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Houthis strike bulk carrier in Gulf of Aden: US Centcom

  • Spanish Market: Freight
  • 14/06/24

Yemen-based Houthi militants struck the Ukrainian-owned and Polish-operated bulk cargo carrier Verbena in the Gulf of Aden, US Central Command (Centcom) said today, possibly the second such attack on ships this month.

The Palau-flagged Verbena was first struck by two Houthi anti-ship cruise missiles on 13 June, which resulted in damage and fires. The Houthis struck it again later with an anti-ship ballistic missile. The vessel most recently docked in Malaysia and was headed to Italy carrying wood construction material, according to Centcom.

This latest attack comes after a Houthi unmanned surface vessel struck the Greek-owned and operated vessel Tutor in the Red Sea on 12 June, which resulted in severe flooding and damage to the engine room. The Tutor most recently docked in Russia, according to Centcom. The bulk carrier was planned to arrive at Jordan's Aqaba port on 14 June, according to global trade analytics platform Kpler, with its last known cargo being corn.

Oil prices edged down despite continuing tensions in the Red Sea. The Ice front-month August Brent contract was at $82.42/bl at 02:43 GMT, down by 0.4pc from the previous settlement. The front-month July WTI crude contract was at $78.21/bl, down by around 0.5pc.


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22/07/24

US House to vote on waterways bill

US House to vote on waterways bill

Houston, 22 July (Argus) — The US House of Representatives is expected to vote on 22 July on a waterways bill that would authorize new infrastructure projects across ports and rivers. The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) is renewed typically every two years to authorize projects for the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). The bipartisan bill is sponsored by representative Rick Larsen (D-Washington) and committee chairman Sam Graves (R-Missouri). The full committee markup occurred 26 June, where amendments were added, and the bill was passed to the full House . A conference committee will need to be called to resolve the different versions of the bill. The major difference between the bills is that the House bill does not include an adjustment to the cost-sharing structure for the lock and dam construction and other rehabilitation projects. The Senate Committee on Environment Public Works passed its own version of the bill on 22 May, with all members in favor of the bill. The House version of the bill approves modifications to the Seagirt Loop Channel near the Baltimore Harbor in Maryland, along with 11 other projects and 160 feasibility studies. One of these studies is a $314.25mn resiliency study of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, which connects ports along the Gulf of Mexico from St Marks, Florida, to Brownsville, Texas. By Meghan Yoyotte Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Ship-to-ship transfers resume in GOM after storm


09/07/24
09/07/24

Ship-to-ship transfers resume in GOM after storm

Calgary, 9 July (Argus) — Ship-to-ship transfers of crude, refined products and other commodities off the Texas coast resumed Tuesday after Hurricane Beryl postponed operations on Saturday. The US National Weather Service (NWS) forecast workable conditions with winds of 5-10 knots (6-12 mph) for the remainder of the week off the Texas coast from Corpus Christi to Beaumont after Hurricane Beryl brought gusts of up to 95 mph on Sunday and Monday. Ship-to-ship transfers, also referred to as lighterings and reverse lighterings, typically are postponed when sustained winds exceed 25 mph. Due to draft restrictions at ports in Texas, ship-to-ship transfers are required to fully load 2mn bl very large crude carriers (VLCCs). The transfer typically is from an Aframax or Suezmax at designated zones near Corpus Christi, Galveston and Beaumont-Port Arthur. Prolonged delays can prevent crude tanker tonnage from becoming available and exert upward pressure on freight rates, while also adding to demurrage fees. By Tray Swanson Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Flooding closes upper Mississippi locks


08/07/24
08/07/24

Flooding closes upper Mississippi locks

Houston, 8 July (Argus) — High water levels in the Mississippi River have caused all lock and dams to close between Bellevue, Iowa, and Gladstone, Illinois, according to the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). Lock and Dams (L&D) 12-18 are closed as of 8 July, the Corps said. Water levels have reached the top of L&D 12 in Bellevue and L&D 11 in Dubuque, according to the National Weather Service. The outflow at L&D 16 was at 255,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 8 July, about 68pc more than the average of 80,000cfs this time of year, the Corps said. It will be another two weeks until L&D 20 reopens, but L&Ds 11-15 could reopen as early as this weekend, the Corps said. About 15 inches of rain fell in Dubuque over the past week, bringing the expected forecast up to 22.1ft, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Flooding at Dubuque and other locations along the river are expected to drop from major to moderate levels this week. L&D 19 reopened on 8 July as it fellow flood stage at 16ft, the Corps said. L&Ds 19, 21, and 22 are expected to remain open. The river widens around the locks, allowing for a greater outflow at higher water levels. By Trajan Greenwell Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Beryl enters GOM, heading towards Texas: Update


05/07/24
05/07/24

Beryl enters GOM, heading towards Texas: Update

Updates hurricane watch and status of Texas ports and lightering zones. New York, 5 July (Argus) — Hurricane Beryl weakened to a tropical storm as it crossed the Yucatan Peninsula and entered the Gulf of Mexico on Friday afternoon, with a likely second landfall in Texas on Monday. Maximum sustained winds have dropped to near 65mph, the National Hurricane Center said in a 5pm ET advisory, but the tropical storm is forecast to strengthen to a hurricane again as it moves over the Gulf of Mexico, with forecasts pointing to a landfall late Sunday or early Monday from far northeastern Mexico to the eastern Texas coast. The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch from the mouth of the Rio Grande River to Sargent, Texas, about 80 miles southwest of Houston. Heavy rainfall of 4-8 inches is expected by Sunday into next week. The US Coast Guard changed the status of the port of Corpus Christi, Texas — a key US oil export hub — to "X-ray" at 3pm ET Friday, meaning gale force winds are expected to arrive at the port within 48 hours. All commercial traffic and transfer operations can continue during X-ray, but the Coast Guard said ocean-going commercial vessels greater than 500 gross tons should make plans to depart the port. Corpus Christi is also home to three refineries totaling 800,000 b/d of capacity. Citgo said it is implementing its hurricane preparedness plan at its 165,000 b/d refinery there. The ports of Houston, Texas City, Galveston and Freeport were set to port condition Whiskey at 5:05pm ET Friday, meaning gale force winds are expected to arrive within 72 hours. The ports remain open to all commercial traffic. Ship-to-ship transfers off the Texas coast proceeded as normal on Friday but will be postponed off Corpus Christi beginning Sunday. The US National Weather Service (NWS) forecast winds up to 90mph and waves up to 32 ft at the Corpus Christi lightering area on Sunday and Monday before calmer conditions return Tuesday. Ship-to-ship transfers are expected to be postponed at the Galveston Offshore Lightering Area early next week due to the same conditions. Most of Mexico's Gulf coast ports were closed today and many offshore oil production operations. The impact to US Gulf oil and gas operations so far appears to be limited, with BP determining forecasts "indicate Hurricane Beryl no longer poses a significant threat" to its offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell had taken the precaution of shutting in production and evacuating all staff from its Perdido platform and its Whale development, which is scheduled to begin operations later this year. "We have safely paused some of our drilling operations, but there are currently no other impacts on our production across the Gulf of Mexico," the company said late on Thursday. Earlier this week, Beryl was a Category 5 storm, which made it the strongest on record for the month of July, as it left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean. By Stephen Cunningham, Tray Swanson and Nathan Risser Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

US services contract in June, signal broad weakening


03/07/24
03/07/24

US services contract in June, signal broad weakening

Houston, 3 July (Argus) — Economic activity in the US services sector contracted in June by the most since 2020 while a report earlier this week showed contraction in manufacturing, signaling a broad-based slowdown in the economy as the second quarter came to an end. The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) services purchasing managers index (PMI) registered 48.8 in June, down from 53.8 in May. Readings above 50 signal expansion, while those below 50 signal contraction for the services economy. The June services PMI "indicates the overall economy is contracting for the first time in 17 months," ISM said. "The decrease in the composite index in June is a result of notably lower business activity, a contraction in new orders for the second time since May 2020 and continued contraction in employment." The business activity/production index fell to 49.6 from 61.2. New orders fell by 6.8 points to 47.3. Employment fell by 1 point to 46.1. Monthly PMI reports can be volatile, but a services PMI above 49 over time generally indicates an expansion of the overall economy. "Survey respondents report that in general, business is flat or lower, and although inflation is easing, some commodities have significantly higher costs," ISM said. The prices index fell by 1.8 points to 56.3, showing slowing but robust price gains. ISM's manufacturing PMI fell to 48.5 in June from 48.7 in May, ISM reported on 1 July. It was the third consecutive month of contraction and marked a 19th month of contraction in the past 20 months. Wednesday's weaker than expected ISM report, together with a Wednesday report showing initial jobless claims last week rose to their highest in two years, slightly increase the odds that the Federal Reserve may lower its target rate later this year after maintaining it at 23-year highs since last year in an effort to stem inflation. By Bob Willis Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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