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Monday, October 22, 2018

Us Administration News

Iran's Oil Customers in Europe Might Reduce Imports

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European oil companies are not ruling out reducing Iranian oil imports after the threat of new U.S. sanctions, with some expecting banking issues to hinder trade, but there was no rush to immediately cut volumes.U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States was exiting an international nuclear deal with Iran and would impose new sanctions that seek to reduce oil exports from OPEC's third-largest producer.But as of Friday, companies in Europe said they were still taking Iranian oil.

US Oil Exports to India Soar Ahead of Iran Sanctions

© Anatoly Menzhiliy / Adobe Stock

U.S. crude oil exports to India hit a record in June and so far this year are almost double last year's total as the Asian nation's refiners move to replace supplies from Iran and Venezuela in a win for the Trump administration.U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has been pressuring its allies to cut imports of Iranian goods to zero by November and India's shift advances the U.S. administration efforts to use energy to further its political goals.The United States has become a major crude exporter…

US Hits EU, Canada and Mexico with Steel, Aluminum Tariffs

© Leonid Eremeychuk / Adobe Stock

The United States on Thursday said it will impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, reigniting investor fears of a global trade war as Washington's allies took steps to retaliate against U.S. goods.The move, announced by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a telephone briefing on Thursday, ended months of uncertainty about potential tariff exemptions and suggested a hardening of the Trump administration's approach to trade negotiations.It also sent a chill through financial markets…

US Aims to Prevent China from Taking Territory in International Waters

Photo: CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe

The new U.S. "I think the U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests there," White House spokesman Sean Spicer told a news briefing. Spicer was responding to a question as to whether Trump agreed with comments by his Secretary of State nominee, Rex Tillerson, on Jan. 11 that China should not be allowed access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea. Tillerson's remarks at his Senate confirmation hearing prompted Chinese state media to say the United…

US Container Imports to Hit Record: NRF

Graph: National Retail Federation

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to set record numbers this summer and fall even as the debate over trade and tariffs continues in Washington, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released  by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.“Consumers are buying more and that means retailers are importing more,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Imports continue to be the primary source of high-quality, mass-produced necessities at affordable prices and will be for the foreseeable future.

Wary of Trump unpredictability, China ramps up naval abilities

(The Chinese Navy destroyer Qingdao (DDG 113) transits the San Diego Harbor as it prepares to moor at Naval Station San Diego. Qingdao along with the Chinese oiler Hongzehu are currently visiting San Diego as part of a goodwill tour. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Marc Rockwell-Pate (RELEASED)

* China still lags U.S. BEIJING, Feb 26 (Reuters) - The PLA Navy is likely to secure significant new funding in China's upcoming defence budget as Beijing seeks to check U.S. dominance of the high seas and step up its own projection of power around the globe. China's navy has been taking an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and new Chinese warships popping up in far-flung places. Now, with President Donald Trump promising a U.S.

Consolidation Not Enough to Save Box Shippers -Study

File photo: Hamburg Süd

The outlook for global container carriers remains rocky at the outset of 2017, according to a new study by AlixPartners. Hanjin Shipping Co.’s bankruptcy in 2016 sent shock waves through the industry, while Brexit and the new U.S. administration’s policies threaten to inject further uncertainty into the future of global trade. These stances could reverse policies that have supported the growth of containerization since the 1950s. Going into the important pricing season, companies need to do everything they can to retain the higher rates recently seen.

DHL Says Ocean Freight Rates at Turning Point

© dbvirago / Adobe Stock

Demand for ocean and air freight has been better than expected this year, with increasing volumes and rates finally improving after years in the doldrums, executives from freight forwarding company DHL, part of Deutsche Post DHL Group, said. "We're seeing relatively high demand for both ocean and air freight. We're seeing rising volumes on several routes," Tobias Meyer, chief operating officer and executive vice president for business support, DHL Global Forwarding, told Reuters. "Given the debate around the new U.S.

Hutchison Port Q1 Profit Slumps 70%

Photo: Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH)

Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (HPHT) suffered a 69.9 percent plunge in first-quarter net profit to to HK$166.9 million ($24.4 million USD) from the corresponding period a year earlier. The Hong Kong-based port operator said it was largely due to the absence of a government rent and rates refund previously received. Excluding a one-off rent and rates refund, however, net profit would be 15.7 percent lower than that of last year, said the manager of the container port business trust in a statement.

China Angered by Britain's Comments on South China Sea

China expressed anger on Wednesday after a senior British official said a ruling expected within a few months in an international arbitration case the Philippines has brought against China's South China Sea claims must be binding. Hugo Swire, British minister of state responsible for East Asia, also said Britain saw the ruling, by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, as an opportunity for China and the Philippines to renew dialogue over their territorial disputes. China claims virtually all of the South China Sea and rejects the court's authority in the case, which is widely expected to go in favour of the Philippines, significantly raising tension in the strategic waterway.

U.S. Warship Challenges Beijing in South China Sea

The USS Dewey underway in the South China Sea (CREDIT: PO3 Kryzentia Weiermann)

A U.S. Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since U.S. President Donald Trump took office. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS Dewey traveled close to the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors. China said its warships had warned the U.S.

China Rebuffs US Pressure to Ease S. China Sea Tensions

Western Pacific: File photo

China appeared to rebuff pressure from the United States to rein in its assertive actions in the South China Sea on Sunday as Southeast Asian nations declined to overtly back Washington's proposal for a freeze on provocative acts. The lack of progress in resolving the maritime tensions at Asia's highest-profile diplomatic meeting so far this year shows the tough task Washington faces in persuading smaller Asian nations to risk antagonising the region's rising power. Foreign ministers…

Wishful Thinking From Across the Pond

Joseph Keefe

Just last month, the Secretary General of the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) opined that the sixth negotiations round of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) should include concessions from the American side on maritime transportation issues. Specifically, he called for European access to the “feedering” of international cargo in U.S. domestic trades and access to the American dredging and offshore sectors. They didn’t ask for anyone’s first born child, but I suppose that there’s still time to issue that edict before the end of the summer.

Buckeye Buys Trafigura's Texas Assets

Oil logistics specialist Buckeye Partners LP will pay $860 million for control of Trafigura's prized oil facilities in the Texas shale hub amid expectations Washington will relax its crude oil export ban. U.S. firm Buckeye will buy 80 percent of the global commodities trader's South Stream assets which include a deep-water tanker loading terminal in Corpus Christi, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage and a small refining unit known as a condensate splitter. Trafigura will hold on to the remaining 20 percent in the Corpus Christi facility, described in Trafigura's 2013 annual report as "one of the company's most important strategic assets ... at the center of the action in the world's largest, most dynamic, energy market". The deal comes at a time of increased pressure on the U.S.

Chinese Port Operators Optimistic of Future

© anuphadit / Adobe Stock

The outlook for global container port demand growth is now more optimistic, and Chinese players are on the acquisition trail in an aggressive and highly confident manner, said a report from Drewry. Major M&A deals are changing the landscape, with more to come, according to the Global Container Terminal Operators Annual Report 2017, now in its 15th year of publication by global shipping consultancy Drewry. Drewry’s container port demand forecast is more positive than in last year’s report…

Russia: Exxon Still Drilling in its Arctic

ExxonMobil is still drilling in the Russian Arctic, a Russian minister said on Friday, in move that if confirmed will anger Washington after the U.S. administration slapped sanctions on Moscow to suspend such operations by Western oil majors. The joint drilling project in the Kara Sea between Exxon and the Kremlin's state oil firm Rosneft has become one of the most watched projects by the oil industry after the West ratcheted up sanctions on Moscow for its incursion in Ukraine. Two previous waves of sanctions have failed to stop Exxon from sending an oil drilling rig from Norway to the Russian waters in August in the hope to confirm billions of barrels of new oil reserves.

U.S. Backs S. China Sea Bilateral Talks

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry says backs bilateral talks; Philippines says dispute does not involve United States. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday he supported the resumption of talks between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea, following an international court ruling against Beijing over the dispute earlier this month. China did not participate in and has refused to accept the July 12 ruling by the U.N.-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration, in which U.S. ally Manila won an emphatic legal victory. China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi had asked Kerry to lend his support for bilateral talks to restart between Manila and Beijing in a meeting between the two in the Laos capital of Vientiane on Monday.

A BP North Sea field to test U.S. policy on Iran

A small gas field on the edge of the British North Sea could become a litmus test for U.S. policy towards Iran. London-based BP this week agreed to sell to North Sea producer Serica Energy three fields in the ageing offshore basin, including the Rhum field which is co-owned by a subsidiary of Iran's national oil company. For Serica, the $400 million deal will increase its production sevenfold. It nevertheless hinges on the British company receiving a licence from U.S. sanctions enforcement authorities at a time when President Donald Trump is flexing his muscles against Tehran. For BP and its American Chief Executive Bob Dudley, selling Rhum, which BP discovered in the 1970s, removes a potential source of friction as it mends its ties with the U.S.

U.S. Considers Venezuela Oil Sanctions

© Stanislav/Adobe Stock

The Trump administration is considering sanctioning a Venezuelan military-run oil services company and restricting insurance coverage for Venezuelan oil shipments to ratchet up pressure on socialist President Nicolas Maduro, a U.S. official said. With Maduro running for another term in an April election that Washington and its allies oppose as a sham, the United States is weighing sanctions that would target Venezuela’s vital oil sector beyond what has been done before, the official told Reuters on Wednesday. Some measures could come before the vote and others could be imposed afterwards.

Trade Wars Clearly Bad for Global Shipping - BIMCO

© sergeevspb / Adobe Stock

On March 1, 2018, President Trump pushed through a metals tariff plan that puts 25 percent tariff on imports of steel and a 10 percent tariff on imports of aluminium. They are set to enter into force on March 23, 2018. The Trump administration seems positive towards protectionism and that picture became clear when the pro-trade U.S. President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser Gary Cohn resigned on March 6 because of the tariffs imposed on steel and aluminium. Although the tariffs on steel and aluminium are expected to have a limited impact on most international bulk trades…

The US Election: Ramifications for Maritime

Clinton vs. Trump. Perhaps one of the most important presidential elections in U.S. history, the 2016 Election Day results with have impacts felt far and wide – and all throughout maritime industry. A proverb common to both Greek and Turkish cultures states that a wolf may change its fur, but does not change its nature (Ο λύκος την τρίχα αλλάζει, το χούι δεν τ`αλλάζει /Kurt tüyünü değiştirir, huyunu değiştirmez). In English, we might render this “a leopard cannot change its spots.” If we are to believe the proverb…

Canada's PM: US Steel, Aluminum Tariffs a 'Very Bad Idea'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday said any move by the United States to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum would be a "very bad idea" guaranteed to disrupt trade between the two nations.Trudeau told reporters in Vancouver he was confident the administration of President Donald Trump understood that such tariffs would hurt jobs in the United States as well as Canada.Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum in March but granted temporary exemptions to Canada and Mexico that run out on May 1. Canada is the biggest supplier of steel and aluminum to the United States."We have been discussing this with the U.S.

What’s New in Floating Production? December 2016

© ggw / Adobe Stock

The December WER report examines whether OPEC’s decision to limit crude production will accelerate deepwater project starts over the next 12 to 24 months, given 3 billion barrels of oil stocks in global inventory, 5,000+ drilled-but-uncompleted shale wells in the U.S. ready to be fracked and likelihood that producers will cheat on output quotas. As we discuss in the report, the output cut could stimulate deepwater orders – but with a time lag. We also assess whether Hoegh and Maran’s orders for seven speculative FSRUs (two firm…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Oct 2018 - Marine Design Annual

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