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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Donald Trump News

The Motor Tanker PROTEO (Credit MarineTraffic.Com © Erazo)

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…

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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.

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China in Talks with U.S. Trade Officials

Senior Chinese and U.S. trade officials spoke by telephone on Tuesday as the Chinese side lodged solemn representation on additional tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled to start next month, China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.The statement was issued at around the same time that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer's office said the United States will delay imposing a 10% tariff on certain of the products, including laptops and cell phones.The Chinese statement made no mention of this planned delay.Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke with Lighthizer and U.S.

File Image: A VLCC loads alongside in the port of Corpus Christi, Texas (CREDIT: Port of Corpus Christi, Texas)

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…

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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.

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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…

File Image: A Chinese Naval Frigate underway. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Vanderwolf

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…

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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.

File image: A crude vessel alongside and loading at the U.S. port of Corpus Christi, Texas

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.

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Oil slumps 7% as More Tariffs Loom

Oil prices plummeted more than 7% on Thursday, with the U.S. benchmark posting its worst day in more than four years, after President Donald Trump said he would impose additional tariffs Chinese imports starting Sept. 1.The drop in Brent crude was the steepest in more than three years, undoing a fragile oil rally built on steady drawdowns in U.S. inventories even as global demand looked shaky due to the U.S.-China trade dispute.Trump's announcement of an additional 10% levy on…

File Image (CREDIT: U.S. Maritime Administration)

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

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Beijing: U.S.-China Trade Talks 'constructive'

U.S. and Chinese negotiators wrapped up a brief round of trade talks on Wednesday that Beijing described as "constructive", including discussion of further purchases of American farm goods and an agreement to reconvene in September.The first face-to-face trade talks since a ceasefire was agreed last month amounted to a working dinner on Tuesday at Shanghai's historic Fairmont Peace Hotel and a half-day meeting on Wednesday, before U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin flew out."Both sides…

Grace 1 remains impounded, not because of its flag but because it was suspected of taking oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions, an allegation that Iran denies. Image Credit: © MarineTraffic.com

INSIGHTS: Noose Tightens Around Iranian Shipping

Somewhere on its journey from the waters off Iran, around Africa's southern tip and into the Mediterranean, the Grace 1 oil tanker lost the flag under which it sailed and ceased to be registered to Panama. Iran later claimed it as its own.The ship carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian crude was seized by British Royal Marines off Gibraltar, raising tensions in the Gulf where Iran detained a UK-flagged ship in retaliation.Grace 1 remains impounded, not because of its flag but because it was suspected of taking oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions…

USN File photo: flight operations underway on the USS Boxer, the warship credited this week with downing an Iranian drone.

Stakeholders Ignore U.S. Middle East Coalition Proposals

The United States is struggling to win its allies' support for an initiative to heighten surveillance of vital Middle East oil shipping lanes because of fears it will increase tension with Iran, six sources familiar with the matter said.Washington proposed on July 9 stepping up efforts to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen where it blames Iran and its proxies for tanker attacks. Iran denies the charges.But with Washington's allies reluctant to commit new weaponry or fighting forces…

File Image: flight Ops on the USS Boxer (CREDIT: USN)

Trump: U.S. Ship Destroyed Iranian Drone in Strait of Hormuz

President Donald Trump said the USS Boxer destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday after the aircraft threatened the ship by flying to within 1,000 yards of it.He called on other countries to condemn Iran and protect their own ships.Reporting by Steve Holland

Iran Grain Ships Stranded in Brazil due to U.S. Sanctions

Two Iranian vessels have been stranded for weeks at Brazilian ports, unable to head back to Iran due to lack of fuel, which state-run oil firm Petrobras refuses to sell them due to sanctions imposed by the United States.The vessels Bavand and Termeh came to Brazil a couple months ago carrying urea, a petrochemical product used as fertilizer. They were expected to load corn and return to Iran, but lacked enough fuel for the trip, the port operator in Paranaguá told Reuters.Food is not covered by U.S.

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Mnuchin: US, Chinese Call Could Produce 'in-person' Talks

U.S. and Chinese officials will hold a telephone call later on Thursday that could pave the way for further in-person trade talks, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC.Mnuchin, speaking from the G7 meeting in Chantilly, France, said he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will participate in the call with their Chinese counterparts, adding that it follows an earlier discussion with their staffs."We'll see where we get," he said in an interview. "We continue to make progress.

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US, Chinese Officials to Resume Trade Talks

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday told reporters he expects to have another telephone call with Chinese officials this week as part of resumed discussions about a trade agreement.U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping last month agreed to another truce in the year-long trade spat between the world's two largest economies.Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer followed up with a phone call with Chinese trade officials last week, but no details have been released about an expected in-person meeting.

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Big Easy Braces for Barry Flooding; Emergency Declared

New Orleans braced for severe flooding with residents told to hunker down as a growing tropical storm in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico headed for landfall late on Friday or early on Saturday as the first Atlantic hurricane of 2019.U.S. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for the state of Louisiana late on Thursday, hours after the region's oil production was cut by half as energy companies evacuated offshore drilling facilities and a coastal refinery.Tropical Storm…

File Image: A UK Navy warship on patrol (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Peter Cripps)

Britain Foils Iranian Attempt to Block Tanker

Three Iranian vessels tried to block a BP-operated tanker passing through the Strait of Hormuz but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship, the UK government said on Thursday.Britain urged Iran to "de-escalate the situation in the region" after the British Heritage, a Suezmax oil tanker operated by BP under an Isle of Man flag, was approached."HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels…

Trump Warns Tehran of Possible Attack, Calls for Talks

Iranian officials told Reuters on Friday that Tehran had received a message from U.S. President Donald Trump warning that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent but saying he was against war and wanted talks on a range of issues.News of the message, delivered through Oman overnight, came shortly after the New York Times said Trump had approved military strikes against Iran on Friday over the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, but called them off at the last minute."In his message…

(Photo:  Islamic Republic News Agency)

Two Tankers Attacked in Gulf of Oman

Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, leaving one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices as much as 4% higher over worries about Middle East supplies.The Front Altair, carrying petrochemical feedstock, was on fire in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after an explosion that a source blamed on a magnetic mine. The Norwegian owner said its crew were safe.A second Japanese-owned tanker was abandoned after being hit by a suspected torpedo, the firm that chartered the ship said.

Tillerson Applauds U.S. Trade Goals, Not Tactics

Rex Tillerson, the former U.S. secretary of state and Exxon Mobil Corp chairman who has clashed with President Donald Trump since leaving the administration, said on Wednesday he supports the president's trade objectives "but may not support the tactical moves."Speaking to a group of energy executives in Houston, Tillerson said he was concerned that pursuing bilateral trade talks around the globe could weaken Washington's network of allies, which he called "that very strong alliance…

A Hong Kong Container Terminal works cargo. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Marco

China, U.S. Trade Officials Talk Shead of Trump-Xi Meeting

Senior Chinese and U.S. trade officials spoke by telephone on Monday ahead of talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump set for later this week, as the world's two largest economies remain locked in a tariff war.Trump and Xi are expected to meet on the second day of the Friday-Saturday Group of 20 summit in Japan, the first face-to-face meeting for the leaders since trade talks broke off in May.Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held a phone conversation with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S.

Image Credit: AdobeStock / © Nightman 1965

China Pulls WTO Suit Over Claim to be a 'Market Economy'

China has halted a dispute at the World Trade Organization over its claim to be a market economy, a panel of three WTO adjudicators said on Monday, meaning Beijing must accept continued EU and U.S. "anti-dumping" levies on cheap Chinese goods.One trade official close to the case said so much of the ruling had gone against Beijing that it had opted to pull the plug before the result became official."They lost so much that they didn't even want the world to see the panel's reasoning…

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Hopes for U.S.-China Trade Truce Boost Markets

Risk appetite returned to world markets on Thursday following a media report the United States and China have tentatively agreed to a truce ahead of a highly-anticipated weekend meeting of the two nations' leaders in Tokyo.The South China Morning Post (SCMP), citing sources, said Washington and Beijing were laying out an agreement that would help avert the next round of tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports.On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump said a trade deal with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping was possible this weekend…