U.S., China Reach Trade Deal 'in principle'
The White House has reached a "deal in principle" with Beijing to resolve the 17-month U.S.-China trade war, according to a source briefed on the trade talks.The White House was expected to make an announcement later on Thursday, the source said."The written agreement is still being formulated, but they have reached an agreement in principle," the source said. No details were immediately available.In an attempt to secure a "phase one" trade deal, U.S. negotiators offered to cut…
Vens Pledge Funds for Argentine Shipyard to Finish PDVSA Tankers
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday pledged funds for a state-owned Argentine shipyard to finish building two long- overdue tankers for state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, which is struggling with a diminished tanker fleet.Maduro, a socialist who has overseen a drastic economic collapse in the once-prosperous OPEC nation and stands accused of corruption and human rights violations, did not say how much money Venezuela would provide or when it would be disbursed.But…
U.S. Frets About Untrackable China Ships with Iran Oil
The White House is warning Chinese shipping companies against turning off their ships' transponders to hide Iranian oil shipments in violation of U.S. sanctions, two senior administration officials said."We've been messaging very heavily to the shipping companies, you don't want to do this, it's not worth it," said one official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. "It's incredibly dangerous and irresponsible behavior."China is the largest remaining buyer of Iranian oil after U.S. President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Tehran's main export. Trump tightened U.S.
Disruptions to Global Shipping Industry Explained
Oil shipping rates are soaring following a series of sanctions on a Chinese transportation giant and limitations placed on movement of Venezuelan crude oil tankers.WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO SHIPPING RATES?The cost of chartering a supertanker to send crude oil from one country to another is rising sharply. A South Korean importer paid more than $12 million in shipping costs for one crude shipment from the U.S. Gulf Coast. This was followed by Friday's tentative charter of another crude…
Maritime Rule Change Stirs Fears of Diesel Shortage: Kemp
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has so far resisted pressure to soften or postpone the implementation of new regulations requiring ships to use bunker fuels with a lower sulphur content from the start of 2020.That has prompted warnings from some analysts that the regulations will squeeze the availability of low-sulphur diesel and jet kerosene required by trucks, trains, aircraft, farmers and industry, resulting in big price increases.The regulations and any associated rise in fuel prices will occur in the run up to the next U.S.
Petrobras to Resume Building Its Own Platforms
Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA will build its own oil platforms again from 2023, regardless of who wins the presidential election next month, an executive at the state-run oil company said.Petrobras' 2019-2023 business plan, set to be released in December, should include a resumption of platform construction thanks to the company's improving finances, Petrobras' director for production and technology development Hugo Repsold said."We will build platforms independently of who is president…
Brazil Minimum Freight Rates Hurt Port Cargos -Association Chief
Brazil's policy of setting minimum freight rates is reducing the volume of cargo at Brazilian ports as farmers and agricultural exporters have difficulty arranging transportation at higher cost, according to the head of a Brazilian ports association.The country instituted minimum rates for freight above the previous market rate as part of a deal to end a truckers' strike over high diesel prices in May. The strike paralyzed the country's roadways, preventing agriculture exports…
Valero Boosts Imports of Venezuelan Oil as Sanctions Loom
U.S. refiner Valero Energy Corp this year boosted its imports of Venezuelan crude ahead of U.S. sanctions over the country's disputed presidential election and as other customers received less of the OPEC-member's exports, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows data.Venezuelan oil production has tumbled to a multi-decade low this year, cutting shipments to buyers in the United States and elsewhere and worsening a severe economic recession. Its crude exports averaged 1.19 million barrels per day (bpd) in the January-April period…
With Eye on Russia, US Navy Reestablishing Its Second Fleet
The United States Navy is re-establishing its Second Fleet, responsible for the northern Atlantic Ocean, nearly seven years after it was disbanded as the Pentagon puts countering Russia at the heart of its military strategy.“Our National Defense Strategy makes clear that we’re back in an era of great power competition as the security environment continues to grow more challenging and complex,” Chief of U.S. Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said on Friday.“Second Fleet will exercise operational and administrative authorities over assigned ships…
Trump Rails Against Oil Prices, OPEC Pushes Back
U.S. President Donald Trump accused OPEC on Friday of "artificially" boosting oil prices, drawing rebukes from some of the world's top energy exporters."Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea. Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!" Trump wrote on Twitter.It was unclear what triggered the tweet, Trump's first mention of OPEC on social media during his term.U.S. oil prices are near a three-year high…
Mexico's Oil Reform a Boon for Hard-hit Oil Service, Seismic Firms
Oil service and mapping firms still emerging from an industry recession have received a boost from about $800 million of data sales to energy firms considering bidding for Mexican oil and gas blocks. Mexico will on Wednesday hold its most important auction since a 2013 reform ended the 75-year monopoly on the energy sector held by state-run oil firm Pemex. The government of President Enrique Pena Nieto hopes the deepwater sale will attract tens of billions of dollars of investment to turnaround a slump in the country's oil output. Seven previous auctions drew investment pledges of $61 billion.
US Navy: Bigger is Better, but at What Cost?
The U.S. Navy has a balanced fleet, but it wants to grow bigger and better. Will the budget allow both? Maritime Reporter's March 2017 cover story on the U.S. Navy was all about the numbers. There exists several plans to grow the fleet beyond the current number of 308 ships, the Mitre recommendation of 414 ships, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment 340-ship proposal, and the Navy’s decision to grow the fleet to 355 ships, and the Trump administration’s 350. With so many numbers being bandied about, there are even more suggestions on how to get there.
As Operators Look for the Bottom, Gulf Gloom Persists
Gulf of Mexico vessel operators want to see sustained, higher oil prices. After a rough two years, supply boat owners and operators in the Gulf of Mexico hope crude oil prices will improve in 2017. That would encourage activity among the offshore drillers that they service and would put unemployed boats back in the water. Vessel owners aren’t necessarily banking on a good year ahead, however. “Utilization of OSVs and PSVs in the Gulf is below 50 percent now, down from about 70 percent a year ago and 90 percent two years ago…
Foreign Consortium to Build Vietnamese Port
Vietnam has approved a foreign consortium's plan to invest around $315 million in a seaport and industrial zone complex in northern Quang Ninh province, the government said on Saturday. The licence was handed on Friday to the consortium including CDC International Corp from Cayman Island, Asia Infrastructure Development Co from Hong Kong and Singapore's Tien Ich Trung Dong Co, said in a report on the government's website. Construction is slated to start next year with full completion in 2036, it said. While the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact, with Vietnam one of the 12 signatory nations, looks uncertain after the U.S. presidential election, the Southeast Asian nation is still receiving record foreign investment due to its numerous trade accords, cheap labour and relative stability.
Iran Shipping Lines Head Sees Business Rebound by Mid-17
Container shipper Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) Chairman Mohammad Saeidi expects the firm to have recuperated by the middle of next year the business lost while Iran was subject to international sanctions. "Step by step the problems have been resolved, removing many restrictions and limitations," since the sanctions were lifted, he told Reuters in an interview at a shipping conference in Copenhagen. He added that he hoped to see remaining limitations on dollar transactions removed after the U.S.
Millions Flee as Southeast U.S. Braces for Matthew
Intensifying storm slams into Bahamas; landfall expected in Florida late on Thursday. Hurricane Matthew, the fiercest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade, slammed into the Bahamas early on Thursday and intensified as it barreled toward the southeastern U.S. coast where millions of residents heeded warnings to flee inland. Roadways in Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina were jammed and gas stations and food stores ran out of supplies as the storm approached, bringing storm surges, heavy rain and sustained winds that accelerated overnight to about 125 miles (205 km) per hour. Matthew, which killed at least 39 people and displaced thousands, mostly in southern Haiti, was predicted to strengthen from a Category 3 to 4 storm en route to Florida's Atlantic coast.
Maersk Cautions on U.S. Protectionism
Danish conglomerate A. P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, the world’s largest container shipping company, has voiced its concern as a potential shift in U.S. policy threatens to reduce global trade, reports Bloomberg. Maersk group's chief financial officer Trond Westlie said any steps in a more protectionist direction would clearly hurt global economic growth. No matter how the U.S. presidential election ends, it probably “won’t have an effect on the contracts we have and the employment exposure we have in the U.S.,” says the company. Trade barriers weaken global growth, Westlie said.
US Retail Imports Turn Toward Holiday Season
August should be the busiest month of the year for import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports now that retailers have stocked up for back-to-school and are getting a head start on holiday season merchandise. That’s according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates, which said cargo volume for 2016 should end the year with a 1.6 percent increase over last year. “Shoppers are right in the middle of buying back-to-school products but the retail supply chain is already preparing for the holiday season…
INSIGHTS: Steve Candito, President, Foresea Consulting
Steven Candito is the Founder, President and CEO of Foresea, which provides advisory services including strategic planning, regulatory compliance and crisis management to the maritime and environmental communities. Previously, Candito was President and CEO of NRC. He has extensive experience with OPA 90 compliance issues with particular focus on vessel owner and insurance matters. Before that, Candito was an attorney with Haight Gardner Poor & Havens, specializing in maritime and environmental law. Candito has also served as a marine engineer aboard Exxon USA’s domestic tanker fleet.
Philippines' Duterte Says Would Seek Multilateral S. China Sea Talks
Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday that if he became Philippine president he would call for multilateral talks to resolve disputes over the South China Sea, which should include the United States and Japan as well as rival claimants. Duterte also said China should respect the Philippines' exclusive economic zone in the waters off its coast and, instead of facing off, the two countries could work together in exploiting offshore oil and gas as joint-venture partners. "If we want joint ventures, fine. I believe in sharing," he told reporters in the southern city of Davao. He was speaking while an unofficial vote count rolled in on the presidential election that showed him with a commanding lead over his rivals. (Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Writing by Martin Petty)
Indonesia Woos Jokowi Netherlands for Investment in Maritime
Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has invited the Netherlands to invest in Indonesian infrastructure projects, particularly those that support Jokowi’s maritime sector development program, reports the Jakarta Post. In the maritime sector, the president lauded the Dutch government for its interest to help Indonesia achieve its maritime axis vision. The vision was realized by developing maritime clusters including fisheries, ship development, infrastructure and marine resources.
How Politics Impacts OPA 90 Responder Immunity
Many people today are frustrated with the current U.S. political process as we endure various government stalemates on budgets, Supreme Court appointments, and, of course, the Presidential election. The general theme is voters are angry with the political establishment and, as a result, outsiders like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are doing well in the polls. Much of this anger is directed at the influence big money donors and lobbyists have over the process. Thus, Trump who has committed to self-financing his campaign and Sanders…
AAPA 2016 Conference Focuses on Western Ports
U.S. High-ranking government officials, policy influencers, port authority CEOs and senior staff from throughout the Western Hemisphere, along with a host of maritime industry leaders will converge on Washington, D.C., April 4-6, to participate in the 2016 Spring Conference of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas. Among the conference highlights will be a keynote luncheon address by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx on April 6…