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Suez Canal boost from 'One Belt One Road', Iran opening up

Suez Canal boost from 'One Belt One Road', Iran opening up
The new Suez Canal stands to benefit from China’s "One Belt One Road" (OBOR) initiative, the opening up of the Iranian market, and the developing Indian refinery market, according to Braemar Shipping Services Asia.

OBOR is not just about China but reached into around 60 countries: “many with increasing energy needs, and the Suez Canal playing its very essential part,” said Braemar Shipping Services Asia president Denis Petropoulos, speaking at the first Suez Canal Global Conference in Cairo.

Iran would be the most notable frontier for new business within OBOR, said Petropoulos. “Its trading alliances in Asia remain strong but with the lifting of sanctions the opportunities for Iran are opened further, with long standing historical trading partners in Southern Europe and their demand for Iranian crude oil, all likely to be transported through the Suez Canal and the Sumed pipeline.”

“In the 1970s and 1980s, the trend for crude oil produced in the Middle East was for Western demand but by the turn of this century the trend reversed with Middle East producers supplying the East,” Petropoulos continued. “However, Middle East refineries are also producing products for the region and are now exporting large amounts of products to global destinations as profitable trade, as well as a hedge to reduction in OPEC crude quotas.

“North East Asia is also producing gasoil which will find itself in the West. Major traders are fixing new building aframaxes and suezmaxes to load cargos of gasoil from refineries in Japan and Korea all transiting the Suez Canal,” he said.

Meanwhile, Petropoulos highlighted, the LNG sector would continue to “grow significantly”, with Suez Canal traffic continuing to increase, thanks to India’s private sector refinery programmes, which he described as “very forward looking”.