Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 6, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • First View – PECOS RIVER

  • Brimstone consortium takes control of Sea Harvest

  • World first for FPT Durban

  • Move your operations or else, Mombasa’s clearing & forwarding agents told

  • Food, oil dominate 2008 global economy

  • Pic of the day – MSC KRYSTAL


    First View – PECOS RIVER

    The typically American offshore supply tug PECOS RIVER (723-gt) in Cape Town harbour in August 2008. Picture by Aad Noorland

    Brimstone consortium takes control of Sea Harvest

    Tiger Brands has accepted a R541.4 million offer from the Brimstone empowerment consortium for its 73.16% share of Sea Harvest, which will swell Brimstone’s share in the overall trawler fishing industry to 55%.

    Prior to the offer’s acceptance Brimstone held a 21.52% share in Sea Harvest. Company’s employees hold another 5.32%.

    The offer, although accepted by Tiger Brands, remains subject to various acts of diligence including approval from the Competitions Act, the Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism including the Marine and Coastal Management Department, and financial institutions.

    Tiger Brands CEO Peter Matlare said in a statement issued that Brimstone has from time to time indicated a desire to increase its shareholding in Sea Harvest.

    "This transaction enables Tiger Brands to assist Brimstone in achieving its objectives, and will result in a significant increase in Sea Harvest's empowerment shareholder base," he said.

    Brimstone’s CEO Mustaq Brey said that over the years Brimstone has shown that it has the ability and experience to add value to the companies in which it has invested. “The controlling stake (in Sea Harvest) signifies that this is a sound business transaction, not just an empowerment deal.”

    Brey said Brimstone is familiar with the operations of Sea Harvest.

    “Brimstone is positive about the long-term outlook for the international and local demand for Sea Harvest products, as well as strong rand diversification making it an attractive asset. The investment in Sea Harvest will boost Brimstone’s exposure to the food industry, which is typically resilient during difficult economic conditions.

    “We are committed to protecting and creating jobs in South Africa, as we have shown through our investments in other industrial assets,” he added.

    Sea Harvest, which employs approximately 2,200 people, accounts for more than 30% of the economic activity in the Saldanha/Vredenburg area. It was established in 1964 and is located in Saldanha Bay where the principal business is deep sea trawling, targeting mainly Cape Hake for the local and export markets.

    According to Sea Harvest’s MD George Bezuidenhout, the significant empowerment credentials of the Brimstone consortium will assist in Sea Harvest securing additional fishing licences and will help the company maintain its market leadership for the foreseeable future.

    He called it an exciting development for Sea Harvest and its employees. “We look forward to working closer with the experienced Brimstone team.”

    It is expected that the complexity of the transaction will take several months to finalise.

    World first for FPT Durban

    As the first export terminal in the world to be awarded the 360 Quality Code, FPT Durban, a Capespan subsidiary, will commit all supply chain parties to handle cargo in a way that will promote customer satisfaction, says the company in a statement issued yesterday.

    The 360 Quality Code is a new set of standards for specialised reefer shipping companies, cold stores and their service providers to ensure the quality of handling reefer cargo.

    “The accreditation instills fruit handling responsibility by ensuring a good temperature regime, plus less cargo handling,” saysFPT Durban general manager Neville de Klerk.

    He explained that this global standard would reduce product damage, as well as ensuring both accountability and a quality end-result.

    “What’s more, with the 360 Quality accreditation, it’s easy to provide exporters and producers with continual product status feedback. And should quality issues arise, the gaps can be closed promptly. This indeed further enhances South African fresh produce export standards.”

    To obtain the 360 Quality Code means not only excellent product handling, but also equipment has to be first-class. “By using terminals that maintain the 360 Quality Code standards, shipping lines can guarantee products arriving at their destination in mint condition,” de Klerk said.

    Dr Dawie Ferreira, CEO Capespan Logistics said that having travelled extensively to export terminals around the world, few of them can compare to the Durban port. “The latter definitely deserves the 360 Quality accreditation.”

    Launched in June 2005, the 360 Quality Code applies to all perishable and frozen cargoes carried under deck in specialised reefer vessels. The objective is to become the industry standard. With its 20 members, the 360 Quality Association appoints internationally recognised accreditation organisations to conduct the certification. In South Africa, this is handled by the PPECB.

    Move your operations or else, Mombasa’s clearing & forwarding agents told

    Mombasa’s clearing and forwarding agents have been warned to move their operations to outside the port confines or risk losing their licences.

    In a get tough measure the Kenya Revenue Authority’s commissioner-general Michael Maweru said that anyone that does not comply will be de-registered.

    "It is important for Kifwa (Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association) members to note that they do not have a right to withhold tax revenue that legitimately belongs to the Government," Mr Waweru warned. He said that delays in remitting money owed would lead to automatic penalties.

    Waweru’s statement follows a memorandum from Kifwa to its members to withhold payments of taxes until the directive instructing them to vacate the port has been rescinded. Agents claim the port has not reached the level of automation that would enable them to work elsewhere. The order to leave the port confines was issued in September when agents were given until 1 November to leave the port area and conduct their business to their offices.

    Agents claim the port has not reached desired automation levels that would enable them to operate from outside the harbour confines. source The Nation

    Food, oil dominate 2008 global economy

    by Michael Appel (BuaNews)

    Pretoria - The South African Reserve Bank's Monetary Policy Review (MPR), released on Tuesday highlighted that price increases in food and oil, coupled with a fluctuating exchange rate has dominated the economy in 2008.

    The inflation rate for the overall food price component within the Consume Price Index excluding interest on mortgages (CPIX) increased from 15.6 percent in March to 19.2 percent in August, before slowing to 17.9 percent in September 2008.

    The prices of grain products and of fats and oils rose particularly strongly this year, with the price of grain products rising 13.1 percent between March and September 2008.

    The price fluctuations of Brent Crude Oil have also played havoc on international markets skyrocketing from an average of per barrel in September 2007 to 6 per barrel in July 2008.

    However, by late October 2008 the price of oil plunged by 60 percent to below per barrel due to increasing concerns about slower global economic growth.

    The turmoil on global markets ignited by the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the United States earlier this year has led to the closing of major financial institutions, the repossession of assets, and the loss of public confidence in banks to lend responsibly.

    Inflation in developed and emerging economies has jumped to record highs with central banks grudgingly cutting interest rates or leaving them unchanged as global economic growth slowed substantially.

    Economic growth in the some of the world's most advanced economies in Europe, Asia and the United States have slowed so substantially that the word "economic recession" is balancing on the tips of economists tongues.

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that the US economy was projected to contract moderately during the second half of 2008 as the market value of the US housing stock was rapidly reduced by a continued decline in US housing prices.

    Inflation in the US is projected to increase from 2.9 percent in 2007 to 4.2 percent in 2008 said the South African Reserve Bank.

    "After advancing strongly in the first quarter of 2008, momentum in Japan's economy quickly waned, and real Gross Domestic Product [GDP] contracted at an annualised rate of 3 percent in the second quarter

    "The IMF forecasts real GDP growth in Japan of 0.7 percent in 2008 compared with the 2.1 percent recorded in 2007," read the MPR.

    The worst financial crisis the world has experienced since the Great Depression of the early 1930s has hit emerging economies harder than developed economies in some sectors such as commodities and currency exchange, in particular.

    South Africa has certainly not been immune to market turmoil and the inflation for September 2008 eased slightly to 13 percent from 13.6 percent in August 2008.

    The Reserve Bank indicated that is expected inflation to peak at an average rate of around 13 percent in the third quarter of 2008.

    Considering, hypothetically, the peak has now been reached, the MPR expects inflation to decline significantly in the first quarter of 2009, partly as a result of the reweighting and rebasing of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

    Economists predict that the reweighting of the consumer basket early next year will lead to a drop of between 1 or 2 percent in inflation.

    "Inflation is then expected to decline gradually, and to fall below the upper end of the inflation target range [of 3-6 percent] in the second quarter of 2010. Inflation is expected to average about 7.2 percent in 2009 and 5.9 percent in 2010," said the Reserve Bank.

    Pic of the day – MSC KRYSTAL

    The 2008-built container ship MSC KRYSTAL (66,242-gt) was pictured in Livorno, Italy in July this year. The newbuild ship is a sister vessel to another which is deployed on the South Africa trades, MSC ORIANE. Picture by Trevor Jones

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