WAIVES FUEL TAX
CANBERRA, Australia - Foreign vessels carrying domestic cargo to and from flood-stricken Western Australia will not be charged fuel excise, the government said Monday.
"This is a special arrangement in response to industry requests to assist in transporting cargo in and out of Western Australia while normal road and rail links are not available due to damage from Cyclone Bobby," said Chris Schacht, minister for customs.
"Normally, foreign vessels permitted by the Department of Transport to carry domestic cargo are subject to excise on fuel, if they carry more than 10 percent of their load as domestic cargo," he said.
The situation would be reviewed and waived after normal transport links were reopened, he added. Road and rail transport has been cut to Western Australia due to heavy rains in connection with the cyclone.
NOVOROSSISK DELAYS SEEN
UNTIL END OF MARCH
MOSCOW - The loading delays at the Port of Novorossisk on the Russian Black Sea, which have been delaying shipments in recent weeks, are likely to last until the end of March, oil industry sources here said.
The repairs to the Tikhoretsk-Novorossisk section of the pipeline feeding the terminal are still under way, storage tanks are getting full and a backlog of tankers is building up, they said.
There were no officials available to comment on the reported delays
because most were on vacation ahead of the International Women's Day holiday on Wednesday.
PORT OF TACOMA OKS
LEASES FOR 3 COMPANIES
TACOMA, Wash. - The Port of Tacoma Commission last week approved five-year leases with three small steel and metals distributors that are moving their operations to buildings on port property.
Graham Steel Corp., a wholesale distributor of rebar steel and related materials, will pay the port about $9,000 a month to occupy a 33,000 square foot building on Alexander Avenue.
The port will spend about $130,000 for new cranes in the building and an additional $30,000 for other tenant improvements.
Calbag Metals Co. and K&M Metals Corp., processors and exporters of nonferrous metals and insulating wire, are leasing another Alexander Avenue facility.
Calbag is moving from Portland, Ore., and K&M from Puyallup, Wash., to the 24,500-square-foot site.
The companies estimate they will export 60 containers a month from the facility.
The port will provide about $81,000 for improvements, including a new electrical service.
ORDERS 2 TANKERS
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - State-run Malaysian International Shipping Corp. Bhd. said Monday it ordered two tankers from South Korea's Hyundai Group at US$40 million each to boost palm oil shipments.
The 30,000-deadweight-ton vessels will increase MISC's fleet of tankers to 11 and help the state-owned shipping firm ferry to handle more of Malaysia's palm oil, company officials said.
Malaysia is the world's largest producer of the commodity. It exported 7.4 million metric tons last year and is forecasting 7.8 million tons this year.
"With the expected increase in production, we probably will add more vessels in the future," said MISC managing director Ariffin Alias.
CARGO VOLUME RISES
BY 6.5 PERCENT AT SHANGHAI
SHANGHAI, China - The port administration said Monday that Shanghai handled 7.94 million metric tons (8.73 short tons) of goods in the first 20 days of February, 69.7 percent of its monthly target.
The volume represented a 6.5 percent rise over the same period of January but a 1 percent drop year-on-year.
The port, China's largest, handled the equivalent of 58,000 20-foot containers of international trade, the same as a month earlier but down 3.3 percent from a year earlier.