INTERNATIONAL TRADE MAY 2022

09/05/2022

SHIP LADEN WITH RUSSIAN COAL DOCKS AT SPANISH PORT OF GIJÓN

A Maltese-flagged ship carrying Russian coal has docked at the northern Spanish port of Gijon, port authorities said on Monday.

Another Maltese-flagged ship, loaded with Russian crude oil, docked on Friday in Cartagena, southern Spain, officials confirmed.

The European Union on 8 April adopted sanctions against imports of coal, timber, chemicals and other products such as vodka from Russia in a bid to cut off trade following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, although the sanctions are not yet fully implemented.

Russian ships are banned from calling at Spanish ports, a Transport Ministry spokeswoman said on Monday, but the EU ban on vessels from other countries loaded with Russian goods is not yet in force, she added.

On 27 April, another Maltese-flagged vessel tried to enter the port of Barcelona but was denied access because it was carrying cargo transferred from a Russian ship under sanctions, the Spanish transport ministry said in a statement at the time.

09/05/2022

JAPAN ANNOUNCES NEW ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA

Japan on Tuesday announced new sanctions on Russia to freeze the assets of more people and ban exports of cutting-edge products to some Russian groups, including scientific research institutions. It comes in a series of measures in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

12/05/2022

U.S. ALLOWS SOME FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN NORTHERN SYRIA DESPITE SANCTIONS

The United States has authorised through general licences some foreign investment in areas of northern Syria that are outside government control.

The US Treasury Department approved activities in 12 sectors, including agriculture, construction and finance, but made clear that it did not allow any transactions with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or those designated under US sanctions.

Concerned about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the challenge from China, the Biden administration has largely focused its Syria policy on ensuring that the Islamic State does not resurface and that aid reaches Syrian civilians.

12/05/2022

MEXICO TO MODIFY IMPORT AND EXPORT LAW TO CURB INFLATION

A Mexican presidential decree will be issued in the coming days to modify tariffs in the country’s import and export law in a bid to curb inflation, according to a spokesman for the Finance Ministry.

Mexico’s inflation in April reached its highest levels since January 2001.

The announcement comes a week after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador unveiled a plan to control inflation. As part of the plan, the government pledged to increase the production of basic foodstuffs with the support of local businessmen.

13/05/2022

U.S. PRAISES EU’S NUCLEAR PUSH ON IRAN, BUT AGREEMENT IS UNCERTAIN

The United States praises the European Union for attempts to revive talks on restoring the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, however, the State Department concludes that there is still no agreement and no certainty that one can be reached.

According to the State Department there has been progress during consultations between its envoy and Iranian officials in Tehran to relaunch nuclear negotiations after two months of stalemate.

14/05/2022

CUBA SEES SIGNS OF RECOVERY, ANNOUNCES MEASURES TO CURB INFLATION

Cuba saw an increase in exports in the first quarter, boosted by a rise in the price of nickel, a major export mineral.

US sanctions and rising food and fuel prices, partly due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have jeopardised Cuba’s recovery and threaten to worsen shortages.

Tourism, one of the main sources of foreign exchange needed to pay for more expensive imports, has also lagged far behind the government’s targets, complicating the recovery.

To combat this situation, the economy minister said Cuba will begin selling foreign currency at an exchange rate between the official and black market rates, but will limit such operations to certain state and private companies in an attempt to boost production of high-demand products.

18/05/2022

U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY JANET YELLEN CONFIRMS SHE IS PUSHING BIDEN TO REDUCE TARIFFS ON CHINA

The treasury secretary said she is working to eliminate some tariffs on Chinese imports that are “not very strategic” and are hurting US consumers and businesses.

She added that internal discussions are underway on the “Section 301” tariffs imposed by former US president Donald Trump on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese goods.

However, according to Reuters sources, there are disagreements within the Biden administration with one camp preferring to maintain them and even include new strategic tariffs in order to protect US jobs.

Some economists both inside and outside the administration, along with many business groups, have advocated lower tariffs on China as a way to help control high inflation caused by disruptions to the COVID-19 supply chain and spikes in food and energy prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

19/05/2022

INDONESIAN PRESIDENT DECLARES END TO PALM OIL EXPORT BAN

The ban, which has now lasted three weeks, came as world vegetable oil markets faced reduced supplies of sunflower oil due to the war in Ukraine.

The world’s top palm oil exporter halted shipments of palm oil and some by-products on 28 April to try to control rising domestic oil prices, surprising markets already rattled by earlier government intervention measures.

Although the ban was imposed to address domestic discontent over the price of oil, pressure has since increased to reduce it as Indonesian farmers have seen demand for their products. decline.

Farmers staged a demonstration to protest the export ban as palm fruit prices plummeted across the country that has ended with the removal of the export ban, a move that has been applauded by farmers.

19/05/2022

PAKISTAN BANS IMPORT OF ALL LUXURY GOODS

The move comes in an attempt to stabilise the economy, the information minister said, describing the situation as an economic emergency.

Pakistan’s current account deficit has spiralled out of control and its foreign exchange reserves have plummeted, while the Pakistani rupee has plunged to historic lows against the US dollar.

Among the imports to be banned are cars, mobile phones, household appliances and cosmetics. It is unclear how long the ban will be in force.

According to the minister, these measures would save $6 billion a year.

Pakistan’s main imports are fuel and edible oil and pulses, which will not be affected.

20/05/2022

PRESIDENT BIDEN’S ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES NEW MEASURES IN ITS POLICY TOWARDS CUBA

Following the tensions between Cuba and the United States that prevailed during the Trump era, negotiations on migration and other issues have resumed at a high-level bilateral meeting in May 2022.

As a result, the State Department has announced certain measures involving a partial lifting of sanctions on Cuba, as first steps towards fulfilling President Biden’s campaign promise to reverse many of the sanctions imposed by his predecessor.

In the area of trade, Cuba’s private sector will be supported through increased access to internet services, applications and e-commerce platforms. US direct investment will be authorised for the first time since 1960.

20/05/2022

CHINA INCREASES ITS PURCHASES OF LOW-PRICED RUSSIAN OIL

China’s seaborne imports of Russian oil will soar to a near-record 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in May, up from 750,000 bpd in the first quarter and 800,000 bpd in 2021, according to an estimate by Vortexa Analytics.

The low Russian oil price is a boon for Chinese refiners, which face shrinking margins in a slowing economy. The price is well below competing barrels from the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the United States.

22/05/2022

INDIAN STEEL COMPANIES SEE THEIR DEALS WITH EUROPE AFFECTED AFTER NEW EXPORT TAX ON CERTAIN PRODUCTS

Indian steel companies could be forced to cancel orders in Europe and suffer losses following the decision to impose overnight export taxes on steel products.

India has imposed a 15% export tax on eight steel products at a time when steelmakers are seeking to offset local demand by increasing market share in Europe. The decision could increase the industry’s costs by as much as $300 million.

The steel export taxes were part of a series of crucial commodity tax changes aimed at curbing retail inflation, which has reached eight-year highs.

23/05/2022

NEW TRADE AGREEMENT IN THE INDO-PACIFIC WITH THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION

A new trade agreement has been launched with 12 Indo-Pacific countries aimed at strengthening their economies.

According to the Biden administration, the trade deal is designed to strengthen the US position in the contested economic sphere and to address the need for stability in trade following the disruptions caused by the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The pact comprises the following countries: Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
In a joint statement, the states said the pact will help them collectively prepare their economies for the future in the aftermath of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

 

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