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Saturday, December 14, 2019

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Houthis Release South Korean, Saudi vessels

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement released three vessels and 16 people it had seized, South Korea's Foreign Ministry and a Houthi military source in Yemen said on Wednesday.The seizure on Sunday was the latest incident at sea around Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is leading a Western-backed coalition of Arab states against the Houthis, who control the capital and most population centres and have been accused of attacking shipping.Of the vessels freed on Tuesday, two were South Korean and one was Saudi Arabia-flagged…

© alexyz3d / Adobe Stock

Iran building oil pipeline to terminal outside Gulf

Iran is building a $1.8 billion oil pipeline to its port of Jask outside the mouth of the Gulf, the country's oil minister said, as part of plans to protect its exports against potential problems in the region and to boost shipments of Caspian oil.Iran has been planning since at least 2012 to set up the terminal on the Gulf of Oman, just outside the Strait of Hormuz.Tehran has threatened to block the vital Gulf oil shipping route during its standoff with the United States, after Washington last year withdrew from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and reimposed sanctions…

AdobeStock / © Rawf8

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.

The NOAA National Hurricane Center Storm Cone situation at 1100 hours local on 30 August 2019.

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…

source: NOAA / National Hurricane Center

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.

file image: A containership in the Panama Canal (CREDIT:CH2M)

Panama: Canal Operating normally; no ships detained

Panama's Canal Authority said on Wednesday that the canal was operating normally and without delays, adding that no ships had been detained in the trade waterway.The entity posted the statement on Twitter in response to a tweet from Venezuela's Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, who said a ship carrying 25,000 tonnes of soy had been detained in the canal.Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon

AdobeStock / © rawf8

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…

(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…

The Bayonne Bridge (The growth in part can be attributed to the completion in June 2017 of the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project, which raised the clearance under the bridge from 151 feet to 215 feet, allowing the world’s largest container ships to pass under it and serve port terminals in New York and New Jersey.) Credit: Port NY/NJ

CONTAINER PORTS: Boxed in or Busting Out?

Benchmarking the Nation’s top container ports in 2018 and looking ahead to what comes next.The nation’s major ports finished 2018 and began 2019 setting monthly and yearly container volume records, but agitated trade activity in the White House raised questions about what corrections would be permanent and which would not.President Donald Trump said on Febuary 24 he is delaying the scheduled March 1 increase in the tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports. The president said on Twitter he wants to give negotiators more time to reach a comprehensive trade deal with Beijing.

The Icaro (© Leslie Brug / MarineTraffic.com)

PDVSA Insists it's Still Working with BSM

Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA said on Thursday it has not halted business with maritime firm Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), even after the German firm said it would remove the crews that have been operating 10 of 15 PDVSA vessels over unpaid fees and return the tankers.On Tuesday, PDVSA's maritime arm PDV Marina declared an emergency due to lack of staff to immediately receive the 10 vessels BSM proposed to return to Venezuelan ports due to unpaid bills of at…

File Image: AdobeStock / © Igor Strukov

China Jan Soybean Imports from U.S. Double vs Dec

China's imports of U.S. soybeans nearly doubled in January from the previous month as cargoes booked after a Sino-U.S. trade truce arrived in the world's top oilseed importer, according to Chinese customs data published late on Monday.China brought in 135,814 tonnes of U.S. soybeans in January, up 95 percent from 69,298 tonnes in December. But the figure was still down 99.7 percent from 5.82 million tonnes a year earlier as Beijing's hefty tariffs on American shipments curbed purchases.China typically buys from the United States in the last quarter and first couple of months of the year…

Photo: Maldives Ports Limited

Shahid Ali Appointed as CEO Maldives Ports

Shahid Ali has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Office of Maldives Ports Limited.Maldives Ports Limited annouced the appointment through a twitter message which read: "On behalf of all the staff and management of Maldives Ports Ltd, we would like to send a hearty congratulations to our newly appointed CEO, Shahid Ali"Shahid previously held the position of Managing Director at State Trading Organization.The Port was established in September 1986 under a Presidential decree as…

file Image / AdobeStock / © Nightman 1965

China, U.S. Discuss Road Map for Continuing Trade Talks

China and the United States discussed a road map for the next stage of their trade talks on Tuesday during a telephone call between Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed at a Dec. 1 meeting in Argentina to a truce that delayed a planned Jan. 1 U.S. increase of tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.Lighthizer said on Sunday that unless U.S.-China trade talks wrapped up successfully by March 1…

Fifteen Reported Dead in Migrant Boat off Libya

Fifteen migrants have died in a boat off the Libyan coast after spending 12 days at sea without food or water, an Egyptian survivor said on Tuesday.Only 10 migrants from the capsized boat survived, all of whom were suffering from severe dehydration, Othman Belbeisi, head of the U.N. migration agency IOM in Libya, said on Twitter.The owner of a beach chalet found the migrants washing up on the shore near the city of Misrata and called authorities, who brought them to the Red Crescent relief service and hospitals, residents said."We were 25 migrants on a boat ...

© Jackie Pritchard / MarineTraffic.com

Peak Pegasus Finally Unloads US Soybeans in China

A vessel carrying U.S. soybeans was unloading its cargo worth at least $23 million at the Chinese port of Dalian on Monday, becoming one of the first shipments to incur hefty new import duties as the trade row deepens between Beijing and Washington.The docking of the vessel after five weeks anchored off China's coast ended long-running speculation over the fate of the cargo, which had captured public attention.China's state grains stockpiler Sinograin confirmed in a fax to Reuters it will pay the additional 25 percent import tariff on its 70,000 tonne cargo of the oilseed.

© Lasse Pape / MarineTraffic.com

Saudi Arabia Halts Red Sea Oil Exports after Tanker Attacks

Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it was suspending oil shipments through a strategic Red Sea lane after Yemen's Iran-aligned rebels attacked two tankers in the waterway, underscoring the risk of an escalation in tensions in the region.Brent crude futures rose 59 cents to $74.52 a barrel by 1008 GMT, extending their rally into a third day but falling from a 10-day high in earlier trading.Saudi Arabia and arch-foe Iran have been locked in a three-year proxy war in Yemen, which lies on one side of the Bab al-Mandeb strait at the southern mouth of the sea…

Massawa, a harbour city on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea (© robnaw / Adobe Stock)

Ethiopia: Reopening Roads to Red Sea Ports a Priority

Landlocked Ethiopia wants to make the re-opening of two roads connecting it to two of Eritrea's Red Sea ports a priority in the two nations' reconciliation process, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.In a move that ended a 20-year military stand-off, the Horn of African neighbors agreed on Monday to open embassies, develop ports and resume flights.The historic reconciliation could transform politics and security in the volatile Horn region, which lies along one of the world's busiest shipping routes.Ethiopian government spokesman Ahmed Shide said on Wednesday that the reopening of two cr

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Nightman1965)

China Blames U.S. for "largest-scale trade war"

China says forced to respond to U.S. tariffs. The United States and China slapped tit-for-tat duties on $34 billion worth of each other's imports on Friday, with Beijing accusing Washington of triggering the "largest-scale trade war" as the world's two biggest economies sharply escalated their conflict. Hours before Washington's deadline for the tariffs to take effect, U.S. President Donald Trump upped the ante, warning that the United States may ultimately target over $500 billion worth of Chinese goods, or roughly the total amount of U.S. imports from China last year.

Photo: OSM

OSM Launches Seafarer Mental Health Campaign

OSM has chosen The Day of the Seafarer to launch a global campaign aimed at safeguarding and improving the mental health of its 11,000 crew members. The year long initiative, christened How Healthy is Your Mind: An OSM Seafarers’ Guide to Positive Mental Health, will be pushed out across the 500 plus vessels managed by the business, addressing an increasingly pressing, but often overlooked, industry issue. According to a recent report carried out by Sailors’ Society and Yale University…

© Graham Flett / MarineTraffic.com

Cargo Ship Loses 83 Containers off Australia

A cargo ship lost 83 containers over-board during heavy seas off Australia and items including nappies and sanitary pads are washing up on beaches while there are fears the ill-fated containers will pose a hazard for shipping and whales.The YM Efficiency, operated by Taiwan shipping company Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation, was sailing from Taiwan to Sydney when it encountered 5-metre swells in the Tasman Sea, about 30 km off Australia's east coast late on Thursday."They're 40-foot containers, they sit about a foot or two off the water ...

Photo: Gothia Tanker Alliance

Furetank Fleet Adds LNG-fuelled Fure Vinga

Swedish shipping company Furetank Rederi AB, a part of the Gothia Tanker Alliance, has taken delivery of its latest vessel, Fure Vinga, the first in a series of six 17.999 DWT product tankers with LNG operation. "We welcome Fure Vinga to our alliance! We wish the ship and her crew fair winds and good fortune!," said Gothia Tanker Alliance in a Twitter message. The vessel has been transferred to Furetank following successful sea trials and started its trip from the shipyard of Avic Dingheng Shipbuilding in China, sailing to Europe.

© Leonid Eremeychuk / Adobe Stock

Trump Tariffs: EU Seeks Permanent Exemption

European Union leaders called on Friday for a temporary exemption from U.S. import duties on steel and aluminium to be made permanent, saying they reserved the right to respond in an "in a proportionate manner" to protect the bloc's interests. The 40-day exemption granted by Washington was like U.S. President Donald Trump "putting a gun to our head", Belgium's prime minister complained. The EU's trade negotiator demanded that the United States drop "artificial deadlines". Trump said on Thursday he would suspend tariffs for the EU…

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (Photo: U.S. Department of Commerce)

Commerce Secretary Ross to Speak with EU on Tariffs

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will speak with European Union representatives about lowering tariffs against the United States, President Donald Trump said on Monday. "Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will be speaking with representatives of the European Union about eliminating the large Tariffs and Barriers they use against the U.S.A. Not fair to our farmers and manufacturers," Trump said in a Twitter post. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu)

Photo: Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor

Indiana's Burns Harbor Plans for More Growth

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor completed a landmark year in 2017 and is poised for significant future growth as a result of several historic developments. In addition to handling an 8 percent increase in cargo shipments in 2017, the port doubled the size of its bulk terminal, attracted a nationally-renowned stevedore in Metro Ports, handled its most valuable cargo ever, and announced a $20 million expansion made possible by earning one of only 10 "FASTLANE" small project grants awarded in the U.S. last year.

Photo:  DP World - Doraleh

UAE to the Rescue of DP World’s Container Terminal in Djibouti

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) condemned Djibouti’s cancellation of DP World’s contract to run the Doraleh Container Terminal, calling it an “arbitrary” flouting of a signed agreement, said a report in Bloomberg. Media reports yesterday said that Dubai has accused Djibouti of illegally seizing a port operated by one of its state-owned shipping companies and started legal action against the African government. “Djibouti government’s seizure of the Doraleh port is regrettable,’’ Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash wrote on Twitter.