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Argus Media update: Iran bunker row to be sorted soon

28 Jul 2019

Global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus Media on Friday (26 July) provided a marine fuels industry related update focusing on refuelling issues of the Bavand and Termeh at Paranagua Bay, Brazil:

A sanctions row that has stranded two Iranian grain vessels off Brazil's southern coast should be resolved soon, Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro said today.

The vessels moored in Paranagua Bay have been awaiting bunker fuel for a return journey to Iran since early June. Brazil's state-controlled Petrobras denied the request for fuel, citing US sanctions. But a 24 July federal supreme court decision could force the firm to deliver it.

The Parana Port association said the two Iranian ships at the center of the crisis— the Bavand and the Termeh—should receive fuel soon and set sail over the weekend.

The partially fueled Termeh is tentatively scheduled to receive fuel at the Paranagua port tomorrow at 2pm ET. The vessel will then travel on to Imbituba port in Santa Catarina to receive a 65,000 t cargo of corn.

The Bavand already loaded 48,000 t of corn at Imbituba and is tentatively scheduled to receive fuel at Paranagua tomorrow at 8pm ET, a Paranagua port operator said.

Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, the ships´ owner, was not available to comment.

"Our government is aligned with the Trump government. We have been talking with the US ambassador since yesterday. We have the [supreme court] decision," Bolsonaro told reporters in Brasilia. "The banks do not want to receive the payments for refueling the ships. So I hope that in the next few hours, or by the latest Monday, we will solve this problem without creating any trouble with the United States."

Bunker specialists have said that refueling by Petrobras is the most straightforward option, and the one most likely to resolve the predicament. The company has said refueling the vessels could have serious financial consequences, but has not said whether it will appeal the high court's decision. It declined to comment today.

The vessels had delivered urea supplies to Brazil before proceeding with plans to load around 100,000 tons of corn for Iran.

Iran has threatened to end its agricultural purchases from Brazil if the ships are not refueled.

Related: Argus Media: Petrobras ordered to refuel Iranian vessels
Related: Argus Media: Stranded Iranian tankers await Brazil court ruling

Source: Argus Media
Published: 29 July, 2019


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