Sinokor Merchant Marine, a South Korean intra-Asian carrier, has diverted a containership to Ulsan in order to expedite the arrival of much-needed urea from China as reported by The Loadstar.
In South Korea, diesel-fueled vehicles are obliged by law to utilise urea as an additive to reduce emissions, and the government is now restricting supplies due to a severe scarcity.
China’s power limits on manufacturing sparked the urea crisis, limiting the country’s fertiliser output and, as a result, limiting urea exports.
The 1,118 teu Vinalines Diamond, chartered by Sinokor from Vietnam Maritime Corporation (previously Vinalines), landed at Jeongil Ulsan Container Terminal last week, according to Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF).
The ship was deployed on Sinokor’s Busan-Qingdao-Tianjin service, but due to the crucial shortage, the MOF arranged with the liner operator to use the vessel to collect 300 tonnes of urea from Tianjin. The cargo is part of 18,700 tonnes of urea chemical producer Lotte Chemical Corp had agreed to purchase from its Chinese supplier.
Initially, the cargo was to have been shipped on 18 November, but heavy snow in northern China delayed the shipment. Tight shipping capacity and South Korea’s dire need for urea prompted the MOF to intervene.
After calling at Busan, instead of going to Qingdao, Vinalines Diamond diverted to Ulsan to discharge the urea, even though this meant Sinokor had to reschedule the ship’s movements and inform shippers that arrival in Qingdao would be delayed.
The MOF said that until the shortage eased, it would work with ministries and shipping companies to ensure the timely delivery of urea imports.
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