a trawler ran over a small skiff off the coast early this month, Ahmed said.

Local fishermen also have reported incidents of foreign fishermen opening fire at them or robbing them of their catches before being chased away.

“It's matter of life and death. Now we have to fight at any cost,” Bile Hussein, a Somali pirate commander, said Tuesday, after the new hijacking was reported. He said he was in contact with the armed men on the seized oil tanker and that they had not yet decided on how much ransom to demand.

The ship in the Monday’s incident was owned by Flair Shipping Trading FZE in the United Arab Emirates and linked to UAE-based ship management firm Aurora Ship Management FZE. It was flying under the flag of Liberia at the time. It was not immediately clear if the companies were still linked to the ship.

Argyrios Karagiannis, the managing director of Flair Shipping, declined to comment. Calls and emails to Aurora went unanswered.

Concerns about piracy off Africa’s coast have largely shifted to the Gulf of Guinea.