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Nigerian Ports Record Mixed Performance as Vessel Traffic Decline 2.3% in Q1



Container Shipping
  • Nigerian Ports Record Mixed Performance as Vessel Traffic Decline 2.3% in Q1

Despite efforts by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to ensure the nation’s ports run efficiently, Nigerian ports recorded mixed fortunes in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018.

Performance report released by the NPA during the Nigerian Port Consultative Council (PCC) quarterly meeting held in Lagos revealed that the number of vessels which called at the ports during the period shrunk by 2.3 per cent.

However, there was an improvement in the turn-around time of vessels. This increase, according to the report, was because of concerted efforts of the management of NPA to improvement on port infrastructure and implementation of federal government’s Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business.

Analysis of the numbers showed that vessel traffic slumped from 1,008 vessels in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 985 vessels during the period under review, representing a decline of 2.3 per cent.

Gross tonnage of ship stood at 31,693,650 as against 32,598,477 recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017, representing a decline of 2.8 per cent.

In the same vein, container traffic in the Q1 of 2018 dropped. Further analysis of the statistics showed that within the period under review, container traffic stood at 387,016 Total Equivalent Unit (TEUs), indicating a decrease of 7.1 per cent from 416,806 TEUs handled by the same ports in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Also, vehicle traffic within the period under review dropped as a total of 37, 584 vehicles were handled by NPA within the period under review, representing a decrease of 13.2 per cent from 43,338 units received in the previous quarter.

Conversely, the ports recorded an impressive cargo throughput, recording 18,729,889 metric tons of goods in Q1 as against the 17,250,334 metric tons of cargo the seaports received in the fourth quarter of 2017, indicating an increase of 8.6 per cent.

The inward traffic stood at 10,617,318 metric tons, representing 56.7 per cent of cargo throughput at the ports in the Q1 of 2018 while the outward cargo traffic was said to be 8,112,671 metric tons representing 46.3 per cent of the total cargo traffic.

However, the turn-around time of vessels stood at 3.8 days when compared with 4.1 days in fourth quarter of 2017 while berth occupancy rate was 32.8 per cent as against 33.8 per cent on fourth quarter 2017.

The Q1 2018 witnessed a significant growth in cargo traffic when compared with fourth quarter of 2017, however, there was a decrease of 2.3 per cent in the number of ships that call to the ports but the corresponding cargo traffic increased by 2.3 per cent due to increase in export cargoes especially LNG shipment and agricultural products.

Meanwhile, stakeholders said the decline in the port performance may not be unconnected to the poor port access roads, security challenges and some government’s policies which are not considered friendly to boost vessels traffic.

The NPA had in a bid to ensure efficiency at the port axed the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and others who were affected in the executive order from the ports across the country.

The Managing Director of the NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman gave the directive at a stakeholders’ meeting comprising the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), operators and major stakeholders in the port.

She listed the NPA as the landlord, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Police, Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the Port Health Authority (PHA) as the only agencies approved to operate in the ports.

“These are the seven agencies that are mandated and have approval to operate in the port, any agency that is operating in the port outside of these agencies are not required to and they should be aware that they need to vacate whatever location they are currently having within the port because the current approval and provision provides that they are not to operate in the port,” she said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade long experience in the global financial market. Contact Samed on Twitter: @sameolukoya

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Barclays Tell High Net Worth Investors to Shun Africa and Other Emerging Economies



Barclays Bank

Barclays to High Net Worth Clients, Stay Off Africa and Other Emerging Economies

Barclays, one of the world’s largest investment banks, has started advising high net worth clients to stay off Africa and other emerging economies.

According to Barclays, despite the recent recovery noticed in emerging-market stocks, investors are better off avoiding the risks that still abound in emerging nations. Barclays Plc, however, advised high net worth clients to focus on U.S equities despite the S&P’s breakneck rally.

The investment bank said emerging economies do not have enough fiscal buffers to spend their way out of the COVID-19 pandemic and will likely continue to struggle in the near-time compared to the US with 12 percent of gross domestic product fiscal-support.

It said the huge US stimulus may halt rebound in emerging-markets stocks as more money is expected to flow into the world’s largest economy and its European counterparts.

“Compared to the U.S., emerging-market economies appear more vulnerable,” said Haider, the London-based managing director and head of global growth markets. “Their central banks have less room to maneuver, their governments may not be able to provide unlimited support and equity markets, given their sector mix, can be more challenged by an economic slowdown.”

Barclays added that even after 33 percent rebound in stocks of emerging markets since the panic selloff subsided in March, stocks are still down by 9 percent from year-to-date while the US S&P 500 stocks are up by 45 percent. Presently, their stocks trading at a 36 percent discount to US stocks, up from 25 percent three months ago.

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Crude Oil Rises to $43.1 Per Barrel on Production Cuts Extension



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  • Crude Oil Hits $43.1 Per Barrel Following OPEC’s Production Cuts Extension

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil price is measured, rose by 1.25 percent on Monday during the Asian trading session following OPEC and allies’ agreement to extend crude oil cuts to the end of July.

OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to extend production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day reached in April to July on Saturday.

In the virtual conference, delegates agreed that members, including Nigeria and Iraq presently struggling to attain a 100 percent compliance level must keep to the agreement or be forced to do so in subsequent months.

Nigeria, Iraq and others failed to keep to the cartel’s agreement in May after reports show that Nigeria only managed to attain a 19 percent compliance level during the month while Iraq struggled to attain just 38 percent in the same month.

Russia and Saudi Arabia, the two largest producers of the group, warned members to stick to the agreed quota if they want to rebalance the global oil market.

While the errant producers such as Iraq and Nigeria have vowed to reach 100% conformity and compensate for prior underperformance, we still think they will likely continue to have some commitment issues over the course of the summer,” said Helima Croft, head of global commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

The potential return of Libyan output could also cause considerable challenges for the OPEC leadership.

Earlier on Monday, Brent crude oil hits $43.1 per barrel, more than a month record-high, before pulling back slightly to $42.83 per barrel.

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Gold Dips by 2 Percent on Better Than Expected Job Report



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  • Gold Dips by 2 Percent on Better Than Expected Job Report

Gold prices declined by 2 percent on Friday following a better than expected US non-farm payroll report.

The report showed an increase of 2.5 million payroll numbers against a decline of 7.5 million predicted by many experts.

The surprise number boosted investors’ confidence in US recovery as many dumped their haven investment (gold) for the stock market.

“We had significantly stronger-than-expected U.S. payroll numbers – an increase of 2.5 million versus an expectation of a decline of 7.5 million – that 10-million swing has brought forward expectations of the economic recovery in the United States,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.

Spot gold immediately declined by 1.9 percent per ounce to $1,678.81 while the U.S. gold futures slid 2.6 percent to settle at $1,683.

Gold was also being pressured by stronger yields and a slightly firmer dollar, “meaning the opportunity cost to hold gold in the portfolio has gone up,” Melek added.

The surprise didn’t stop there, US Dow Jones was up 614 points despite the protest going on the US and US-China tension.

Also, NASDAQ rose by 29 points while the S&P index added 50 points increase.

Note: Investors generally increase their investments in gold and other haven assets during a crisis to avert risk exposure and do the opposite once they sense a better economy.

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