China's imports from Saudi Arabia fell in May

China’s imports from Saudi Arabia fell in May

China’s imports from Saudi Arabia fell 21 per cent in May from a year earlier but retained their top ranking among suppliers for a ninth month in a row.

Customs data showed on Sunday (Jun 20).

Shipments from Saudi Arabia were 7.2 million tons last month, or 1.69 million barrels per day (bpd), data from the General Administration of Chinese Customs showed.

That compared to 6.47 million tons in April and 9.16 million in May 2020.

Imports from second-largest supplier Russia also dropped from a month earlier, to 5.44 million tons, or 1.28 million bpd.

The scale-backs by the top two exporters were in line with a steep annual decline of nearly 15 per cent to this year’s lowest total crude imports into China.

Imports from United Arab Emirates arrivals fell 25 per cent last month from year-ago levels.

That is a possible sign that Iranian oil shipments were slowing further from peaks early this year.

Amid talks between Tehran and world powers to revive the nuclear deal the United States exited in 2018.

Reuters has reported that Iran has sold record amounts of oil since late 2020, disguised as crude oil from other origins that included the UAE and Oman.

The customs’ database also showed a 3.6 per cent year-on-year rise to 1.04 million tons of imports from Malaysia.

Which traders said has been a key transshipment point for heavy crude blends from Venezuela.

Official data has consistently recorded zero imports from Caracas since October 2019.

As dominant state importer CNPC halted loading, fearful of US sanctions.

Venezuela oil, however, had slipped into China, passed on as Malaysian bitumen blend after transshipments in Malaysian waters, analysts said.

Imports from the United States reached 1.07 million tons, nearly doubled the level a year earlier.

Source: Channel News Asia: Business Singapore

Sri Lanka harbors have big maritime ambitions

Sri Lanka harbors have big maritime ambitions

The dramatic recent fire on a container ship off Sri Lanka highlighted the risks involved in the island nation’s ambitions to become one of the world’s busiest maritime hubs.

MV X-Press Pearl burned for 13 days, releasing tons of chemicals and plastics. The sinking ship’s nearly 300 tons of fuel oil may now leak into the Indian Ocean.

How important is Sri Lanka?

Thanks to its geographical location, around 200 container ships and oil tankers sail past every day on the busy routes between Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

But Sri Lanka is also the biggest so-called transshipment hub in South Asia.

Meaning that some of the world’s biggest ships dock in Sri Lanka to load and unload containers.

Colombo, four days by ship from Singapore and four and a half to Dubai, is the only port between those two places deep enough to handle ships.


Colombo Port now hopes to double its annual handling capacity of 7.2 million containers in four years.

“We are strategically located and we are strategically important,” Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) chairman Daya Ratnayake told AFP.

“But, we have a serious problem here, the problem is (lack of) capacity.”

India is developing a deep-water port at Vizhinjam on its southwest tip and is planning another in the Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, both of which may steal some of Colombo’s trade.


Two-thirds of the transshipment cargo going through Sri Lanka is goods going from or to India.

And New Delhi has traditionally seen Colombo as an ally.

However, since a big chunk of what passes through the Indian Ocean is Chinese-made, Beijing has also shown a keen interest in developing Sri Lanka as a key link on its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Since 2014, Colombo Port has been home to a US$500-million Chinese-run deep sea terminal. To pacify New Delhi, this year allowed India to build another new terminal right next door.

“This is how we are balancing,” Ratnayake said. “We as a country must take all this competition to our advantage.”

Source: Channel News Asia

Exportation what is it, types and importance

Exportation: what is it, types and importance

Exportation is the action of sending or selling goods and services from one country to another. In other words, it is an operation, whether commercial or not, where a product or merchandise is sent outside of a country.

It is about any service or product that a country or territory sends or dispatches to a third party for its use or purchase.

Exportation types

Depending on the time and shipment, the export can be temporary, definitive, direct, indirect or concentrated.


This type of exportation occurs when a product or merchandise is sent to an international market through customs agreements, in which it will remain for a stipulated time.

After the agreed time has elapsed, this product will return to the market where it has been nationalized.


This type of exportation occurs when the product is sent to an international market with the intention of being consumed or used abroad.

Thus, the departure from the country of origin will be final, with the exception that the exporter does not comply with the contract agreements and the product or merchandise is returned by the recipient.


Concentrated exportation occurs when several companies reach an agreement and collaborate with each other to send goods to a common destination.

Direct exportation

Direct exportation is the most used by companies with experience and human resources, since here it is the same company that is in charge of doing the export, thus eliminating any intermediary and assuming all the responsibilities of the process.


This type of exportation is recommended to beginner companies in their sector, who want to reduce risks during export.

Here, the production company hires a person specialized in international trade, who is in charge of both training clients and the entire process involved in exporting.

Importance of exportation

Exports are important as they help to form a source of income that encourages the growth of the country’s economy.

In turn, they allow to be a source of employment and help many people to have a better quality of life.

In addition, exporting avoids the risks of unstable internal markets and, in turn, reduces the effects of macroeconomic problems.

Singapore corroborates participation in RCEP

Singapore corroborates participation in RCEP

Singapore ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement on Friday.

Becoming the first participating country to do so, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a press release.

The RCEP is the world’s largest free trade agreement, bringing together the 10 ASEAN economies as well as Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

“Singapore’s expeditious ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement signals Singapore’s strong commitment to strengthening our trade and economic linkages with our partners, for the benefit of our businesses and people,” said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.

“We look forward to our fellow RCEP Participating Countries doing likewise, to expedite the entry into force of the agreement.”

Singapore has deposited its instrument of ratification with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, said MTI.

The RCEP was signed by the 15 participating countries in November last year.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said then: “The RCEP is a major step forward for the world, at a time when multilateralism is losing ground and global growth is slowing.”

The RCEP deal establishes a mutually beneficial economic partnership that builds on existing ASEAN agreements with the bloc’s five FTA partners, said MTI on Friday.

Comprising about 30% of global gross domestic product and close to a third of the world’s population.

The deal will complement Singapore’s existing network of FTAs and boost trade and investment flows, the ministry said.

Businesses can expect to benefit from tariff elimination of about 92% on average

As well as streamlined rules of origin for greater flexibility to tap on preferential market access benefits.

The RCEP agreement will enter into force after six ASEAN member states and three ASEAN FTA partners have ratified it.

The participating countries are targeting entry into force on 2022, said MTI.

Source: Channel News Asia .

Top 5 most important navigation channels of the world

Top 5 most important navigation channels of the world

The recent breeding of the Panamanian Flag Ever Given at one end of the largest navigation channels in the world has caused a strong impact on international trade.

That is why we have decided to talk about the navigation channels and what are the most important in the world.

What are navigation channels?

A navigation channel is a waterway or water course of natural or artificial origin.

Artificial navigation channels are very common in many cities, built by the human being, wide and deep enough so that a ship can navigate on it.

Types of navigation channels

Natural navigation channels

Are those geographical accidents carried out by nature without the intervention of man and located in the last sections of a river, a delta or a narrow, although this is usually quite narrow.

Artificial navigation channels

They are also narrow passages, but pass through a watershed, the limit region between two hydrographic basins.

To have an artificial channel it is necessary to dig a long trench and ensure its continuous water supply; This usually is achieved by connecting it directly with the sea, taking water from rivers or springs or pumping the liquid from other sources.

The reasons for building channels are varied, but usually serve to connect bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, seas or oceans.

For example, the Suez Canal was created in the nineteenth century to physically separate Asia and Africa and thus facilitate the pass from Europe to South Asia, connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea.

Most important navigation channels in the world

The Suez Canal

The Suez Canal is another of those important navigable channels worldwide. It is situated in Egypt and joins the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea.

This work of man converted the Sinai region into a new peninsula, turning it into the border between the continents of Africa and Asia.

It has a length of 163 kilometers, between Puerto Said and Suez.

It is the river way that makes it possible to go directly from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea without the need to border the entire African continent, so its strategic importance is incredible, both at the merchandise level and at the level of tourism.

The Panama Canal

Without a doubt, one of the most important channels is the Panama Canal.

We can say that it is an authentic wonders of engineering, in addition to being one of the most important channels around the world.

This channel is an interopean navigation path between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It crosses the Panama isthmus at its narrowest point and has an extension of more than 80 km. A maritime passage through which more than 12,000 boats circulate a year, both transport and passenger.

The Corinth Canal

Perhaps not so famous, but another of the important in the world of cruises, is the Channel of Corinth, in Greece.

They say about this channel that is another of the great engineering of the world. The truth is that its beauty is evident, something that also happens with its size.

This channel unites the Gulf of Corinth with the Aegean Sea by the Corinth isthmus.

It was excavated on the rock at the end of the 19th century and has a height of more than 40 meters between these rocks, something that is impressive seen from a cruise.

While it is true that the width does not allow some of today’s biggest ships to circulate out there, it is still a very important and strategic attraction that will leave you completely amazed.

The Grand Canal of China

We are heading this time to China. That is where we find the Grand Canal of China, one of the largest projects of ancient China.

It is one of the oldest (it began to be built at 486 a. C. under the Wu family dynasty) and also one of the largest in the world, surpassing even the Suez or Panama to the one.

This channel begins in Beijing and ends at Hangzhou, so it has more than 1700 kilometers of travel.

The Kiel Canal

Finally, we find the Kiel Canal, in Germany. Recall that this city has the port of Kiel, one of the most important north of Europe.

It is a channel of more than 90 km in length. Its purpose is nothing other than communicating the Baltic Sea with the North Sea, a connection that is able to save enough fuel and hours on the commercial and tourist routes between both seas.

The channel has four locks in the last sections, where both seas are located.

These locks remain open most of the time to facilitate circulation, both commercial and tourist boats.

Importance of navigation channels

Currently, channels facilitate the transportation of millions of tons of goods and raw materials a year between production zones and destination areas.

Undoubtedly, the importance of these as strategic points for world trade will continue to increase over time.

Many governments seek to develop these infrastructure projects to increase the rapidity of supply chains and economic growth.

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steps to export successfully and not fail in the process

Steps to export successfully and not fail in the process

Exporting today becomes a requirement to survive as a company. Undoubtedly, the internationalization of the company, if the correct steps are followed, will generate risk diversification, greater brand recognition, income in foreign currency, improvements in negotiation capacity, strengthening of competitiveness, and greater profitability, among other benefits of this activity.

However, many companies have failed in the internationalization process mainly due to a poorly defined strategy, so below we will detail three simple steps that the exporter must take into account before crossing borders.

3 steps to follow before exporting


The first of the steps is to know, since it is the first scenario that we must analyze on a large scale, starting with an internal study of our company, observing production capacity, sales volume, product potential, human and financial resources and in turn, and not least, motivation, where the people who are part of the organization must be aware of the change sought so that there are collaboration and synergy.

Once the internal analysis of our company has been carried out, we must make known the potential market, that is, we will identify the destination country of our product based on cultural, geographical, demographic, macroeconomic indicators, existing trade agreements, political factors, existing competition from the same or similar product at destination, regulations and technical barriers among other important aspects to developing our approach strategy.

Once the global analysis of the company is finished, we will be in a position to build the SWOT matrix (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats), essential to determine the competitive advantage we have against the target market and when I refer to this type of advantage, we will not We are talking only about the price, but also, we can be competitive at the level of product quality, supply chain or financing methodology.


Another of the steps in our process will be planning. The export business plan seeks to systematically penetrate a product or service in the target market. To carry out this process, it is necessary to carry out an action plan where we will establish, how and by what means we will supply the new market, as well as we must anticipate future modifications of the product if necessary, in order to follow the requirements and restrictions of the target market. On the other hand, we will create a detailed budget, necessary to financially plan the operation where we will include general costs, transportation, insurance, taxes, intervening agents, margins, etc.

3. ACT

The last of the steps in this process is to act, whereby by means of an execution schedule we will implement the approach plan.

Several companies usually designate a person specifically in charge of this activity, who will designate collaborators along with their respective tasks, determining deadlines and periodic reviews to demonstrate the progress obtained.

Following these three steps aims to reduce the risk of the operation, companies do not always manage to land successfully within the target market, but through a properly carried out market study, we will have the necessary tools to make an appropriate decision.

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Automatic permits what are and what is its importance

Automatic permits: what are and what is its importance

As part of the trade facilitation scheme, automatic permits allow the customs authority to carry out better statistical control of import and export operations.

The nature of this regulation is set out in article 21 of the Regulations of the Foreign Trade Law.

In this article, we tell you what they are and what is the importance of automatic permits for your imports and exports.

What are automatic permits?

Automatic permits for statistical monitoring purposes are a mandatory measure for companies or individuals who request entry to the registry of importers and exporters of specific sectors.

The objective is to use this information as an instrument to prevent and combat recurrent harmful practices such as the incorrect tariff classification of goods, undervaluation, and triangulation of origin, which can affect the operation of strategic industries for national economic activity. , such as the footwear and textile industry and the steel industry.

Although not strictly about non-tariff regulations or restrictions, failure to apply for permits can lead to delays in your shipments through customs.

What are they for?

In essence, automatic permits provide the possibility of having advanced information, at the tariff fraction level, to facilitate the identification of goods.

And they can only be applied when the unit price of the goods is lower than their estimated price; in this way, the payment of contributions on merchandise subject to estimated prices can be guaranteed.

What is its importance?

Knowing how to identify the goods that require this document is very important for any operation since the authority can often maintain that automatic permits are part of the provisions of Articles 16 and 17 of the Customs Law.

Which would be a mistake, since the automatic permits do not fall under any condition of the provisions of article 16 of the Customs Law, and only function as a registry, in accordance with the provisions of article 21 of the regulations of the Customs Law.

Consulting in foreign trade is vital in this process because your customs agent must have the power to prevent this type of situation, since they are the difference between avoiding important penalties, optimizing resources and times, as well as carrying out safer and more efficient operations.

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RCEP was signed by Asian-Pacific countries

RCEP was signed by Asian-Pacific countries

Fifteen Asia-Pacific nations signed the RCEP, a mega free trade deal, on Sunday as they concluded an annual summit of Southeast Asian leaders and their regional partners, held virtually this year due to the pandemic. 

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is the world’s biggest trade agreement. It will progressively lower tariffs across many areas in the coming years.

The pact, which was first proposed in 2012, loops in 10 ASEAN economies along with China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia.

They make up nearly a third of the world’s population and account for 29 percent of global gross domestic product.

“After eight years of negotiating with blood, sweat, and tears, we have finally come to the moment where we will seal the RCEP Agreement this Sunday,” Malaysia’s trade minister Mohamed Azmin Ali had said ahead of the summit.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who led Singapore’s delegation, on Sunday hailed the signing of the RCEP as a “major milestone” and congratulated the 15 participating countries. 

“We have reached a major milestone of signing this agreement today. It has taken us eight years, 46 negotiating meetings, and 19 ministerial meetings to get here. I am very grateful for the tireless efforts of ministers and negotiators from all participating countries who have worked so hard during the process.

“The RCEP is a major step forward for the world, at a time when multilateralism is losing ground and global growth is slowing,” said Mr. Lee. 

Now, he added, “the hard work of implementing the agreement and encouraging our businesses to take full advantage of it begins”.

What is the RCEP?

RCEP is a trade pact between the 10-member ASEAN bloc, along with China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. India had been due to sign but pulled out last year.

The deal includes 2.1 billion people, with the pact’s members accounting for around 30 percent of global GDP.

Its aim is to lower tariffs, open up trade in services, and promote investment to help emerging economies catch up with the rest of the world.

International arbitration: procedures and advantages

International arbitration: procedures and advantages

International arbitration is one of the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in international trade. In the event of a discrepancy or breach of the purchase-sale contract by one of the parties (for example, in the face of the buyer’s refusal to pay), the affected party has the possibility of resorting to a specialized body to seek a quick and friendly solution. However, going this way is only possible if a clause on the subject is included in the purchase-sale contract. Its inclusion, therefore, is the most recommended.

One of the most important instances of international arbitration is the International Court of Arbitration. This service has been in operation since 1919 and is provided by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which brings together more than 130 member countries around the world.

Today we will talk about how arbitrage works and what are the advantages, so read on if you want to know more.

How is the international arbitration process?

The members of the Court are responsible for ensuring the application of the ICC’s international arbitration rules and for supervising the arbitration process. What the Court does not do is decide on the disputes that come before it. Instead, it appoints third parties, called “arbitrators”, who are international jurists of recognized level, who study the case and finally give a verdict that has to be complied with by the parties.

It begins with the presentation of the demand for the initiation of the arbitration process and the notification to the defendant for, later, the answer to the demand takes place. Next, the appointment of the arbitrators is made and their appointment is communicated.

In these phases of international arbitration, in addition to the interested parties, the General Secretariat of the Arbitral Court, the Arbitral Court, and the Arbitral Court (the arbitrators) intervene.

After the provision for expenses has been paid, the Secretary-General delivers the file to the arbitral tribunal. When the arbitral Tribunal receives the file, and once the parties have been heard, the arbitration proceedings are instructed through the “Mission Statement”, a document in which its mission is specified and which must be sent to the arbitral Court within two months. Likewise, it will communicate to the Court the provisional calendar that it intends to follow.

When the arbitral Court receives the “Mission Statement”, it proceeds to approve the decision made by the arbitrators. The process ends with the issuance of the arbitration award or final decision, which cannot be appealed (as is the case with the judgment of a Court of Justice) since there is no “second arbitration instance”. However, before the issuance of the final award, the parties may request any correction or supplement to it.

Advantages of arbitration

Among the main advantages associated with international arbitration as a mechanism for the resolution of commercial disputes, we highlight the following:

  • The simplicity of the dispute resolution procedure.
  • Speed: in general, less time is required than in judicial processes.
  • Flexibility: the parties have the right to choose between a single arbitrator or an arbitral tribunal composed of several arbitrators, depending on the complexity of the dispute.
  • Neutrality: the arbitral Tribunal must constitute a neutral position for the resolution of disputes, being detached from the judicial bodies of the countries of which the parties involved are natural.
  • High technical quality: given the possibility of appointing arbitrators specializing in the subject matter of the dispute, the arbitrators usually have greater availability of time to study the case under dispute, which may result in greater efficiency, as well as robustness and argumentative support of the award.
  • Confidentiality: the parties can opt for absolute confidentiality of the entire arbitration process (as opposed to the general principle of publicity of judicial processes).
  • Default cost: known from the beginning of the process.

After knowing its operation and its advantages, it is not surprising that international arbitration has consolidated itself as a mechanism for extrajudicial dispute resolution in foreign trade operations.

Wheat fields in the evening

Ukraine to reach its wheat export quota by spring

Ukraine will likely reach its wheat export quota for the 2020-21 marketing year by next March or April, traders told Reuters.

Traders and the Ukrainian government have agreed that the volume of wheat available for export this July-June season must not exceed 17.5 million tons.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led some countries to impose quotas on grain exports for the current marketing year to ensure adequate domestic supplies.

Meanwhile, Ukraine grain production in 2020-21 could fall to 68 million tons, down from a record 75 million tons due to severe drought across most parts of the country.

Winter crop sowing includes 4.6 million hectares of winter wheat, or 76% of the expected area, and 628,300 hectares of winter barley, or 66% of the anticipated area.

As of Oct. 23, Ukraine had exported 10 million tons of wheat (about 57% of the quota), according to data from the Ukraine economy ministry. It also showed that the country’s overall grain exports have fallen by nearly 13% so far this season.

Traders told Reuters that an additional 1 million tons of wheat was due to be exported in the coming weeks and at least 3 million tons of wheat had already been contracted for future exports.

Ukraine wrapped up harvest and began sowing winter crops

Ukraine has harvested 80% of its sown area and planting of winter crops is 76% complete, was reported by Ukraine’s economy ministry.

A total of 47.4 million tons of grain was harvested from 12.3 million hectares as of Oct. 19. Farmers have completed wheat and barley harvest and collected about 44% of the corn sown area.

Grain totals could fall to 68 million tons, down from a record 75 million tons due to severe drought across most parts of the country, was said. Winter crop sowing includes 4.6 million hectares of winter wheat, or 76% of the expected area, and 628,300 hectares of winter barley, or 66% of the anticipated area.