Renault sales growth falters on Asia setbacks

Sales tumbled almost one-third in the price-sensitive Indian market, Renault said. (Reuters)
Updated 27 April 2018
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Renault sales growth falters on Asia setbacks

PARIS: Renault said revenue rose by a smaller-than-expected 0.2 percent in the first quarter, as the French carmaker suffered sales setbacks in India, China and South Korea, compounded by the effects of a stronger euro.
Revenue advanced to €13.16 billion, Renault said on Friday, well short of the €13.77 billion expected by analysts, according to an Inquiry Financial poll.
Sales in key growth markets showed a “mixed situation” in the quarter, added the French company.
While Europe and Russia showed solid gains, a spokeswoman said, sales tumbled almost one-third in the price-sensitive Indian market, where the Kwid mini-SUV’s early success has given way to rapid decline and the larger Captur subcompact is struggling to make inroads.
China registrations fell 16.8 percent amid a continuing slump in sales for the recently consolidated Jinbei and Huasong commercial vehicle brands, acquired through a joint venture with Chinese carmaker Brilliance.
Sales by South Korean unit Renault Samsung Motors fell more than a quarter.
The stronger euro cut automotive revenue by 4.8 percent or €575 million, weakening the value of overseas sales. The overall increase in sales volume contributed €275 million to revenue growth, and pricing improvements another €140 million.
Renault reiterated its 2018 market outlook and earnings guidance.


Fujairah joins other ports, tightens exhaust rules ahead of 2020 regulations

Updated 23 January 2019
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Fujairah joins other ports, tightens exhaust rules ahead of 2020 regulations

  • Under International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that come into effect from 2020, ships will have to reduce the sulfur content in their fuel to less than 0.5 percent
  • Singapore, China and Fujairah marine sales volumes represent a quarter of global ship refueling, also known as bunkering

SINGAPORE: Fujairah in the UAE has become the latest major port to ban a type of fuel exhaust cleaning system to comply with a coming tightening in rules regarding global sulfur emissions, mirroring similar moves in Singapore and China.
Under International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that come into effect from 2020, ships will have to reduce the sulfur content in their fuel to less than 0.5 percent, compared with 3.5 percent now, forcing huge changes upon global shippers and also oil refiners.
Fujairah’s harbor master said in a faxed document seen by Reuters that the port “has decided to ban the use of open-loop scrubbers in its waters ... (and) ships will have to use compliant fuel once the IMO 2020 sulfur cap comes into force.”
This follows top marine fueling port of Singapore announcing a similar move in November, while China banned the use of open-loop scrubbers from Jan. 1, 2019.
Singapore, China and Fujairah marine sales volumes represent a quarter of global ship refueling, also known as bunkering.
Impact for shippers
To comply with IMO 2020 rules, shippers can switch to burning cleaner but more expensive oil, invest in exhaust cleaning systems known as scrubbers that may allow them to still use cheaper high-sulfur fuels, or redesign vessels to run on alternatives like liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Scrubbers use water to clean up fuel emissions, preventing them from being released into the atmosphere.
Open-loop scrubbers are the cheapest option, but they have come under criticism as they wash heavy metals and sulfur from the waste water into seas instead of storing it for a controlled discharge in ports, as closed-loop scrubbers do.
Of the more than 2,000 ships that have so far opted to invest in scrubbers, around three-quarters have installed the cheaper, open-loop type, shipping sources estimated.
Closed-loop scrubbers, which store wash water for later discharge, are still accepted in most ports.
Despite the spreading bans of open-loop scrubbers, Douglas Raitt of ship classifier Lloyd’s Register said vessels can still benefit from such systems as they can pump out the waste water in open seas, outside a port’s jurisdiction.
“The benefits of open-loop scrubbers are largely realized in open water during transit from one port to the next,” he said.
Raitt said shippers, however, should consider alternative measures to prepare for IMO 2020, considering that when the new rules come into force refueling infrastructure will be mostly geared toward compliant low sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) rather than high sulfur fuel oil (HSFO).
“Prevailing wisdom would be for operators opting for scrubbers to have a meaningful dialogue with their supplier base to secure HSFO post-2020 in ports of call,” Raitt said.