Container lines are under ‘severe strain’, according to Drewry’s latest analysis of the sector’s financial health, which shows that total industry debt has doubled in the past five years to US$100bn. Drewry Maritime Equity Research senior analyst, Rahul Kapoor, says the 2013 peak season is ‘a make or break for profitability’ in which carriers have a ‘narrow window of opportunity to get their act together or risk severe losses’. Mr Kapoor said: ‘Even as the market awaits the fate of July Asia- Europe general rate increases, the sheer collapse in Asia-Europe freight rates in the past two months shows how fickle the industry’s demand supply balance remains. In the short term, industry profitability has become highly volatile, driven not only by underlying supply-demand dynamics but increasingly by carriers’ actions with respect to short-term capacity management.’



The Senate has passed the final two bills to implement the Government’s reforms toAustralia’s anti-dumping system. ‘This has been the biggest legislative overhaul of our anti-dumping system in over a decade. These reforms have made the anti-dumping system more responsive and more effective,’ Justice Minister Jason Clare said. ‘These reforms have been made in consultation with Australian industry and help to address the concerns of business, workers and unions.’ The six tranches of legislation, all passed without amendment, implement a number of changes toAustralia’s anti-dumping system.

The reforms include:

• Establishing the Australian Anti-Dumping Commission;

• Imposing a time limit on ministerial decision making in anti-dumping and countervailing cases;

• Establishing a new appeals process for anti-dumping matters;

• Establishing the International Trade Remedies Forum in legislation;

• Removing a limitation to the inclusion of profit when constructing a ‘normal value’ of a good;

• Removing the need for a separate review of anti-dumping measures and continuation inquiries to be run in close proximity to each other;

• Allowing different forms of interim dumping duty to be applied from those currently used;

• Removing the current limitation to the inclusion of profit when calculating the ‘normal value’ of a good in its country of origin, in certain circumstances;

• Strengthening the provisions that deal with non-cooperation in sampling exercises in investigations, continuation inquiries and reviews;

• Allowing Australian industries, or the Minister, to bring about an anti-circumvention inquiry;

• Removing, in certain circumstances, the need for the Minister to consider the lesser duty rule;

• Clarifying the application of existing retrospective duties provisions; and

• Introducing a new type of anti-circumvention inquiry to address ‘sales at a loss’ cases.