Jumat, 26 Maret 2021

Suez Canal blockage sets shipping rates surging as oil and gas tankers diverted - ABC News

Shipping rates for oil product tankers have nearly doubled this week as several vessels were diverted away from the Suez Canal — a vital waterway currently blocked by a skyscraper-sized ship.

The 400-metre container ship Ever Given remains wedged in the canal since Tuesday (local time) and efforts are underway to free the vessel which may take weeks due to bad weather.

Shoei Kisen, the ship's Japanese owner, denied a news report that it aimed to dislodge it by Saturday night, saying refloating efforts were ongoing.

Separately, the Suez Canal Authority said it welcomed an offer from the United States to help.

The suspension of traffic through the narrow channel linking Europe and Asia has deepened problems for shipping lines that were already facing disruption and delays in supplying retail goods to consumers.

A boat navigates in front of a massive cargo ship, named the Ever Green,
The ship has blocked traffic in a crucial East-West waterway for global shipping.(

AP: Suez Canal Authority


Analysts expect a larger upward impact on smaller tankers and oil products, like naphtha and fuel oil exports from Europe to Asia, if the canal remained shut.

"Around 20 per cent of Asia's naphtha is supplied by the Mediterranean and Black Sea via the Suez Canal," director for Asia oil at Facts Global Energy (FGE) Sri Paravaikkarasu said.

Ms Paravaikkarasu added that re-routing ships around the Cape of Good Hope off the coast of South Africa could add around two more weeks to the voyage.


She said, doing so would add more than 800 tonnes of fuel consumption for Suezmax tankers — the largest-sized ships which can travel through the Suez Canal.

Fuel is a ship's single biggest cost, representing up to 60 per cent of operating expenses.

By contrast, an already weak Asian gasoil, or diesel, market is also being made worse by the blockage since Asia exports the fuel to markets in the west, like Europe, of which more than 60 per cent flowed via the chocked Canal in 2020, according to FGE.

A backlog around the Egyptian coast

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Moving container ship stuck in the Suez Canal expected to take weeks.

More than 30 oil tankers have been waiting at either side of the canal to pass through since Tuesday (local time), shipping data on Refinitiv showed.

About two dozen ships could be sighted from the shores of Port Said on Friday morning (local time), according to a Reuters witness, as the backlog built up along the Egyptian coast.

"Aframax and Suezmax rates in the Mediterranean have also reacted first as the market starts to price in fewer vessels being available in the region," shipbroker Braemar ACM, said.

A tracking map of the Suez Canal with coloured dots showing the number of ships waiting to get through
The gridlock caused by the Ever Given container ship [shown in red square].(

Supplied/Maritime Vessel Traffic


Rising demand for Atlantic Basin crude within Europe will also increase the use of these smaller tankers and support freight rates, the company said.

The cost of shipping clean products, such as gasoline and diesel, from the Russian port of Tuapse on the Black Sea to southern France increased from $US1.49 ($1.95) per barrel on March 22 to $US2.58 a barrel on March 25, a 73 per cent increase, according to Refinitiv.

The impact of the shipping delays on energy markets is likely to be mitigated by demand for crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) being in the low season, analysts said.

Several LNG tankers have been diverted, one Singapore-based shipbroker said, adding that sentiment for LNG tanker rates is more positive following the incident.

He added that some European buyers anticipating delays of LNG from Qatar may be considering other options such as buying in the spot market.

A graphic of a map showing a large ship that has become stuck on the edge of a canal
This map shows what athorities will have to do to move the Ever Given vessel from the Suez Canal.(

AP/Google Earth


If the blockage lasts for two weeks, about one million tonnes of LNG could be delayed for delivery to Europe, Rystad Energy's head of gas and power markets Carlos Torres Diaz, said.

This could double to more than two million tonnes of delayed cargo deliveries in a worst-case scenario of the Canal being blocked for four weeks, he added.

Meanwhile, oil traders told Reuters they are adopting a wait-and-see approach to see if a higher tide due on Sunday would help.

"We have some cargoes stuck… Going around the Cape of Good Hope will be worse," Reuters quoted an unnamed trader with a western firm as saying.


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2021-03-26 13:49:27Z

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