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Capesize rates are sitting on a “powder keg” driven by Chinese iron ore demand according to Commodore Research & Consultancy.

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and Viken Shipping have formed a joint venture in the shuttle tanker sector with long-term charters to Transpetro in Brazil.

Brazil's National Port Authority and Waterways has approved $1.73bn in port infrastructure works to be carried out by three local operators:  steelmaker CSN, container terminal operator Santos Brasil and US food and agribusiness firm Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM).

After a 66% rise in capesize rates last week analyst Commodore Research & Consultancy believes they are set to “rise to much further” this year.

Offshore shipbuilder Vard has received an NOK200m ($31m) tax claim from Brazilian authorities relating to the financial year 2010.

Brazilian offshore operator Wilson Sons has signed for a duo of Damen PSV 5000s to be chartered to Petrobras.

SapuraKencana Petroleum has had a good start in Brazil, launchiing its first pipe-laying support vessel (PLSV) for state-run Petrobras off Brazil, more than three months ahead of schedule.

China wants to set up a partnership with Brazilian miner Vale to tranship iron ore from its massive valemaxes, which are banned from Chinese ports.

Offshore shipbuilding group Vard has reported a 52.8% drop in profit to NOK 85m ($14.1m) in the first quarter 2014, a period that also saw eight new contracts raise its orderbook to a five year high.

An analysis by The United Nation Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) paints an "alarming" picture of strikes in the regional port sector in its February 2014 maritime and Logistics Newsletter.

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