Impending U.S. sanctions on Iran continue to raise concerns over the Strait of Hormuz. An Iranian official has renewed warnings that Tehran will block the strait if Iran cannot export oil. Now, importantly, Iranian crude exports won’t stop entirely – the United States has said it would be lenient on allies like South Korea and India as they import reduced amounts of it – but we need to take Tehran’s threats seriously, considering how important oil is to its economy. The sanctions take effect Aug. 4.
The maritime shipping industry may be an overlooked casualty in the coming trade wars. Major operators of container ships are already on alert for lower demand and higher fuel prices. Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd issued a profit warning late last month, while Monaco-based GoodBulk canceled plans for its $140 million initial public offering. Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping already canceled one Pacific route and removed six ships from rotation. Many maritime freight operators are stil