Ocean and air freight rates and trends; customs and trade industry news plus Covid-19 impacts for the week of June 1, 2021.
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USTR publishes FAQs to prevent Section 301 scams
The Office of the USTR released a list of FAQs regarding actions the USTR takes on Section 301 tariffs, clarifying what to look out for if a suspicious party makes contact in regards to tariffs. If a suspicious party has contacted an importer, the USTR encourages them to take action in the steps outlined on the webpage.
USTR has candid call with Chinese counterpart
On May 26, USTR Katherine Tai had a virtual meeting with her Chinese counterpart, Vice Premier Liu He, discussing the Biden Administration’s prioritization of a “worker-centric” trade policy and the USTR’s ongoing review of US-China trade relations. The Office of the USTR was ambiguous on further details of specific policy developments for trade and customs related to China.
CBP issues new WRO to combat forced labor in fishing
Highlighting the wide scope of withhold release orders (WROs) made to clamp down on products suspected to be made with forced labor, CBP issued a WRO against the full fleet and end products coming from Dalian Ocean Fishing. CBP found the company violated all eleven of the International Labour Organization’s indicators of forced labor, covering wages, living conditions, and abuse.
China The price of raw materials and farm goods have increased significantly in the past year. To help factories and power plants, the Chinese government has made an effort to limit commodity prices. [Source]
Japan Japanese health ministry approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds. Japan has received enough Pfizer vaccines for 97 million people [Source]
Vietnam Ho Chi Minh starts social distancing measures from May 31 for 15 days to curb the spread of COVID-19. [Source]
Cambodia Kralanh market will be closed for two weeks from May 30 to June 12 to prevent Covid’s spread. [Source]
Thailand US$16 billion will be borrowed to finance new economic measures to help smaller firms and assist tourism. [Source]
Malaysia Malaysia enters a total lockdown from Jun 1 to June 14. Only essential service sectors such as healthcare, telecommunications and media, food and beverages, are allowed to operate. Some manufacturing sectors are allowed to continue to operate at 60% capacity. [Source]
Philippines Covid restrictions expected to ease in Manila as infections fall in the capital, but cases rise elsewhere [Source]
France restricts entry from the UK. To curb the spread of COVID-19 variants, European nationals, French residents and those travelling for essential reasons are the only travellers permitted to enter France from the UK. [Source]
India Many States like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Goa have extended lockdown despite recording the lowest case (165,553 of Covid-19 in 46 days. [Source]
Bangladesh has extended its Covid-19 Lockdown to June 6th from its original expiration date of May 30th. [Source]
Shipping Industry Awaits Clean Fuel Consensus Industry agreements to cut carbon emissions in half by 2050, compared with 2008, still feel out of reach as shipping executives weigh their fuel options. The Wall Street Journal reports that, since cargo ships are expected to last 25 years or more, new ships need to start meeting sustainability requirements now. With no consensus on which clean fuel will power the industry through the 21st century, that’s still not possible.
Stranded Seafarer Numbers Rise While calls to let seafarers disembark at the height of the Covid pandemic were partially answered, new regional spikes in infection rates are still keeping workers onboard past their contract expiration dates. The Maritime Executive reports the latest data release shows the number of seafarers affected in May has risen by 24% over April.
Autonomous Truck Travels Silk Road A self-driving truck has accomplished a round trip on China’s Silk Road. Transport Topics reports the truck encountered traffic, steep uphills and downhills, tunnels, construction, S-curves, undivided highways, a sandstorm, and more.
US Rail Slashes Free Pickup Times US railroad companies are tightening their timelines to encourage quicker container and chassis turns at inland ramps. The Journal of Commerce reports narrower windows for free pickup may result in higher demurrage fees and additional strain on already stressed trucking companies.
April Inflation Measures Rise
April inflation measures in the US showed rising prices, however you cut it. Among the ways to cut it, one could look at the one-month price rise in a Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) index and extrapolate it to a full year.
That showed 7.5% inflation for the full index, 8.3% for a core version (excluding food and energy) and 2.4% for a “trimmed means” version favored by the Fed.
If one extrapolated the last six months instead, the corresponding rates would be 4.3%, 3.4%, and 1.8%. All but the last exceeded the Fed’s target for a 2% average.
Germany reported May inflation at a 2.4% annual rate, above the European Central Bank’s target of 2%.
Personal Consumption Falls
Personal consumption did not keep up with inflation in April, falling 0.1% in real terms.
Consumption of durable goods fell 0.1% from March, nondurables fell 1.8%, and services rose 0.5%.
Each category was still up from February.
US Exports Rise in April
US exports rose in April, up 1.2% from March to $144.7b. Imports were down 2.2% to $229.9bn.
WTO Shows Strong Trade Ahead
The Global Goods Trade Indicator is booming. The WTO measure predicts strong trade upcoming.
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Please note that the information in our publications is compiled from a variety of sources based on the information we have to date. This information is provided to our community for informational purposes only, and we do not accept any liability or responsibility for reliance on the information contained herein.
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