Iron ore shipments to China have been disrupted after deadly explosions at Tianjin’s port prompted authorities to restrict vessels calling at the facility that funnels commodities into the north and ships out steel.
“There was no damage to the iron ore discharging berths following the explosion,” Melbourne-based BHP Billiton Ltd said in a statement yesterday.
“However, shipments and port operations have been disrupted as a result and we are working with our customers to minimize any potential impact,” it said.
Mills in China are the world’s largest buyers of iron ore and the blasts, which rocked the city late on Wednesday night killing at least 44, will prompt shippers, traders and users to tap stockpiles and seek alternative routes.
The explosions occurred at a hazardous-goods warehouse, according to a statement from the port.
Iron ore prices dropped to the lowest level since at least 2009 last month as miners including BHP boosted output while demand growth stalled in China.
“It is unclear the extent of the disruption likely to be experienced to port activities,” Fortescue Metals Group Ltd said in a statement.
The company is Australia’s third-largest shipper.
“We will be monitoring the situation,” it said.
Material damage to the port could result in short-term disruptions to iron ore delivery, as well as lost or damaged stockpiles, Clarksons Platou Securities Inc said in a note.
“This is a developing story, which could have a potentially positive short-term impact on pricing,” it said.
The port is located about 160km southeast of Beijing in Tianjin municipality.
“Some deliveries will be disrupted,” Tianjin Maritime Safety Administration press officer Wang Xiaolei (王曉磊) said.
In addition to iron ore, shipments of oil were also disrupted at the port.
According to a post yesterday on the official microblog of TMSA, oil tankers and vessels carrying “hazardous products” were barred from calling at the port.
Tianjin is the 10th busiest container port globally and has become a northern gateway for shipments of ore, coal, automobiles and oil into China, the world’s biggest user of energy, metals and grains.
About 17 percent of the nation’s ethylene imports, 15 percent of its wheat deliveries and 30 percent of steel exports in the first half of 2015 were transported via the Tianjin customs area, government data show.
“The blast will have some direct impact to port operators and commodities importers and exporters in the near term,” said Helen Lau, an analyst at Argonaut Securities (Asia) Ltd in Hong Kong.
“It will have little impact to commodities prices and imports as other ports across China’s eastern coastline, especially those ports in nearby Shandong and Hebei provinces, could easily digest the capacity Tianjin may not be able to handle,” she said.
HEAVY INVESTMENT: Moody’s affirmed the firm’s ‘Aa3’ rating with a ‘stable’ outlook due to its leading position in the industry and ability to match customer requirements Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) revenue this year is expected to increase about 21 percent to NT$1.29 trillion (US$44.01 billion) from NT$1.07 trillion last year, driven by strong demand for advanced 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips mainly used in smartphones and high-performance computing devices, a Moody’s Investors Service report on Wednesday said. TSMC’s rate of revenue growth next year is to increase to 7.5 percent, the ratings agency said. The company, which supplies 5-nanometer chips for Apple Inc’s new iPad series, has introduced the advanced chips ahead of its competitors and gained a significant share of the market for the foundry industry’s
Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) yesterday said that its insurance unit would adjust its investment portfolio after being banned from buying new stocks a day earlier by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC). “We will research what we can do based on the commission’s specific instructions after we receive the regulator’s formal documents,” Shin Kong Financial spokesman Sunny Hsu (徐順鋆) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The commission on Tuesday fined Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) NT$27.6 million (US$941,722) for reckless investment, and demanded that the insurer reduce its overseas investment ratio from 43 percent to 39 percent. The fine would affect
Taipei Times: When do you think the hospitality industry can return to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic? How does Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH, 晶華酒店集團) fare this quarter and beyond? FIH chairman Steve Pan (潘思亮): The virus outbreak will have a serious impact on business travel, driven mainly by meetings, incentive travel, conferences and exhibitions over the past three decades. For the past six months, many businesspeople have grown used to exchanging information on the Internet, where more people can participate. The trend might sustain for three to five years until people are vaccinated and it is safe to
EQUITIES TAIEX moves sharply higher The TAIEX moved sharply higher yesterday as buying focused on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) after a strong showing by its American Depositary Receipts overnight. However, the gains were capped after the benchmark index breached 13,000 points and ran into technical hurdles, prompting investors to turn cautious, dealers said. At the end of the session, the TAIEX was up 131.11 points, or 1.02 percent, at 12,976.76. Turnover was NT$206.328 billion (US$7.04 billion), with foreign institutional investors buying a net NT$18.47 billion in shares, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed. TSMC rose 2.92 percent to close at NT$458.