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Showing posts from June 6, 2014

China: Transshipment Proposal Could Bolster Vale

A man speaks on a walkie talkie near Valemax ship Rio de Janeiro at the harbor of Rotterdam on January 10, 2012.(LEX VAN LIESHOUT/AFP/Getty Images)


At a recent conference in Brasilia, Chinese Ambassador to Brazil Li Jinzhang relayed the Chinese Ministry of Transport's interest in a transshipment joint venture with Brazil-based multinational mining and logistics company Vale S.A. The potential agreement would aim to lower transportation costs for Brazilian iron ore and thereby reduce input prices for China's beleaguered steelmakers.

The ambassador's comments were meant only to express interest, and the venture is still inchoate. However, the ambassador's comment is something of a peace offering to Vale. Since January 2012, the Chinese government has barred the company's fleet of 30 (soon to be 35) massive iron ore bulk carriers, referred to as Valemax ships, from docking at Chinese ports. The joint venture could allow for Valemax ships to offload iron ore at fl…

U.S. Announces Pause in Efforts to Reduce Iranian Crude Oil Exports


White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said June 5 that under the Joint Plan of Action between the P-5+1 and Iran, the United States will put a six-month hold on measures to reduce Iranian crude oil sales in return for Iran's compliance in rolling back its nuclear program. While Carney's statement is not a fundamental shift in U.S. sanctions policy, it does formally acknowledge the tacit U.S. practice of not fully enforcing sanctions on Iran's oil exports.

Under the Joint Plan of Action launched in January, the United States committed to using the authority of the U.S. executive branch to ease up on enforcement of reductions in Iranian crude imports in order to facilitate a nuclear agreement. The plan originally limited Iran's oil exports to around 1 million barrels per day, although the latest figures show Iran exporting slightly more at 1.3 million barrels per day. July 20 is the deadline for the nuclear deal and Iran needs to show its domestic audience that i…