08 October 2013 04:01 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shipping activities in the Middle East have started to slow down ahead of the Eid-ul-Adha festival in the region next week, sources from the petrochemical and shipping industries said on Tuesday.
The festival starts on 15 October, when port operations are expected to come to a virtual standstill, they said.
“Most buyers are familiar with this lull period. So, they stock up before port operations come to an almost complete stop,” said an Asian-based shipbroker.
Eid-ul-Adha, also called the Feast of Sacrifice, marks the end of the Haj – the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
“A number of buyers and producers will already be on leave from the start of this week. Expect the market to really be quiet,” a Dubai-based converter said.
The UAE declared a seven-day holiday for public sector workers starting 13 October.
Other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are likely to announce similar holiday periods, Middle East market players said.
The GCC comprises the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
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