Fuel tanker costs surge on Red Sea crisis – Bloomberg

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Houthi attacks in the waterway have prompted many companies to redirect vessels to longer and more expensive routes

The cost of shipping fuel by sea has in some cases soared above $100,000 a day due to continued disruptions in the Suez Canal and Red Sea caused by attacks by the Houthi rebels, Bloomberg reported this week.

According to data from the Baltic Exchange in London, the price of shipping oil and refined products from the Middle East to Japan surged by 3% on Thursday alone, to $101,000 a day, the highest cost for that particular route since 2020.

The same trend has been observed for vessels carrying fuel from the Middle East to Europe. Tanker costs on this route have surged to within the range of $97,000-$117,000 per day, depending on the size of the ship.

The Houthis, an Islamist group that controls a large part of Yemen, have been attacking and hijacking ships crossing the vital waterway that handles about 15% of global trade in what they claim is a show of solidarity with the Palestinians. Despite the US and allies having deployed a naval taskforce to the area to safeguard shipping, many freight companies have halted travel through the waterway and instead make the far longer and more expensive journey around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa.

According to an earlier report by the Wall Street Journal, citing data from London-based Drewry Shipping Consultants, the average worldwide cost of shipping a 40-foot container jumped 23% to $3,777 in the week ending January 18, more than double what it cost only a month prior.

Many analysts now warn that the shipping crisis in the Red Sea may cause a new surge in global inflation.

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