December 18, 2023 10:08 GMT
Shipping Firms Avoid Red Sea as Attacks Ramp Up Further
Four of the world’s five largest container lines – controlling 54% of global capacity – have suspended transits through the Red Sea as of 18 December, following a series of attacks by Houthi rebels on vessels near the Bab al-Mandab waterway.
- Maersk, MSC, Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM Group suspended Red Sea Transits as of 18 December.
- Egypt’s Suez Canal authority said on Sunday it was closely monitoring the impact of the attacks in the Red Sea.
- 77 ships crossed the waterway on Sunday, including some ships belonging to shipping lines that had announced temporary diversions, as those vessels were already in the Red Sea region before the announcements were made, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Osama Rabie, said.
- On Monday, the UK’s Maritime Trade Organization said it had received a report of a possible explosion close to Yemen’s port of Mokha as well as reports on two other incidents near the Bab al Mandab strait according to Reuters.
- The decision by many of the world's largest container liners to suspend passage through the Red Sea and reroute their ships around the Cape of Good Hope - adding about 40% in voyage distance - is likely to push freight rates higher and delay cargo shipments.
- IEA data suggested around 5% of global crude and 10% of global oil products pass the Suez Canal.
- Some Asian refiners may seek non-Red Sea routes for North African and Mediterranean crude imports. Some or all of the CPC Blend, Saharan Blend and Libyan crudes headed to Asia may be directed to West African ports where the barrels could be co-loaded in VLCC tankers with Nigerian, Angolan and the US crude already purchased, sources at Thai and South Korean refiners told Platts.