Iran Urges Diplomacy, but Decries Tanker Incident
Iran on Monday urged regional powers to use diplomacy to reduce tensions including Yemen's war, but cautioned that an Iranian tanker damaged in the Red Sea last week had been hit by rockets and there would have to be consequences.Addressing a news conference, President Hassan Rouhani reiterated policy towards the Trump administration, ruling out bilateral talks unless Washington returns to a landmark nuclear deal and lifts crippling U.S. economic sanctions.Tensions in the Gulf have risen to new highs since May 2018…
West Coast Ports Urge Trump to Address Trade War
The six largest West Coast ports — Port of Long Beach, Port of Los Angeles, Port of Oakland, Port of Portland, Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma — sent a letter to President Donald Trump to pursue fair and mutually beneficial trade agreements.The letter highlighted their concerns that the long-term impacts of the escalating trade conflict between China and the United States will create irredeemable economic harm to employers, workers, residents and international partnerships…
U.S. Slaps Sanctions on Firms Moving Venezuelan Oil to Cuba
The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions on four maritime firms and vessels transporting Venezuelan oil to Cuba, amid an acute fuel scarcity in the island that is forcing people to line up for gasoline and public transport.Despite tough U.S. measures against Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA in January, Cuba's state-run oil import and export company Cubametales and other Cuba-based entities "have continued to circumvent sanctions by receiving oil shipments from Venezuela…
Bahamians Struggle in Dorian's Devastating Wake
Stunned residents of the Bahamas surveyed the wreckage of their homes and officials struggled to assess the number killed by Hurricane Dorian, as the storm bore down on the South Carolina coast, threatening record flooding on Thursday.The United Nations said 70,000 people in the Bahamas needed immediate humanitarian relief after the most damaging storm ever to hit the island nation.Aerial video of the worst-hit Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas showed widespread devastation…
Trump warns China Against Trade Talk Delays
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned he would be "tougher" on Beijing in a second term if trade talks dragged on, compounding market fears that ongoing trade disputes between the United States and China could trigger a U.S. recession.The world's two largest economies imposed fresh tariffs on each other on Sunday, ratcheting up a tit-for-tat tariff war that has unsettled financial markets and raised the specter of a global recession. U.S. and Chinese negotiators are due to meet in person in Washington this month, but no date has yet been set.U.S.
Florida Braces for a Hit as Dorian Strengthens
Florida's governor on Friday urged residents in the state to stock up on at least a week's worth of food, water and medicine and to prepare to lose power and cellphone service for days after Hurricane Dorian makes landfall early next week.The slow march and rising intensity of the storm, which is moving in a northwestern direction to the Bahamas, has alarmed forecasters who worry parts of Florida will be walloped by strong winds, a storm surge and heavy rain for an extended period."I think there’s a pretty high degree of certainty that this is going to be a major hurricane…
UK highlights Gulf shipping threats
The UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is to call for more international support to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz when he meets his French and German counterparts later today (Friday, August 31) for talks about Iran. Last month, Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait in apparent retaliation for the UK’s seizure in Gibraltar of an Iranian ship accused of violating European sanctions by taking oil to Syria.The UK joined a U.S.-led mission to escort merchant vessels through the Strait of Hormuz at the start of this month but Germany and France declined to take part…
Hurricane Dorian Builds, Aims for Bahamas, Florida
Hurricane Dorian took aim at the Bahamas and the Florida coast on Thursday, spurred on by warm Atlantic waters as it threatens to strengthen into a dangerous Category 3 storm.Dorian earlier sideswiped the Caribbean without doing major damage but is expected to strengthen and slam the Bahamas and the southeastern United States with rain, strong winds and life-threatening surf over the next few days, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said in an advisory.U.S. President Donald Trump urged Floridians to heed official warnings.
Iran: Oil Sold from Tanker Released by Gibraltar
Iran has sold the oil from a tanker released by Gibraltar after weeks in the custody of British Royal Marines and the vessel's owner will decide on its next destination, IRIB news agency quoted an Iranian government spokesman as saying on Monday.Separately, Tehran - embroiled in a spiralling confrontation with Washington over U.S. sanctions meant to strangle Iranian oil exports - announced that it had deployed a naval destroyer with cruise missiles to help secure Iranian ships.The Iranian government spokesman did not identify the recipient of the oil carried by the Adrian Darya tanker.
Australia Joins U.S.-led Gulf Security Mission
Australia will join the United States in a security mission to protect merchant vessels travelling through key Middle East waterways after Iran seized a British-flagged vessel, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday.Foremost among the areas to be patrolled is the Strait of Hormuz, between Oman and Iran, through which about one-fifth of the world's seaborne crude flows out of the Gulf.Global commodity trading has been rocked in recent months by the seizure of the British tanker and a series of attacks on international merchant vessels that the U.S. and Britain have blamed on Iran, though it denies involvement. Britain this month became the first U.S.
Iran: Waterways Won't be Safe if its Oil Exports
If Iran's oil exports are cut to zero, international waterways will not have the same security as before, its president said on Wednesday, cautioning Washington against upping pressure on Tehran in an angry confrontation between the longtime foes.The comment by President Hassan Rouhani coincided with a remark by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that Tehran might act "unpredictably" in response to "unpredictable" U.S. policies under President Donald Trump."World powers know that in the case that oil is completely sanctioned and Iran's oil exports are brought down to zero…
Fire Hits PDVSA Tanker at Amuay Bay
A fire swept through the engine room of a tanker owned by Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA on Monday while it was anchored at Amuay Bay near the country's largest refinery, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.The extent of the damage to the Panama-flagged Aframax tanker Proteo was not immediately clear. But it highlighted the poor state of much of the fleet belonging to PDV Marina, PDVSA's shipping subsidiary, at a time when U.S. sanctions are complicating its ability to lease vessels from third parties.Even before this fire…
Iran Tanker Released, Sets Sail for Greece
An Iranian tanker sailed through the Mediterranean towards Greece on Monday after it was released from detention off Gibraltar, and Tehran said that any at U.S. move to seize the vessel again would have "heavy consequences".The Grace 1, renamed the Adrian Darya 1, left anchorage off Gibraltar about 11 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Sunday. Refinitiv ship tracking data showed on Monday that the vessel was heading to Kalamata in Greece and was scheduled to arrive next Sunday at 0000 GMT.The…
Ships from Venezuela can still transit Panama Canal
The Panama Canal will allow vessels coming from Venezuela to transit the waterway provided they present the necessary paperwork, the canal authority's chief said on Wednesday, suggesting a new round of U.S. sanctions on the South American country may not make any difference to canal traffic.President Donald Trump's administration last week issued an executive order freezing all Venezuelan government assets in the United States. Shortly thereafter, U.S. officials ratcheted up threats against companies that do business with Venezuela.The measure did not explicitly place sanctions on non-U.S.
China Fixes First U.S. Crude Cargo Since Latest Tariff Threat
Chinese oil trader Unipec chartered a supertanker to ship U.S. crude to China in September, trading sources said, the first such cargo since U.S. President Donald Trump announced additional tariffs on Chinese import, ending a monthlong trade truce.Unipec, the trading arm of state refiner Sinopec , has fixed the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) Anne to load U.S. crude in mid-September, according to a shipbroker and Refinitiv Eikon data. VLCCs are capable of transporting about 2 million barrels of crude.Unipec has three other vessels…
China Trade Data Calms Jittery Investors
Stronger-than-expected Chinese export data helped push global stock markets higher on Thursday following a volatile week that had investors scrambling for safety on fears of a worldwide economic pullback.Investors were encouraged by data showing Chinese exports rose 3.3% in July from a year earlier, beating an expected decline of 2%. Chinese imports fell less than forecast, despite the U.S.-China trade war.Markets reacted sharply on Monday after China let its currency weaken beyond 7 yuan per dollar, a surprise move that investors took as retaliation for U.S.
Marad: Send Gulf Transit Plans in Advance
The U.S. maritime agency has told U.S.-flagged commercial vessels they should send transit plans in advance to American and British naval authorities if they intend to sail in Gulf waters following several incidents over tankers involving Iran.The seizure of commercial vessels and attacks on tankers near the Strait of Hormuz have unsettled shipping lanes that link Middle Eastern oil producers to global markets.The United States, which has increased its military forces in the region…
China Mulls Hormuz Naval Escort Role
China might escort Chinese commercial vessels in Gulf waters under a U.S. proposal for a maritime coalition to secure oil shipping lanes following attacks on tankers, its envoy to the United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday."If there happens to be a very unsafe situation we will consider having our navy escort our commercial vessels," Ambassador Ni Jian told Reuters in Abu Dhabi."We are studying the U.S. proposal on Gulf escort arrangements," China's embassy later said in a text…
Trade Fears Drag Stocks, Yuan at 10-Year Low
NEW YORK, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Stock markets around the world fell hard on Monday on fears that China's willingness to let the yuan slide in response to the latest U.S. tariff threat could further aggravate trade-related tensions between the world's two largest economies.China on Monday let the yuan tumble beyond the 7-per-dollar level for the first time in more than a decade, in a sign Beijing might be willing to tolerate further currency weakness after U.S. President Donald Trump vowed last week to impose 10% tariffs on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese imports from Sept.
Zarif: Iran to Act Over 'maritime offences'
Iran will no longer turn a blind eye to "maritime offences" in the Gulf, its foreign minister said on Monday, a day after it seized an Iraqi oil tanker there that it accused of smuggling fuel.Revolutionary Guards seized the tanker and its seven crew near Iran's Farsi Island north of the Strait of Hormuz, state media reported, in show of power amid heightened tension with the West that minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blamed U.S. authorities for fomenting."Iran used to forgo some maritime offences in ... (the) Gulf but will never close (its) eyes anymore," Zarif told a news conference.He criticized U.S. sanctions imposed on him on Wednesday, saying Washington had closed the door to diplomacy over Iran's 2015 nuclear deal, which U.S.
U.S. to hit $300B of Chinese goods with 10% tariff
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he would impose an additional 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports starting Sept. 1, as talks aimed to ease tensions between the world's two largest economies continue."Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the U.S. will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products coming from China into our Country. This does not include the 250 Billion Dollars already Tariffed at 25%," Trump tweeted.Reporting by Makini Brice and Susan Heavey
Rivals Iran and UAE to Hold Maritime Security Talks
Iran was to revive maritime security talks on Tuesday with traditional foe the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in an apparent bid to calm tensions in the Gulf, although a Gulf official described the discussions as routine and technical.The talks follow weeks of heightened political friction around the strategic waterway stemming from hostility between between Tehran and Washington, the main Western ally of Gulf Arab states long wary of the Islamic Republic.The discussions had been off since 2013…
U.S. Crude Exports Reach a Record of 3.16 mln bpd
U.S. crude oil exports surged 260,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June to a monthly record of 3.16 million bpd as South Korea bought record volumes and China resumed purchases, data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed on Friday.South Korea surpassed Canada to become the biggest purchaser of U.S. crude at about 605,000 bpd. China purchased about 292,000 bpd, the most since June last year and was the third-largest buyer of U.S. crude in June, the data showed.China, once the top buyer of U.S.