Infested Chinese Garlic Imports Kick up a Stink in Indonesia
Indonesia has impounded more than 200 tonnes of garlic imported from China, warning that a microscopic worm infestation found in the shipment could put at risk plans by the Southeast Asian country to boost its own garlic crop. Since coming to power in 2014, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has pursued self-sufficiency policies to protect farmers, but efforts to rely on domestic supplies of everything from beef to rice have at times caused shortages and price spikes. Chinese food imports have previously proved sensitive in Indonesia.
Maersk Unable to Ship Qatar Bound Cargo from UAE
Maersk can no longer transport goods in or out of Qatar after Arab countries imposed restrictions on trade with the tiny Gulf state and the company is looking at alternative shipping routes. Shipping lines normally transship cargoes from the United Arab Emirates port of Jebel Ali to Qatar, which relies heavily on imports by sea and land. "We expect disruptions to our Qatar services. The situation is very fluid," the spokesman said, adding that Maersk would notify customers about alternative options as soon as possible.
Attack on Yemen's Port Would Push Country Nearer Famine -UN
An attack on Yemen's Hodeidah port would push the country closer to famine as humanitarian agencies have no other way to deliver all the food and aid that is needed, a U.N. official said on Thursday. A Saudi-led military coalition has been preparing an assault on the key Red Sea port, which is the point of entry for nearly 80 percent of Yemen's food imports. Earlier this month, a coalition source said the alliance was preparing facilities in Aden and Mukalla in south Yemen as alternative entry routes for urgent aid in the event that Hodeidah port was affected by military operations. But U.N.
UN, Russia Warn Against Assault on Main Yemeni Port
United Nations and Russian officials warned on Tuesday against any attack by Saudi-led coalition forces on the Houthi-held Yemeni port of Hodeidah, the aid lifeline for a country where millions of people are in desperate need of food. The warring factions must ensure deliveries of food and medical aid to starving people, senior U.N. officials said at a donor conference in Geneva. Nearly $1.1 billion has now been pledged towards a United Nations appeal of $2.1 billion for Yemen this year, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced, calling it a "remarkable success".
Russia Says Will React if U.S. Imposes New Sanctions
Russia will take counter measures if Washington imposes new sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Saturday. The U.S. Congress has readied new sanctions on Russian weapons companies and investors in the country's high-tech oil projects, but U.S. President Barack Obama has yet to sign a corresponding bill into law. "We will not be able to leave that without an answer," Russia's Interfax news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying. He did not say what form of counter-measure Moscow might take.
Private Buyers in Iran Look to Boost Grain Market
One sign of change in Iran as it works toward a nuclear deal with world powers is the way it is feeding itself, with private grain firms beginning a slow return to their traditional role as major food commodity importers. Iran was never barred from buying food under sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union over Tehran's nuclear activities. But the measures have made trade more difficult for the past two years by hindering payments and ocean shipping, which has left the bulk of the work in the hands of state buyers such as the GTC and SLAL.