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H/t reader squodgy:
“Worldwide shipping is in dire straits.
We have seen the BDI (the index of future shipping capacity bookings) trundling along at the lowest level for over three years now.
and Nautilus (http://www.marinelink.com/news/bankruptcy-container371718)
have filed for bankruptcy as global trade grinds to a halt.
A.P. Moller, the biggest Container Ship Company in the world with all those blue MAERSK LINE ships we see everywhere, have been investing in 18000TEU giant ships of late.
One would really think they more than anyone would see the slump coming.
But quite obviously they are lacking in responsible management. But no.
So it shouldn’t come as a shock to read this….
“Worse than the one following the Global Financial Crisis.”
New orders received by Chinese shipyards – now infamous for undercutting competitors and sinking into bankruptcy – have plunged 58.5% so far this year through October, compared to last year, according to shipping industry data provider BIMCO, cited by the Nikkei. At South Korean shipyards, which include the three largest in the world, orders have plunged 84.2%; at Japanese shipyards, 90%.
They all focused on large dry-bulk vessels, tankers, and containerships. But this year, orders for tankers globally plunged 80% and for container ships 84%.
H/t reader squodgy:
“Now in view of the BDI, Caterpillar, Truck orders and so on, this was inevitable, and about two years overdue.
I still don’t understand why these geniuses didn’t see the writing on the wall when it was obvious five years ago that economic growth was unsustainable.
Global overcapacity, plunging demand, and a price war
In the first quarter, South Korean shipbuilders saw their orders collapse by 94.1% to 170,000 compensated gross tons (CGT), compared to the prior year. In terms of dollars, orders collapsed 94% from $6.5 billion in Q1 2015 in to just $390 million.
Global orders for new vessels in Q1 have collapsed too, but slightly less, according to the Export-Import Bank of Korea, cited by IHS Fairplay: down 71% year-over-year to 2.32 CGT.
North Korea has been searching for one of its submarines that has been missing for days off its east coast as tensions mount in the region, where U.S. and South Korean troops staged a big amphibious landing exercise today,
The submarine may be adrift under the sea or have sunk, perhaps after a technical problem during an exercise, CNN quoted U.S. officials with intelligence of secret U.S. monitoring of the North’s activities as saying.
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Punjab authorities have closed down schools from Jan 26 to 31 because of biting cold, a private TV channel reported.
Life is almost paralysed by the biting cold in nine upazilas of the district. The poor are burning hay and fallen leaves to keep them warm.
Nine deaths believed to stem from hypothermia reported in Bueng Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Tak, Rayong and Udon Thani provinces.
Along with severe cold
In addition, the accompanying low temperatures have caused disasters for farmers across the nation.
Buffaloes have recently died due to the extremely cold weather.
Guangzhou residents were excited Sunday to observe snow falling in their subtropical city for the first time in 88 years.
Schools light bonfires, army readies help
People and livestock in upland areas of northeastern Laos are struggling with the freezing cold.
Okinawa’s main island in southwestern Japan gets its first measurable snowfall in history.
In the south, sleet fell on Amami Oshima Island for the first time since 1901. Residents there usually enjoy temperatures of around 17 degrees Celsius this time of year.
On Tuesday, North Korea announced it had “successfully” tested a hydrogen bomb.
According to Kim Jong-Un, the test was necessary because America is “a gang of cruel robbers” hell bent on waging nuclear war. “This is a self-defensive step for reliably defending the peace on the Korean Peninsula and regional security from the danger of nuclear war caused by the U.S.-led imperialists,” Kim said.
– Global Trade In Freefall: South Korea Exports Crash Most Since 2009 (ZeroHedge, Sept 1, 2015):
While the market’s attention overnight was focused on China’s crumbling manufacturing and service PMI, data which was already hinted in the flash PMI reports earlier in August, the real stunner came not from China but from South Korea, which last night reported an unprecedented 14.7% collapse in exports, far worse than the -5.9% consensus estimate, and more than 4 times worse than July’s 3.4%. The number is critical because not only do exports account for about half of South Korea’s GDP but because it also happens to be the first major exporting country to report monthly trade data. That makes it the perfect barometer of global trade flows, or as the case may be, the canary in the global trade coalmine. It also confirms what we reported just one week ago when we said that “Global Trade Is In Freefall.”
– North Korea Declares State Of War After Argument Over Loudspeaker Spirals Out Of Control (ZeroHedge, Aug 20, 2015):
Kim Jong-un has declared a state of war following an escalation of hostilities across the DMZ. Here’s Xinhua:
The top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un has ordered the country’s frontline combined forces to enter state of war from 5pm (0830 GMT) Friday. the official KCNA news agency reported Friday, the official KCNA news agency reported early Friday.
– MERS virus spreading across Asia, South Korea fails to contain outbreak (RT, June 11, 2015):
Hong Kong issued a red alert and advised against traveling to South Korea, where an epidemic of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is gaining pace. The virus is spreading despite attempts to contain the outbreak.
In Korea, the number of infected people passed 100 this week, reaching 122 on Thursday. Tenth patient died from the disease, health officials said on Thursday. Most of the victims are elderly patients with other health problems unrelated to the virus. Over 3,250 people remain in quarantine.
– Bank Of Korea Unexpectedly Cuts Interest Rate To Record Low 1.75%, 24th Central Bank To Ease In 2015 (ZeroHedge, March 11, 2015):
The currency war salvos just keep on coming. Moments ago the BOK unexpectedly (the move was predicted by just 2 of 17 economists polled by Bloomberg) cut its policy rate from 2.00% to a record low 1.75%, in what is clearly a full-blown retaliation against the collapse currency of its biggest export competitor, Japan, whose currency has cratered to a level that many in South Korea believe has become a direct subsidy for its competing exports. As such the only question is why the BOK didn’t cut earlier. And following the surprise rate cut by Thailand earlier today, the “surprise” South Korean rate cut means there are now 24 easing policy actions by central banks in 2015 alone.…
– South Korean Institute Discovers ‘Mystery Plants’ from Imported GMOs (Sustainable Pulse, Jan 24, 2015):
The reason genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have sparked such fears in South Korea isn’t just about safety issues without clear facts, or irrational labeling practices. While South Korea has been emerging as the world’s second biggest importer of GMO crops, mystery plants have been taking root all over the country. The genetically modified (GM) crops that are growing in South Korean soil are a major issue in a country with a government ban on their cultivation. They stand as a stark signal that fears of imported GMOs disrupting the local ecosystem are already becoming a reality.
Source: english.hani.co.kr By Choi Sung-jin
A National Institute of Ecology (NIE) monitoring report on the effects of GMOs on the natural environment, acquired on Dec. 30 by the Hankyoreh, showed GM corn and cotton discoveries across the country in 2013. Corn was found in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province; Gimje, North Jeolla Province; and Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province. Cotton was found in no fewer than fifteen locations.
– NYTimes: Doctors want ban on thyroid cancer screenings — “A tsunami of thyroid cancer… Stop the diagnosis… We need to actively discourage early detection” — WSJ: Judge rules nuclear reactors causing thyroid cancers — Study: Fukushima-related tumors can spread very fast, must be closely monitored (ENENews, Nov 7, 2014):
New York Times, Nov. 5, 2014 (emphasis added): To the shock of many cancer experts, the most common cancer in South Korea… is now thyroid cancer, whose incidence has increased fifteenfold in the past two decades. “A tsunami of thyroid cancer,” as one researcher puts it… Cancer experts agree that the reason for the situation in South Korea and elsewhere is not a real increase in the disease. Instead, it is down to screening… “It’s a warning to us in the U.S. that we need to be very careful in our advocacy of screening,” said Dr. Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society… some doctors, including Dr. Hyeong Sik Ahn of the College of Medicine at Korea University in Seoul, the first author of the new paper, have called for thyroid cancer screening to be banned… Thyroid experts in the United States are calling for restraint in diagnosing and treating tiny tumors… Dr. R. Michael Tuttle… said the best way… was to “stop the diagnosis… decrease screening”
Read moreNYTimes: Doctors want ban on thyroid cancer screenings — “A tsunami of thyroid cancer… Stop the diagnosis… We need to actively discourage early detection” — WSJ: Judge rules nuclear reactors causing thyroid cancers — Study: Fukushima-related tumors can spread very fast, must be closely monitored
– Our Imperial Rulers Are Deranged: Leon Panetta’s Memoir Proves It (David Stockman’s Contra Corner, Oct 15, 2014):
Want proof of the craziness of US foreign and military policy? Just turn to Leon Panetta’s Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace, wherein the former Secretary of Defense and longtime Democratic party hack congressman recounted a 2010 conversation with the top commander of US troops stationed in South Korea, who told him:
“If North Korea moved across the border, our war plans called for the senior American general on the peninsula to take command of all U.S. and South Korea forces and defend South Korea – including by the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary. I left our meeting with the powerful sense that war in that region was neither hypothetical nor remote but ever-present and imminent.”
– S. Korea returned 20 t of Japanese marine products for Cs-134/137 contamination / Not from Fukushima area (Fukushima Diary, Aug 23, 2014):
On 8/21/2014, Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of South Korea announced they retuned 20 t of Japanese marine products from January to July in 2014.
The specific reading was not published, but the ministry comments they detected Cs-134/137 from the returned products.
S. Korea banned imports from Fukushima prefecture and 7 adjacent prefectures last September, so this 20 t of returned marine products are not from the main contaminated regions in Japan. They announce it was 20 t of 9,300 t marine products in total.
– Ebola Panic Reaches New Highs: Korean Bar Bans “Africans” (ZeroHedge, Aug 18, 2014):
With race-relations in American at a boiling point, it is perhaps worth a glance at Asia for some context. As Media Equalizer’s Brian Maloney reports, one restaurant in South Korea is refusing to serve black people due to fears over Ebola! As he concludes: imagine the uproar were this sign to appear anywhere in the US…
As Maloney adds,
Given that many American soldiers stationed in Korea are African-American, it’s hard to believe this isn’t generating more attention here at home.
– S. Korean ‘comfort women’ for US military sue state for forced prostitution (RT,June 29, 2014):
A group of South Korean former “comfort women”, who worked in state-controlled brothels for the US military after the 1953 Korean War, has filed a suit demanding compensation from the authorities for forced prostitution.
It’s the first time that such legal action has been taken regarding the brothels, or “special areas” that were sanctioned by the South Korean government, The Asahi Shimbun media outlet reported.
The women are seeking 10 million won ($9,850) for being made to serve as “US military comfort women” after the Korean War ended in 1953.