With retail sales increasing and retailers rushing to bring merchandise into the US ahead of proposed new tariffs on products from China, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports have set two new records this summer and are expected to set another this month, according to the Global Port Tracker report by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
West of England P&I Club outlined the potential impacts for shipowners and insurers that will arise from the US’s decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement signed by China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union (EU) and Iran.
Despite moderating perishable seaborne trade growth, continued modal shift will sustain expansion in the containerised reefer trade and freight rate development as well, Drewry’s latest Reefer Shipping Annual Review and Forecast 2018/19 report, noted. Perishable reefer trade is expected to moderate slightly over the next five years to near 3% a year.
After a new pattern at the start of the year, July saw a modest realignment between charter and freight markets. This comes as liner operators react to cost pressures and the industry awaits the affects of the potential trade war between the US and China, the latest Container Shipping Forecaster from MSI noted.
The US Office of the United States Trade Representative released a list of about $16 billion worth of imports from China that will be subject to a 25% additional tariff. This is a response to China’s retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods last week. The tariffs will be collected by August 23.
In its financial report for the first quarter of 2018, Maersk adjusted its expectations for 2018. Namely, the shipping giant lowered its profit forecast, because of the increased uncertainties. Maersk’s new expectation for earnings before interests, tax, depreciations and amortisations is in the range of USD 3.5-4.2bn.
Following the US decision to withdraw from the JCPOA with Iran, President Trump issued an Executive Order on 6 August 2018, which essentially re-imposes the secondary sanctions against Iran. These sanctions were contained in the EOs revoked when the JCPOA was implemented in January 2016.
Orient Overseas announced its 2018 Interim Results, with outgoing Chairman of OOIL, Mr. C C Tung commenting on the upcoming merger with Cosco. Mr. C C Tung seemed optimistic about this development and noted that this transaction will offer many opportunities to both the companies.
According to the bill, amendments will allow tariffs, prices and rates to be in foreign currency or notional currency units, only in cases where the federal law approves it. This legislation aims to secure Russian legal entities against a price growth in seaports, because of the national currency’s exchange rate fluctuations.
Maritime UK urged the government and EU to extend the Article 50 process if a deal is not agreed by October, as a recent survey by Maritime UK showed that 66% of UK business leaders think a ‘no-deal’ scenario is likely, with just half of them saying that they have made preparations for such an outcome.
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