On Friday, March 26, oil prices rose more than 4% during international trading. Experts associate a noticeable rise in the price of raw materials primarily with the incident in the Suez Canal. Earlier this week, a large container ship Ever Given ran aground in the waters of a transport artery, causing one of the world’s largest trade routes to be completely blocked. According to experts, this state of affairs can lead to serious interruptions in the supply of energy raw materials and a number of other goods. So, at the moment, tankers with oil worth almost $ 800 million are already stuck in the resulting traffic jam.At the same time, according to experts, the total loss of global trade as a result of the congestion may reach $ 230 billion.
Note that since mid-March, oil prices have significantly decreased against the background of an exacerbation of the coronavirus pandemic in the world and the introduction of additional quarantine restrictions in a number of countries. Meanwhile, in recent days, quotations have stopped falling and moved to growth. According to experts, the reason for the observed rise in prices for raw materials was the accident in the Suez Canal.
On March 23, a large container ship Ever Given en route from China to Rotterdam ran aground in the southern part of the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas. As a result, the ship completely blocked traffic on one of the most important trade routes in the world.
According to the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, a total of 150 ships were blocked in the area of the waterway. In turn, according to information from the analytical company Vortexa, ten tankers with 13 million barrels of crude oil were also stuck in the resulting traffic jam. At current prices for energy raw materials, the cost of the cargo is about $ 800 million.
The current situation has alerted global investors, says Artyom Deev, head of the analytical department at AMarkets. As the expert explained in an interview with RT, the incident in the Suez Canal risks turning into disruptions in the supply of hydrocarbons and additional costs for producers of raw materials. Such fears of market players led to an increase in oil prices on the exchange.
“The Suez Canal carries about 10% of the world’s oil and 8% of LNG. Mainly in this way, raw materials are delivered from the Persian Gulf countries to the United States and Europe. The referral allows you to save on time and shipping costs. That is why the route is so popular. At the same time, the stoppage of traffic along the canal means an increase in expenses for the transportation of raw materials, ”added the analyst.
Russian satellite “Canopus V” took off from space the ship Ever Given, which had run aground in the Suez Canal
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To remove the container ship Ever Given from the shallows in the Suez Canal, work has already begun to deepen the seabed around the vessel. This is stated in the channel control message. At the same time, according to various estimates, it may take from several days to several weeks to fully restore movement along the water artery.
As Alexander Rozman, senior analyst at Forex Optimum, noted in a conversation with RT, if the blocking of the channel drags on, oil buyers will have to look for alternative suppliers. This state of affairs may lead to an additional increase in the cost of purchasing raw materials. In this case, the quotes will continue to grow, the specialist said.
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According to Natalia Milchakova, Deputy Head of the Alpari Information and Analytical Center, with the prolonged blockage of the Suez Canal, the uncertainty on the world oil market may increase. Under these conditions, the cost of energy raw materials at the moment can rise to $ 67-68 per barrel, the expert suggests.
“However, if the channel is unblocked in a few days, the oil market will continue to live its normal life. So, first of all, the expected April meeting of the countries participating in the OPEC + deal will be on the agenda again. With this development of events, the price of Brent oil will remain in the corridor of $ 60-65 per barrel, “Milchakova said in an interview with RT.
Recall that under the OPEC + agreement, oil exporting states specifically limit the production of hydrocarbons. Thus, the countries are trying to achieve a balance between supply and demand in the global energy market. According to experts, the policy of the alliance members should keep oil prices from new collapses.
The next meeting of the alliance members is scheduled for April 1. The parties are expected to agree on the terms of oil production for May.
According to experts interviewed by RT, the congestion on the Suez Canal affects not only the oil market, but also global trade in general. Thus, according to the assessment of the World Economic Forum, today about 13% of the global trade turnover passes through the waterway.
“This means that as a result of blocking the channel, the supply of a number of goods will be disrupted. Here are also light industry products, clothing, footwear, accessories, electronics and computer equipment, household chemicals and much more, ”said Alexander Rozman.
According to the vessel monitoring service Lloyd’s List Intelligence, on average more than 50 vessels with cargo worth $ 9.6 billion pass through the Suez Canal every day. At the same time, each week of the route downtime will slow down the growth of world trade by 0.2-0.4 percentage points. This is the conclusion reached by analysts of the international insurance company Euler Hermes.
“The problem is that the closure of the Suez Canal is a straw that will break the backbone of world trade. Supply chain disruptions since the beginning of the year could lead to a 1.4 percentage point slowdown in real trade growth or direct losses of $ 230 billion, in addition to a shipping halt in the Suez Canal, ”the organization said in a study.
As Artyom Deev noted, against the background of the congestion that has arisen, cargo ships have to change their planned route and move around the African continent. As a result, the cost of freighting ships increases. Ultimately, this state of affairs can lead to an increase in the value of a number of goods. However, according to Alexander Rozman, the negative effect may be temporary.
“In any case, the consequences of blocking the channel will be short-term and depend on the specifics of a particular product. In some cases, there may be a temporary shortage of a specific product in the world, due to which the goods will temporarily disappear from store shelves, and somewhere there will be a short-term surge in prices, ”concluded Roseman.
Source site russian.rt.com