On Thursday, March 25, 2021, oil prices fell by more than 2%, amid fears of disruptive demand for oil products, as navigation in the Suez Canal was disrupted for the third consecutive day after a ship ran aground.
According to Reuters, Brent crude futures fell $ 1.33, or 2.1%, to $ 63.08 a barrel, after jumping 6% overnight.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell $ 1.40, or 2.3%, to $ 59.78 a barrel, after rising 5.9% overnight.
Prices fell earlier in the week due to concerns about tightening pandemic restrictions in Europe and delaying the distribution of vaccines, which is hampering the growth of demand for fuel, but they reversed course strongly on Wednesday due to news of a ship stranding in the Suez Canal, which is likely to impede the course of ten tankers carrying 13 million barrels of oil.
There are ten ships in five waiting areas to pass through the approximately 200 km long canal, as more of the area approaches.
“The longer this disruption continues, the more refiners and buyers are turning to the spot market to secure supplies from elsewhere,” said ING Economics.
The Suez Canal is disrupted
And still Suez Canal disruption crisis Continuous due to the container ship “Evergiven”, whose delinquency led to the suspension of traffic for three consecutive days. On Thursday morning, March 25, 2021, efforts to float it resumed with high tide after stopping on Wednesday evening, as five tugboats worked to drag the ship into deeper waters According to the ship tracking data.
The international “Bloomberg” agency quoted officials in the Suez Canal as saying, Thursday, that the rescue crews suspended the floatation operations of the ship on Wednesday evening, to be resumed this morning, and officials in the authority informed the agency that new rescue crews will arrive at the site of the delinquent ship later Thursday, To speed up flotation operations.
According to identical data for both Bloomberg and “Refinitiv Icon”, which tracks maritime traffic worldwide, about 180 ships are stranded between the two ends of the canal on the Red and Mediterranean seas.
Dozens of ships congregate at both ends of the canal, including other large containers, oil and gas tankers and grain ships, which created one of the worst incidents of cargo traffic congestion in years, but the head of the Suez Canal Authority, Osama Rabie, told the media that in spite of that, some ships I managed to move south, and the efforts to float the Evergiven are continuing.
Shipping experts say that if this halt in traffic in the canal is not overcome within 24 to 48 hours, some shipping companies may have to make their ships take the Cape of Good Hope through the edge of southern Africa, which extends the journey by about a week.