zoom South Korea’s shipbuilding giant Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has signed an agreement to build two 158,000 dwt Suezmax crude tankers for a Turkey-based shipping company Ditas Shipping.The deal, worth between USD 120 to 140 million, will see HHI deliver the vessels to their owner in 2018, Yonhap news agency reported.After HHI failed to win any orders in January, this deal marks the first one this year.The order comes as the shipbuilding industry reported a slow start of 2016. Namely, the South Korea’s three major shipbuilders reported a drop in earnings, due to a protracted decrease in oil prices and increased costs.HHI recently reported a net loss of USD 1.13 billion for 2015, a 38.2% drop from a year earlier when it posted a USD 1.84 billion loss.HHI’s sales were down by 12.1% compared to a year earlier, while operating loss decreased by 52.6% year-on-year.“2015 was a tough year for us due to unfavorable market conditions such as prolonged low oil prices and global economic downturn,” HHI said.World Maritime News Staff
THE International Cricket Council (ICC) has appointed Ehsan Mani, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, as the head of one of its most powerful committees – Finance & Commercial Affairs.Mani’s appointment brings to an end the stranglehold that the Indian, English and Australian cricket boards had for more than a decade over the F&CA, which is responsible for designing budgets for ICC events and distributing money to its member countries.The other members of this committee are: Indra Nooyi (independent director), Amitabh Choudhury (BCCI acting secretary), Chris Nenzani (CSA president), Imran Khawaja (ICC vice-chairman), Earl Eddings (CA chairman) and Colin Graves (ECB chairman).ICC chairman Shashank Manohar and ICC chief executive officer Manu Sawhney will also sit on the F&CA as ex-officio members.This will be Mani’s second time as F&CA chairman. He had held the post between 1996 and 2002 and negotiated the ICC’s first ever broadcast rights deal then worth approximately US$550 million. Mani, then, moved on to become ICC president until 2006 and was also instrumental in helping the ICC seal a US$1.1 billion media rights deal with ESPN Star Sports for the 2007-15 cycle.It is understood that Manohar had recommended Mani to the F&CA chair during the ICC annual conference held in London last week.This committee holds significant power within the ICC. Back in 2014, when its working group, comprising N Srinivasan, Wally Edwards and Giles Clarke (heads of the BCCI, CA and ECB respectively), put forward a revenue distribution model that allowed India, Australia and England to take home a greater share of the ICC’s profits on the argument that they brought in the most money anyway.The model broke down in 2017 when Manohar took charge and said it amounted to bullying by cricket’s Big Three countries.In the last 10 years only one person outside the Big Three has led the F&CA – Alan Isaac, former head of New Zealand Cricket, in 2011-12. Interestingly, when the ICC Board approved the Big Three revamp in 2014, Isaac was the governing body’s president.Leading the F&CA, Mani, who also sits on the ICC Audit Committee, will be taking some major decisions including identifying the events the ICC will host in its next cycle (post 2023 World Cup) and negotiating the media rights deal for that period. (ESPN Cricinfo)
Growers who are anxious to buy large quantities of the newest pecan cultivar, ‘Avalon,’ will likely be disappointed as supplies are low, according to University of Georgia pecan breeder Patrick Conner. The new UGA-bred cultivar will be released this spring.Conner is currently using graft wood from certified, nontopworked trees (those grafted in nursery) to produce Avalon trees. Conner has to see the flowers and nuts of a tree to identify them as being ‘Avalon’ before certifying the tree as a source of graft wood.“That requires you to grow them until they’re 4 or 5 years old, when they flower and fruit. At that point, I can look at them and certify them as true-to-type. Then we can use that wood to produce more trees in the nursery,” he said.A limited number of trees have been certified. In a few years, enough graft wood will be available to produce enough trees to meet demand, Conner said.‘Avalon’ is the first pecan cultivar released by Conner. The cultivar shows strong resistance to pecan scab disease, which is the biggest limiting factor to pecan production in south Georgia. ‘Avalon’ exhibited no signs of scab in sprayed orchards and limited traces of scab in unsprayed orchards during research trials on the UGA Tifton campus.‘Avalon’ is patented by UGA, and four Georgia nurseries are licensed to sell the trees. Conner expects demand for ‘Avalon’ trees to be high because it produces a bigger nut and has shown high resistance to pecan scab.“I really expect it to be quite popular. It’s an easy-to-grow cultivar. It doesn’t seem to have any strong flaws that have to be managed. I think it’s something that can work for a large number of growers, those who have limited acreage as well as those who have large acreage,” Conner said.Growers will only have to apply chemicals a couple of times a year with ‘Avalon,’ Conner said. In extremely wet years, producers can spray susceptible cultivars upwards of 20 times to counter scab disease, which thrives on moisture.“Even with full spray coverage on ‘Desirable’ trees, in a really wet year, you could still get severe damage and crop loss,” Conner said. “’Avalon’ gives you some assurance during a really wet year.”Pecan production has increased dramatically in Georgia over the past decade. An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 new pecan acres have been planted in Georgia over the past five years, according to a recent survey by UGA Cooperative Extension.UGA will host a daylong “Beginners Pecan Production Course” on Tuesday, April 18, at the Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Georgia. Attendees can learn more about the ‘Avalon’ cultivar and find out about other factors that impact pecan production. Those interested can register at http://bit.ly/2nKhLV9.Pecans are a high-value crop for Georgia growers. Pecans were worth more than $361 million in farm gate value in 2015, according to the 2015 Georgia Farm Gate Value Report released by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.