ADNOC L&S shipping fleet to add two new LNG tankers – Arab News
Abu Dhabi: ADNOC Logistics and Services has signed a contract for the construction of two 175,000 cubic meter LNG vessels that will join its fleet in 2025. 
These new tanker ships will be built at the Jiangnan Shipyard in China.
According to a statement issued by ADNOC, these will be significantly larger than the company’s current LNG fleet, with cutting edge technology to drive greater efficiency and reduce emissions. 
Each of the ships will carry adequate LNG necessary to power 45,000 homes for a year, the statement added. 
“This acquisition helps future-proof our fleet with more sustainable, modern vessels capable of serving our customers for the next 25 years and deepens our partnership with Jiangnan Shipyard,” said Abdulkareem Al Masabi, CEO of ADNOC L&S. 
RIYADH: The UAE Cabinet on Tuesday approved a new Digital Economy Strategy that seeks to increase the contribution of the sector to the gross domestic product to 20 percent over the next 10 years.
The strategy aims to double the sector’s contribution to the GDP from 9.7 percent to 19.4 percent and to enhance UAE’s regional and global position as a hub for digital economy.
It includes more than 30 initiatives and programs targeting 6 sectors and 5 new areas of growth, the Government of Dubai Media Office reported. 
As the Cabinet approves the strategy, it has established a Council for Digital Economy to be chaired by Omar bin Sultan Al- Olama, the minister of state for artificial intelligence.
RIYADH: THe Dubai airport, or DXB, remained the world’s busiest hub in terms of the number of global travelers during the year 2021. 
The city saw 29.1 million passengers in 2021, up by 12.7 percent compared to the year earlier, according to figures issued by the Airports Council International annual report. 
Showing encouraging signs of traffic recovery, total global passengers in 2021 are estimated to be around 4.5 billion, amounting to an increase of 25 percent from 2020. 
The report presented the top 10 busiest airports worldwide, which accounted for around 10 percent of global traffic. 
It noted that eight of the top 10 airports for passenger traffic are in the US with the two remaining in China. 
LONDON: Oil prices climbed on Tuesday as Shanghai’s relaxation of some COVID-19 restrictions eased concerns about Chinese demand and as OPEC warned it would be impossible to replace potential supply losses from Russia.
Brent crude futures rose by $5.51, or 5.6 percent, to $103.99 a barrel by 1343 GMT while US West Texas Intermediate was up $5.12, or 5.4 percent, at $99.41. Both contracts lost about 4 percent on Monday.
Shanghai said on Monday that more than 7,000 residential units had been classified as lower-risk areas after reporting no new infections for 14 days and districts have since been announcing which compounds can be opened up.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, meanwhile, warned that it would be impossible to replace 7 million barrels per day (bpd) of Russian oil and other liquids exports lost in the event of sanctions or voluntary actions.
The EU has yet to agree any embargo on Russian oil, but some foreign ministers said the option is on the table.
“The oil market is still vulnerable to a major shock if Russian energy is sanctioned, and that risk remains on the table,” wrote Edward Moya, a senior market analyst with OANDA.
OPEC on Tuesday lowered its Russian liquids production forecast by 530,000 barrels per day (bpd) for 2022, but also cut its forecast for growth in world oil demand, citing the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, rising inflation as crude prices soar and the resurgence of the omicron coronavirus variant in China.
Indian Oil Corp., which bought Russian Urals in previous tenders, has removed the grade from its latest crude tender. US President Joe Biden told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi late on Monday that buying more oil from Russia was not in India’s interest.
IEA member nations are planning to release 240 million barrels over the next six months from May in an effort to calm the market.
While the release will ease immediate tightness, analysts suggested it will not solve the structural deficit caused by underinvestment and stocks will need to be replenished.
A preliminary Reuters poll showed US crude oil inventories are likely to have risen by 1.4 million barrels in the week to April 8 after declining for three consecutive weeks.
WASHINGTON: The recent shift toward protecting supply chains by ensuring a greater share of manufacturing components are produced domestically could actually make things worse, the IMF cautioned in a report on Tuesday.
Despite the disruptions caused by pandemic lockdowns, trade in goods bounced back relatively quickly, helped by remote work and “suggesting adaptability and resilience in global value chains,” the Washington-based crisis lender said, calling the push to reshore production “likely misguided.”
The pandemic shuttered businesses worldwide, but when diminishing cases and widespread availability of vaccines allowed economies to reopen, many industries, notably auto manufacturers, found they could not keep up with rebounding demand due to a global shortage of semiconductors and other items.
And a lack of workers, such as truck drivers, contributed to massive backlogs at ports that snarled supply chains further.
That created a push in many countries to increase domestic production of semiconductors and other key inputs to reduce dependence on foreign manufacturers.
US President Joe Biden who has been particularly vocal on this topic.
But this “home bias” could make firms more vulnerable to disruptions, including from events like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the IMF said in a chapter of its World Economic Outlook.
Given the “overall resilience of global trade and value chains during the pandemic, this chapter argues that policies such as reshoring are likely misguided,” according to the report released ahead of the IMF’s annual meeting next week.
“Instead, supply chain resilience to shocks is better built by increasing diversification away from domestic sourcing.”
Reducing trade barriers and taking steps such as firms making sure their products can use inputs from multiple suppliers — something the IMF calls “greater substitutability” — also would help avoid similar disruptions in future.
“Increasing supply chain resilience is important for dealing with not only health emergencies like the pandemic, but also other types of shocks such as the war in Ukraine, cyberattacks and extreme weather,” the report said.
Higher diversification “significantly reduces global economic losses in response to supply disruptions,” but offers less protection when a shock hits all economies at the same time, IMF economists argue in a blog post about their findings.
Still, the effects of the pandemic “were short-lived, however, suggesting that global supply chains were resilient,” they wrote.
RIYADH: The impact of the Russia-Ukraine war peaked US consumer price levels last month, as cost of gasoline was pushed to record highs, shrank Britain’s earnings despite unemployment falling to its lowest in 50 years, and led to a revision of the World Trade Organization’s global growth forecasts from 4.7 to 3 percent this year.  
India’s retail inflation accelerated to its highest in 17 months, and Argentina’s inflation is expected to increase to its highest growth this year. Sri Lanka temporarily suspended foreign debt payments and Chinese export growth likely slowed, whereas Australia’s business conditions picked up in March. 
India’s retail inflation 
India’s retail inflation accelerated to near 7 percent year-on-year in March, its highest in 17 months and above the upper limit of the central bank’s tolerance band for a third straight month, putting pressure on it to raise policy rates.
Annual consumer price-based inflation in March touched 6.95 percent, pushed by rising prices of fuel products and some food items. The print was higher than the 6.35 percent year-on-year forecast by economists in a Reuters poll, and 6.07 percent in the previous month.
Argentina’s March inflation
Argentina’s inflation rate in March will surpass 6 percent to reach the highest monthly growth in consumer prices so far this year, the economy minister said on Monday, as the country struggles with an extended period of surging costs for many goods and services.
“The (consumer price) index is going to exceed 6 percent, it will be the highest of the year,” Economy Minister Martin Guzman said, during an interview with local broadcaster C5N. He added that international market pressures were also weighing on the South American country’s rising prices.
Annual inflation this year is seen at around 60 percent, according to the bank.
US consumer prices 
US monthly consumer prices increased by the most in 16-1/2 years in March as Russia’s war against Ukraine boosted the cost of gasoline to record highs, cementing the case for a 50 basis points interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve next month.
The consumer price index surged 1.2 percent last month, the biggest monthly gain since September 2005, the Labor Department said on Tuesday. The CPI advanced 0.8 percent in February.
WTO slashes growth forecast 
The World Trade Organization on Tuesday revised down its forecast for global trade growth this year, to 3 percent from 4.7 percent because of the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, and warned of a potential food crisis caused by surging prices.
The report from the global trade watchdog said the conflict, now in its seventh week, had damaged the world economy at a critical juncture as the coronavirus pandemic — and Chinese lockdowns specifically — continues to weigh on the recovery.
“The economic reverberations of this conflict will extend far beyond Ukraine’s borders,” WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told a news conference presenting the findings.
UK jobless rate lowest since 2019
Britons’ earnings shrank by the most since 2013 in February, when adjusted for surging inflation, despite unemployment falling to its joint lowest in almost 50 years, highlighting the challenges facing the Bank of England.
The jobless rate sank to 3.8 percent in the three months to February from 3.9 percent before, official figures showed, matching a rate last seen in late 2019 and one that has not been lower since 1974.
Annual growth in average earnings excluding bonuses picked up to 4 percent from 3.8 percent, but fell short of rising inflation — which hit 6.2 percent in February — and led to a 1.3 percent drop in its real value, the Office for National Statistics said.
“Soaring inflation is casting a big shadow over an otherwise buoyant labor market,” Nye Cominetti, an economist at the Resolution Foundation think tank, said.
Sri Lanka suspends debt payments
Sri Lanka will temporarily suspend foreign debt payments to avoid a hard default, the central bank governor said on Tuesday, with its limited foreign reserves required for imports of essential items such as fuel.
“It has come to a point that making debt payments are challenging and impossible. The best action that can be taken is to restructure debt and avoid a hard default,” Gov. P. Nandalal Weerasinghe told reporters.
Sri Lanka is due to start talks with the International Monetary Fund on a loan program next week, with the country suffering from prolonged power cuts alongside shortages of food and medicines.
China’s trade growth 
China’s export growth likely slowed in March as the Ukraine war inhibited global demand, while imports probably eased amid signs that widespread anti-COVID lockdowns have weakened domestic consumption, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.
Exports likely rose 13 percent in March, versus a year earlier, compared with 16.3 percent year-on-year growth for the January-February period, according to a median forecast in a Reuters poll of 19 economists.
Imports in March were estimated as 8 percent higher than a year before, the poll showed, easing from 15.5 percent growth seen in the first two months of the year. The slowdown in growth was partly driven by sluggish domestic demand and by production disruptions, both caused by ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks, analysts say.
Chinese economic data for January and February is often combined to remove distortions caused by the shifting timing of the Lunar New Year holiday.
Economists in the poll expect a March trade surplus of $22.4 billion, compared with $13.8 billion a year earlier.
The trade data will be released on Wednesday.
Australia business conditions 
 A measure of Australian business conditions picked up sharply in March as firms saw strong sales and labor conditions, while surging costs pushed retail prices higher in a worrying sign for inflation.
Tuesday’s survey from National Australia Bank showed its index of business conditions doubled to +18 in March, while confidence added 3 points to +16.
The upbeat result will likely be welcomed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is in the middle of a tough election campaign.
Inflation expectations stayed high at 5.8 percent, reflecting cost of living pressures from petrol, food and housing.
All that price froth has yet to deter shoppers, with CBA’s measure of household spending intentions jumping 9.2 percent in March to a record high, led by travel, transport and retail.
The strength in spending, combined with a 13-year low for unemployment, suggests the economy overall put in a solid performance in the first quarter.


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