Cost of low-sulfur fuel oil drops 46% from post-invasion high

The price of ship fuel is now down to around half the post-Ukraine-invasion peak. Second-quarter fuel surcharges for containerized cargo shippers promise more savings ahead.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that if shipping ultimately switches from fuel oil to LNG or methanol as part of its much ballyhooed energy transition, future fuel costs will likely skyrocket back to levels seen after the invasion — or worse.

The common refrain from vessel owners and operators is that cargo shippers will ultimately pay for the higher price of “green” fuel. What they probably mean but they’re not saying is: Either cargo shippers will cover the higher price of future green fuel or there won’t be a shipping energy transition because we, the vessel owners and operators, won’t pay for it.

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Derailment in Minnesota sets train cars ablaze

A 22-car BNSF train derailed early Thursday morning near Raymond, Minnesota, forcing the town’s residents to evacuate their homes, according to a March 30 statement from the railway.

The cars were carrying corn syrup and ethanol. Four of the cars carrying ethanol, which is highly flammable, ruptured and caught fire, the Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes tweeted Thursday.

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation and the main track remains blocked indefinitely, according to BNSF. The evacuation order has since been lifted.

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Japan plans to restrict some equipment exports

Japan’s government says it plans to put restrictions on some computer chip-making exports, following similar moves by the U.S. and the Netherlands. The measures will apply to 23 types of semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

Although semiconductors are at the center of a bitter dispute between the U.S. and China, the March 31 statement from Japan’s trade and industry ministry did not make any reference to China or the U.S., reports BBC News.

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