EVERGREEN EXPANSION IN EASTERN AFRICA

In order to meet increasing and diverse market demands, Evergreen Line has announced enhancements to its current Asia – East Africa service (AEF) – adding to its direct calls in Central & Southern China.

Five vessels are currently deployed on the AEF service – three operated by Evergreen Line, the remaining two by COSCO and X-Press Feeders. To accommodate the extended service to China, Evergreen Line and COSCO will each provide one more vessel. As such a total of seven ships with an average capacity of 4,200 TEU will be utilized with a service rotation of seven weeks.
In addition to the current AEF calls in Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Kenya, the extended weekly service will provide a direct connection between three Chinese ports and Kenya. The jointly operated service will commence with a sailing from Shanghai on July 5th, 2018 and have the following port rotation:

Shanghai – Ningbo – Shekou – Singapore – Tanjung Pelepas – Port Klang (West Port) – Colombo – Mombasa – Colombo – Port Klang (West Port) – Tanjung Pelepas – Singapore – Shanghai


The economic development of the East African region in recent years has been one of consistent growth. As a major trading partner, Chinese investment plays an important role in this growth and, in particular has lead infrastructure construction, a significant driver of increased import cargoes to the area. The AEF service extension therefore is an appropriate reaction to customer demands within the China – East Africa trade. With the advent of peak season in July, this upgraded AEF service will certainly be a great assistance for shippers on this trade lane.

Source: Evergreen

CHINA GIVES $6.3 BILLION IN A LAST MINUTE OOCL BUY OUT

China’s anti-monopoly bureau has given the green light to COSCO’s $6.3bn takeover of OOIL, including its container arm, OOCL. The stock exchange eleventh-hour notification made no reference to the outstanding approval still required by US foreign investment regulators.

A joint statement from COSCO and OOIL advised that, on 29 June, the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the State Administration for Market Regulation of the PRC had decided “not to prohibit the offer”.


Chinese regulatory approval came just one day before the deadline to fulfil all of the pre-conditions of the deal, set when the takeover was announced on 7 July 2017.  The parties to the deal, which includes a 9.9% minority share for state-owned Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), said that following the final condition having been met, the ‘composite document’ would be despatched “within seven days” from 29 June after which a further announcement would be made.

Alphaliner noted that under the terms of the deal, COSCO has until Friday to submit the final ‘composite document’ to complete the acquisition.

It added: “The two companies’ announcement failed to mention the status of the review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) that is focused on ownership of OOCL’s Long Beach Container Terminal.”


The consultant explained: “The US terminal would come under COSCO control and CFIUS approval is still pending due to national security concerns.” In the past year, CFIUS has vetoed a number of deals involving Chinese buyers on the basis of a “threat to national security”.

Indeed, against the backdrop of an escalating trade spat between the US and China, the Trump administration made it known yesterday it intended to block China Mobile’s application to provide telecoms services in the US, again citing national security concerns.


In April, COSCO’s vice-chairman, Huang Xiaowen, said the company was “still answering questions” from CFIUS relating to OOCL assets in the US. The sticking point seemed to be OOCL’s Pier E / Pier F Long Beach Container Terminal which would add to COSCO’s controlling interests at two other facilities at the San Pedro Bay port complex.

Since Mr Xiaowen’s response to investors there has been no official update on the carrier’s negotiations with CFIUS.

Separately, Alphaliner said shares in COSCO Shipping Holdings had plunged by 25% since June amid mounting China-US trade tension, and were further hit last week by ripples from Hapag-Lloyd’s profit warning, which spooked liner shipping investors.

Assuming the COSCO/OOCL deal completes, it will propel the combined entity to third place in the ocean carrier rankings, with a fleet capacity of 2.74m teu, ahead of CMA CGM’s 2.62m teu.

COSCO says it intends to maintain the OOCL brand after the acquisition, but there have been no details and, according to one of The Loadstar’s sources, OOCL staff have not been informed whether their jobs are secure in the new set up.


LIVESTOCK EXPORTS INCREASE FOR HAJJ : SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia has lifted the ban on Somali livestock imports, official confirmed.

Livestock, Range and Forestry minister Sheikh Nur Mohamed Hassan said the decision followed discussions with the Saudi authorities. Saudi Arabia banned the Somali livestock imports in September 2016 following reports of an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in the Horn of Africa country.


“Saudi officials realized that the Somali livestock were healthy,” said Mr Hassan adding “The health and quality concerns raised by the Saudis have now been cleared,”


The minister confirmed that export would soon resume.

“Up to 1.1 million goats will be exported to Saudi Arabia prior to this year’s Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca about two months from now),” stated Mr Hassan.

Somalia also exports livestock to Egypt, Oman and Yemen. However, Saudi Arabia remains the largest absorber of camels, cattle, goats and sheep from Somalia.

Somalia has previously exported 5,000 herd of cattle to the United Arab Emirates courtesy of the AFRICAN SHIPPING LINE -SOMALIA through Mogadishu and Berbera Ports. The company is a regular exporter of livestock from Somalia to the Gulf countries.

Other Countries that have Livestock Exports include Kenya, Djibouti. Livestock Import countries include Mauritius, Seychelles Turkey.