Infospectrum Insights


Two Minutes with Clare-Marie Dobing, Head of ESG Desk

Posted by Martin Bird on 12 Sep 2022

This week, we spoke to Clare-Marie Dobing, who joined Infospectrum in March 2022 as the company’s first Head of ESG Desk.

Based in our Oxford office, she provides practical and actionable insights for market participants looking to understand the potential and growing impact of ESG regulations and norms on their business operations, financial position and reputational standing.

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Topics: ESG, Two Minutes With

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Posted by The ESG Desk on 22 Aug 2022

How are the maritime and bunkering sectors responding to the evolving drivers of ESG compliance, disclosure and commercial opportunities?

In the latest edition of Bunkerspot magazine our Head of ESG Desk, Clare-Marie Dobing, suggests market players are executing ESG strategies at two speeds. While typically larger and well-resourced counterparties will have the capability to drive a broad-based agenda forward, the large number of small to mid-scale businesses will need clarity in complexity, to deliver positive ESG returns incrementally, consistently and cautiously.

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Topics: Insights, ESG

Liner supercycle is fading

Posted by Neil Dekker on 11 Jul 2022

Container sector stakeholders have benefitted substantially from the extended container supercycle, but do they face tangible risks in the short-to-mid-terms?

Back in March 2020, few (if any) container industry stakeholders could have expected liner operator profitability to surge (and remain on that trajectory) to the extent it has over the ensuing two years. Developments in the container sector were largely counter-intuitive for 2020, and trends on both the revenue and profit fronts have continued to exceed previous records of performance on a sustained quarterly basis since mid-2020.

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Topics: Insights

Gas supply options examined as Europe seeks to halt reliance on Russia

Posted by David Flanagan on 28 Mar 2022

The EU-27 and UK are formulating plans to move away from long-standing links with Russia as a supplier of gas, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The reduction of coal use in power generation, the decommissioning of German nuclear plants, and the need for a clean, conventional energy source, have all pushed demand for gas in Europe to unprecedented levels. Around 40% of imports to the EU-27, around 130-140m tonnes per annum, come from Russia, and the bloc’s target of replacing this by 2027 with alternative sources will arguably see the biggest shake-up of the continent’s energy complex this century. But how can Europe change its gas import profile? Where will the gas come from? And what are the implications for the related logistics, infrastructure and shipping sectors?

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Topics: Insights

Two Minutes with Ju Leng Koh, Senior Analyst

Posted by Martin Bird on 17 Feb 2022

This week, we spoke to Ju Leng Koh, Senior Analyst, based in our Singapore office.

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Topics: Two Minutes With

Oil market kicks off 2022 in bullish fashion

Posted by David Flanagan on 11 Jan 2022

Market developments have again brought political risk to the fore

Wholesale oil prices have started the new year in upbeat mood after coming sharply off the boil in the fourth quarter (4Q) of 2021. The market had come under serious pressure towards the end of the year, slumping to around USD 65 per-barrel in mid-December, weighed down by a number of factors. The widely-traded US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) grade fell from a 2021 peak of around USD 83 per-barrel in October, to just above USD 65 per-barrel in mid-November. A recovery materialised in late December, and the market is now showing an even more bullish attitude in early January, with WTI prices moving back up towards the USD 80 per-barrel mark.

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Topics: Insights

Supply chain congestion: The pandemic and beyond

Posted by Neil Dekker on 22 Dec 2021

Initiated by the pandemic, pressure on the current global supply chain is likely to continue for the near to-mid-term, providing opportunities and risks for liner operators, and challenges for cargo owners

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only exacerbated long-standing shortfalls in the global supply chain, but it has also created new pressure points, including crew quarantines, local port shutdowns, and labour shortages. During the spring and summer of 2020, while ports mostly remained open to support continuing supply of essential goods, non-essential trades were actively deferred. At the time, given the uncertainty of the pandemic’s impact upon economic demand, as of March 2020, container sector analysts were forecasting a global decline in containerised cargo volumes of about 10% year-on-year for the full year. It was in this context that, by July 2020, as initial lockdowns were lifted, circa 9% of the global container fleet capacity (in excess of 300 vessels) had been idled. As pent-up demand drove global growth, there was a rapid readjustment of liner capacity as vessels quickly rejoined their former trade routes.

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Topics: Insights

Green Corridors: Bold ambitions for zero-emissions

Posted by The ESG Desk on 20 Dec 2021

On 10 November 2021, 22 countries signed the Clydebank Declaration (the Declaration) at the sidelines of the UN COP26 climate conference in Glasgow

The Declaration agreed to establish “at least six green corridors”, defined as zero-emission routes between two or more ports, by 2025, with “many more” to be in operation by 2030. The aim of these corridors is to hasten the use of zero-emissions vessels (as opposed to “net zero” vessels) in deep-sea trades, and accelerate the development of the associated infrastructure, and implementation of required regulations. While it is still early days, with details of these green corridors still to be mutually agreed in coming months (if not years), the Declaration foresees bringing together national governments, non-governmental organisations, and private sector participants, including fuel producers, vessel operators, and cargo owners, in a voluntary and collaborative approach. For the time being, these corridors are not expected to be exclusive, with conventionally-fueled ships allowed to continue operations on these routes alongside zero-emissions vessels. Signatories to the pact include Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, France, Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Denmark, the UK and US; China and India are notably absent.

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Topics: ESG

Climate, Covid, and Commodities: The “New Three C’s” of maritime risk

Posted by Ruta Samant on 13 Dec 2021

With an eye on 2022 and beyond, contextualising the "Three C's" of creditworthiness (Character, Capacity and Capital), Infospectrum highlights the collective and increasing relevance of the "New Three C's", namely, Climate, Covid, and Commodities to maritime risk

The uncertainty and volatility associated with these "New Three C’s” are expected to increasingly play a key role in counterparty risk appraisal in the near term.

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Topics: Insights

Market forces push US Oil and Gas industry reforms onto the backburner

Posted by David Flanagan on 8 Nov 2021

Almost one year on from Joe Biden's US election victory, his mandated moves to begin the "transition" (as he put it) from oil have taken a knock.

Well, several, to be more precise. During campaigning, Biden expressed the view that the US could shake off its reliance on oil and gas by the year 2050, and pledged to limit the spread of fracking (hydraulic fracturing), for example, by withdrawing leases on federal land. New oil and gas exploration approvals were also expected to be cut in the coming years, to reduce future oil and gas production activity. But, the first eleven months of the Biden Presidency have been dogged by an acute energy crisis, which has reinforced the importance of the United States in global oil and gas supply and thrown transition plans into confusion. We already know that several banks and pension funds have pledged not to fund new oil and gas projects, citing environmental concerns. And these moves, now accompanied by government pledges along the same lines, appear to be creating the impression of an impending future shortage of oil and gas. Hence, prices have escalated as a natural response to this fear.

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Topics: Insights

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