In early March, the port authorities of the Public Ministry of Tampico reportedly made a new inspection of the Mary Nour. This was to verify the condition of the 26,000t of cement still on board the ship, after a waiting period close to nine months, while the Mexican courts decided the outcome of this unusual case. Meanwhile, the central Mexican legal authorities have apparently re-analysed earlier judgments against the directors of Commerce for Mexican Desarrollo (CDM), with respect to the embargo of this cement cargo and their own role in this drawn-out affair.
A further decision could be forthcoming on the 6th April which will either finally free the Mary Nour and allow it to depart from Mexico with the cement still on board or result in CDM having to pay additional interim sums to the local customs in order to allow for its local discharge, with local customers apparently still keen to buy what will most likely be heavily-discounted cement.
Local insiders however remain rather pessimistic over the eventual outcome, and suggest that the April 6th ruling could again result in more delays and legal wranglings, leaving the ship to remain stranded in port for additional weeks if not months ahead while the legal battle continues.
As this case clearly shows, the Mexican cement industry continues to put up a strong fight against what it sees as unwanted cement imports entering Mexico. Meanwhile how CDM continues to finance the Mary Nour and its cargo over this record-breaking demurrage period is anyone’s guess. Perhaps earlier rumours of a European cement benefactor supporting this trial shipment into Mexico might have some validity after all.