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Lingering uncertainty over the cargo’s fate offered a timely reminder of the fallout from a dispute that intensified on Wednesday, as the U.S. president, Donald Trump, unveiled a second round of tariffs on $16bn of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to respond in kind.
The Peak Pegasus, a 229 metre bulk carrier weighing 43,000 tonnes, has become the reluctant symbol of the potential consequences of this tit-for-tat trade spat.
The ship, owned by JP Morgan Asset Management, was scheduled to unload about 70,000 tonnes of American soya beans in the Chinese port of Dalian on 6 July, shortly after Trump imposed a first round of tariffs on $34bn-worth of goods.
As it rushed to shore in the hope of clearing customs before Beijing imposed retaliatory tariffs, the ship — and its protein-rich cargo — became an unlikely internet sensation on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.
However, the vessel arrived just too late and has been sailing around in circles ever since while the cargo’s owners, understood to be the agricultural commodity trading house Louis Dreyfus, decide what to do.
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