Tag Archives: Europe

China’s purchase of Iranian oil destroys demand for Brazil, Angolan crude | Instant News

SINGAPORE / Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Reuters) – China’s record imports of Iranian crude in recent months have squeezed supplies from rival producers, forcing oil sellers from countries such as Brazil, Angola and Russia to cut prices and divert shipments to India and Europe.

FILE PHOTOS: An employee holds a crude oil sample at the Yarakta oil field, owned by Irkutsk Oil Co, in the Irkutsk region, Russia on March 11, 2019. REUTERS / Vasily Fedosenko / File Photo

Iran’s surge in volume shocked markets and has capped global oil prices although the Biden administration is expected to resume talks with Tehran to revive the nuclear deal.

Iranian oil started entering China from late 2019 despite harsh US sanctions, but volumes have started to surge only since late last year as oil rebounded above $ 60 and buyers became emboldened by the prospect of the United States lifting sanctions under President Joe Biden.

China received a daily average of 557,000 barrels of Iranian crude between November and March, or about 5% of total imports by the world’s biggest importers, according to Refinitiv Oil Research, back to levels before former US President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran. in 2019.

(GRAPH: China’s purchase of Iranian oil returns to pre-US sanctions levels back in 2019 -)

Most of this oil ends up in the eastern province of Shandong, China’s center for independent refineries.

“These ‘sensitive’ barrels are squeezing supply from everywhere, because they are too cheap,” said a Chinese trader handling oil sales to Shandong, referring to Iranian oil that sold $ 6- $ 7 a barrel below from Brazil earlier this year. . .

A second trader said South American suppliers to West Africa and the North Sea were stepping up efforts to find new markets as Chinese demand plummeted.

Major South American exporters Brazil and Angola West Africa were among the hardest hit, while Russia’s eastern grade ESPO crude recorded some of the rare flows to the US that were squeezed by falling Chinese demand.

Shipping from Brazil, which last year overtook Angola as the No. 4 China, thanks to aggressive marketing and attractive prices, fell 36% in January-February compared to last year, although volumes increased 16% annually in March, according to Chinese customs and Refinitiv assessments.

While China’s appetite for Brazilian sweet oil from the Tupi field is “endless” – and Asian nations are still paying dearly for it – the current margins are less competitive, Roberto Castello Branco told Reuters on Sunday, in his final interview before stepping down as Petrobras Chief. Executive Officers on Monday.

India has become a bigger market for oil from Brazil, West Africa and even the North Sea as Chinese demand cools, providing the world’s No. 3 importer with many alternatives as New Delhi cuts Saudi oil purchases.

India’s imports of Brazilian and Angolan crude surged for arrivals from March to May while Europe received more Brazilian oil between March and April than at the start of the year, Refinitiv data show.

The Iranian crude attack, which came as oil from Oman, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Malaysia, has lowered prices for competing supplies such as Norway and Brazil to multi-month lows, although they have recovered considerably in recent weeks.

(GRAPH: Iran’s surging flows of oil to China reduce supply from Brazil, West Africa and Russia -)

The spot premium for Brazilian Tupi crude shipped to China in May earlier fell to 10 cents a barrel to ICE Brent, down from more than $ 1 a barrel for late December arrivals before returning to 30-40 cents last week.

“China is now looking for light crude oil to blend heavy Iran,” said a second source with a West African producer, adding that they managed to sell just two spot cargoes for May, at slightly better prices than the “bad month” in April.

They can barely compete with Iranian barrels in Brent minus $ 3- $ 5 per barrel.

“China doesn’t want to pay high (prices) with all those sensitive barrels,” said a third trade executive.

However, the surge in Iranian supplies did not affect the market share of Saudi Arabia, China’s main oil supplier, as the OPEC kingpin serves a different client base – Chinese state refiners and large private factories.

With transactions mostly being made in Chinese currency and in some cases end buyers offering open credit, Iranian oil flows are expected to continue, particularly as private companies face less political pressure to exit lucrative businesses.

“Imagine you are a teapot boss, all you care about is whether the oil is cheap enough and if your factory is equipped to process it,” said a fourth trade executive in China.

Additional reporting by Olga Yagova in Moscow, Julia Payne and Alex Lawler in London; Edited by Florence Tan & Shri Navaratnam


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REFILE-UPDATE 2-Austria follows Italy as the government continues ultra-long issuance | Instant News

(Clears repeating data about Austria)

* Austria will sell 50-year bonds, following Italy

* Spain will sell 15 year bonds

* Bond yields rise as investors digest the issuance

April 13 (Reuters) – Austria on Tuesday moved to lock in its current low borrowing costs with 50-year bonds, following a half-century issue from Italy, while Spain launched a 15-year newspaper.

Both deals are made through a syndicate of banks, with Austria to raise 1.75 billion euros and Spain six billion euros, according to a key manager’s memo seen by Reuters.

Last week’s Austrian and Italian bonds marked a resumption of a very long term, 50-year issuance.

After a strong start to the year with 50-year selling from France, Spain and Belgium, the bond selloff was driven by higher growth expectations and inflation weighed on bond buyers with losses and such issuance eased.

“European investors still rely on a lower narrative for the long term and therefore there is no fear on their part to buy longer term bonds as there is no fear of regime change in growth and inflation dynamics,” said Antoine Bouvet, senior pricing strategist. on ING.

“It is true that tariffs have moved higher, but in the grand scheme of things, they are still quite low.”

The European Central Bank has calmed the market by increasing its rate of asset purchases.

Ultra-long-dated bonds are considered to be one of the most risky government debt problems, because they are more sensitive to changes in the underlying interest rates. In addition, the ECB, which is pushing down euro area borrowing costs, has not bought bonds of more than 30 years.

Austria saw demand 13 billion euros and Spain 42 billion euros as both books shrank after the government cut offered yields.

That’s well below the 65 billion euros in offers Madrid received for a 50-year contract in February and 18 billion euros for Austria’s 100-year bonds last year.

Bouvet said the lower demand may descend to a large increase in yields this year meaning investors such as pension funds will no longer need to buy longer-term bonds. Some governments are also trying to get rid of bidders they believe will deliver an increased order

Euro area bond yields barely moved as data showed US inflation rose 2.6% year-on-year in March, slightly above forecasts.

But massive supplies weighed on the market, with German 10-year yields almost hitting a two-week high of -0.271% and Italian 10-year yields at their highest in more than a month at 0.78%.

Investors also digested the supply of bonds from the Netherlands, Italy, the UK and the sale of $ 24 billion worth of US 30-year bonds, all of which were sold at auction.

Reporting by Yoruk Bahceli; Edited by Catherine Evans, Alexandra Hudson and Giles Elgood


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BREAKING New Army Remote Unit Towards Germany «Breaking Defense | Instant News

Lockheed’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) prototype was fired from an Army’s HIMARS launch truck

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon reversed Trump’s planned withdrawal from Germany and instead increased the Army’s ability to pay. high tech long distance warfare, soldiers announced this morning. The long-awaited announcement comes as 40,000 Russian troops gather along the border with Ukraine.

The Trump administration has planned it pulled 12,000 troops out of Germany to punish Berlin for not meeting NATO’s goal of spending 2 percent of its GDP on defense. In February, The Biden administration immediately put the plan on hold. Now come announcements today of the US Army Europe & Africa (Headquarters for the two continents just merged): The Army will not only maintain three locations in Germany that have been scheduled to withdraw, but will also add “about 500 Soldiers, 35 local national positions, and 750 Family members to US Army Garrison Wiesbaden.”

The 500 soldiers will organize two new units. Both are new types of formations that the Army uses to experiment with new tactics, technologies and organization for high-tech long-range operations. missile, artificial intelligence, and cyber/electronic warfare.

That Multi-Domain Task ForceEurope, founded September 16, will become the Army’s second MDTF. The first was made at Fort Lewis three years ago, Built around existing rocket artillery brigades but augmented extensively with high-tech assets. It has participated many practice in the Pacific and won awards from Army leaders for his “game-changing” abilities.

Army graphics

The notional organization for a future Multi-Domain Task Force, with weapons ranging from hypersonic missiles to electronic warfare.

The Army has long promised to build a second MDTF in Europe and recently the word will eventually create five: two in the Pacific, one in Europe, one in the Arctic, and a fifth for a “global response.”

“The Multi-Domain-European Task Force will consist of field artillery; composite air and missile defense; intelligence, cyberspace, electronic warfare, and outer space; aviation and brigade support elements, ” let go of the word. It is likely that most of these forces are already in Europe, but the new personnel will most likely fill the MDTF headquarters and be highly specialized, highly technical. Intelligence, Information, Cyber ​​/ Electronic Warfare & Space (I2CEWS) battalion.

While the MDTF was a combat unit, the other formation was a new type of base: the 1st Army Theater Fire Command, established on 16 October. Why is this necessary? To coordinate long-range missile strikes over a range far beyond traditional HQ command and control capabilities.

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.  from Google Maps imagery & data

Approximate range in miles between the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad and certain NATO capitals. SOURCE: Google Maps

Russia and China have fielded precision-guided missile arsenals with ranges of hundreds or even thousands of miles. Now the Army is racing to do the same, develop 300-plus-miles PrSM, that 1,000 miles MRC, and hypersonic LRHW, whose range is classified but may be intercontinental. (PrSM will fire from existing HIMARS launchers, MRC and LRHW from specialized and larger ones). All of these weapons will enter service, in prototype form, in 2023 and become part of the Multi-Domain Task Force arsenal, while Theater Fires Command will organize wide-ranging attacks.

While some in the Air Force and friendly thinktanks argue that the Army’s long-range strike effort need not better duplicate what the bomber did, senior joint officers have supported the Army’s efforts as a useful option. That Pentagon officials let the Army create a new Theater Fire Command is an implicit motion in service plans for long-range warfare.


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UPDATE 1-Union Alitalia urges the Italian government to leave EU talks over an overhaul | Instant News

(Adding EU Commission commentary)

MILAN, April 13 (Reuters) – Representatives of the Alitalia trade union on Tuesday urged the Italian government to cancel negotiations with Brussels over an overhaul of the airline, saying the European Commission favors foreign airlines over the group.

Rome has been negotiating with EU executives for months over Italy’s plans to restructure the airline through the launch of a new state-owned company called ITA.

Speaking before the Italian parliament, UILT trade union chairman Claudio Tarlazzi rejected the idea that the new company could accept the European Union’s proposal for restructuring.

“We have to realize that the EU is supporting rival companies, and negotiations (with Brussels) must stop and the company created with all the necessary assets,” Tarlazzi told members of the two parliamentary committees holding joint hearings.

Criticism of the EU’s handling of Alitalia peaked last week, when Brussels approved a French contribution to a 4 billion euro ($ 4.8 billion) support package for Air France-KLM in exchange for a 4% reduction in take-off and landing slots at Paris-Orly Airport.

A Commission spokesman said the looser rules for state aid adopted during the pandemic through the EU’s “interim framework” could not be applied to Alitalia.

“Alitalia was constantly losing money and was in trouble at the end of 2019, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, and so was excluded from … receiving assistance under an interim framework,” the spokesperson told Reuters. .

“On the other hand, Air France and Lufthansa will have no difficulties at the end of 2019, which is why they can be recapitalized.”

The commission is in contact with the Italian authorities, he added, without elaborating.

The EU has asked ITA to abandon its Alitalia brand, give up half of its slot at Milan’s city airport, and start without the handling and maintenance division of the old airline, sources said.

ITA management has planned to seek partnerships with rival operators using the negotiating power of the Milan-Linate Alitalia airport slot as a sweetener.

It was supposed to buy some of Alitalia’s old assets using part of the 3 billion euros injected by the government, and started flying on fewer than 50 jets in June.

Representatives from three other unions who attended the hearing agreed with Tarlazzi and said the ITA should start by doubling down on its planned fleet.

Alitalia has posted operating losses annually since 2012, and more than half of its 11,000 employees have been temporarily laid off due to the coronavirus crisis.

$ 1 = 0.8409 euros Additional reporting by Foo Yun Chee in Brussels; Edited by Jan Harvey


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Brazilian Justice gave 30 days for health regulators to decide on the Sputnik vaccine | Instant News

FILE PHOTOS: Russian COVID-19 “Sputnik-V” vaccine bottle seen before inoculation at a clinic in Tver, Russia, October 12, 2020. REUTERS / Tatyana Makeyeva / File Photo

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s Supreme Court judge ordered Anvisa’s health regulator to decide within 30 days whether to approve the emergency import of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine by the Maranhao state government.

The order follows legal action by Maranhao, which is one of several northeastern states that have tried to import vaccines directly.

Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Written by Gram Slattery; Edited by Christian Plumb


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