Trendwatch: Congestion fears ease as Europe's ports cope with arrival of delayed vessels; India, UAE sign pact on trans-continental trade corridor; Today in Energy: Industry to drive tripling of natural gas consumption in India by 2050

Congestion fears ease as Europe's ports cope with arrival of delayed vessels

Container hub ports in North Europe appear be coping well with the arrival of a cluster of ships from Asia, delayed after being re-routed around the African coast.

Fears of a repeat of the severe port and landside congestion that plagued the hubs for months after the Ever Given’s six-day blockage of the Suez Canal in 2021 are so far proving unfounded.

According to Hapag-Lloyd’s latest terminal operations update for North Europe, its hub ports of Rotterdam, Hamburg and Southampton saw yard utilisation levels last week spike to between 85% and 90%, from around just 55% in the previous weeks, reflecting the arrival of delayed vessels.


India, UAE sign pact on trans-continental trade corridor

DUBAI/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday signed an agreement on a trade corridor that aims to connect Europe with India through parts of the Middle East by sea and rail, an ambitious plan backed by the U.S. and the European Union.

The announcement of the framework agreement, reached during a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Gulf state, was released in a statement by the Indian foreign ministry, although few details on what the sides had agreed on were made public.

"This would build on previous understandings and cooperation on this matter and foster India and the UAE cooperation furthering regional connectivity," the ministry statement said.

The corridor, announced last September on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi, aims to extend from India across the Arabian Sea to the United Arab Emirates and through Saudi Arabia before connecting through Jordan and Israel to Europe.


Today in Energy: Industry to drive tripling of natural gas consumption in India by 2050

In our International Energy Outlook 2023 (IEO2023), we project natural gas consumption to more than triple in India by 2050. We project annual growth of 4.4% over that period, more than twice the 2.0% annual growth rate of natural gas consumption in China, the next-fastest-growing country.

We project that India’s industrial sector—in particular, ammonia production intended to decrease fertilizer imports—as well as a growing oil refining sector will drive most of the growth in natural gas consumption over the projection period. This growth in demand will require more significant increases in India's domestic natural gas supply and imports than in recent years. According to the International Energy Agency, India’s domestic natural gas production increased 2.4% annually on average between 2019 and 2022 as imports declined 1.5% annually.


Farmer protests: Blockades lifted as traffic disruptions ease at Antwerp port

Last night, the port authority published an update stating that the "blockades in the port have been lifted. There are currently no further disruptions due to the protests in the area."

Antwerp port was experiencing traffic disruptions yesterday due to farmers' demonstrations in and around the port complex.

Filter blockades were reported at various locations at Antwerp Port yesterday as protests caused severe disruptions to traffic. The port authority urged farmers to keep a lane open for traffic to pass.


Germany threatens to sink EU's supply chain due diligence legislation

As the European Union's corporate sustainability due diligence directive (CSDDD) hurtles toward the finish line, the landmark supply chain due diligence legislation has hit a major snag: abstention from a critical vote by Germany on Friday, a move that could jeopardize what many have regarded as nothing more than a formality following an accord between the European Council and Parliament last month.

But Social Democrat labor minister Hubertus Heil told Reuters Tuesday that the co-ruling-and pro-business-Free Democratic Party has rejected any compromises that would avoid what is tantamount to a "no" vote for the law, which would require businesses of a certain size and profitability to address harmful practices such as child labor, forced labor, rampant pollution, deforestation, excessive water consumption and ecosystem damage.


UK to sign Nigeria agreement that aims to ease trade barriers

The UK will today sign a new investment deal with Nigeria that aims to boost bilateral trade and reduce commercial barriers as Britain seeks to strengthen ties with overseas states post-Brexit.

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch will seal the agreement, known as an enhanced trade and investment partnership, in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Tuesday, the UK Department for Business and Trade said in a statement. It’s the first such deal struck between the UK and an African country.