TOPIC PAGE: Suez Canal closure

Author: Will Beacham


UPDATED 1 April with details of vessels waiting and  latest headlines.

The Suez Canal is now clear after being blocked by one of the world's largest container ships, the Ever Given, which was stuck sideways after it ran aground on 23 March.

As one of the world's busiest shipping lanes between the Middle East, Asia and Europe, the closure disrupted the already strained global shipping network.

It is expected to take several days to clear the backlog of ships from the Canal. There is also the prospect of further disruption once this fleet of ships arrives at destination ports which may be overwhelmed. There are delays to oil, liquified natural gas (LNG) and chemical shipments as tankers and container ships queue up either side of the canal.

On this topic page we bring you links to the latest related news plus maps, graphs and other resources to help make sense of the impact on energy and chemical markets.

Some vessels have already been forced to take alternative routes due to the disruption and could see longer shipping times. The ICIS LNG Edge shipping calculator shows that a Qatari cargo travelling around South Africa to the UK would take around 27 days, compared with around 17 days for a route using the Suez Canal.

Source: ICIS LNG Edge

The Suez Canal is an transport link between Asia, the Middle East and Europe  for container ships, crude oil tankers, chemical tankers and LNG ships.

According to Leth Agencies, a shipping agency, there are currently 249 vessels waiting to pass through the canal.

Gas prices could rise: ICIS LNG analyst, Alex Froley, on Suez Canal disruption

On Monday 29 March the Ever Given container ship that had been blocking the Suez Canal for almost a week appeared to be on the move, paving the way for the re-opening of the vital trade artery. However, a queue of vessels has built up, which is likely to further delay vessel transits, including of LNG tankers that carry supplies of natural gas to European energy companies from the world’s biggest LNG supplier Qatar.

Some tankers will also have missed their delivery slots at ports and have to wait for a new unloading slot, which could cause further disruption later in the chain. Some vessels have been waiting near the canal hoping it would re-open, but others have now set off on much longer alternative routes. For example, Qatar’s Al Mafyar and Al Samriya vessels are both now heading to Europe around the Cape of Good Hope, adding a potential extra ten days to their arrival, likely in the UK.

Qatari cargoes that tend to head to Mediterranean terminals such as Rovigo in Italy have continued to wait near the canal, with some tankers even continuing to head towards the canal over the weekend before the blockage was cleared.

Disruption could also delay cargoes from Russia’s Yamal LNG project trying to reach Asia. In the summer Yamal is able to send some cargoes east through the Arctic to reach Asia via the Northern Sea Route. But currently that is closed due to ice, so Yamal cargoes wishing to reach Asia generally head west to Europe, transfer ship from icebreakers to normal ships in France, Belgium or the Netherlands, then head east to Asia via the Suez Canal.

There are also several cargoes from Egypt’s Damietta and Idku production plants, which load in the Mediterranean, waiting to use the Suez Canal to head south to Asia.

According to ICIS LNG Edge ship-tracking data, there were some 276 east to west laden LNG tanker deliveries in 2020 that used the Suez Canal. These were all from Qatar to Europe and Turkey.

Source: ICIS LNG EdgeSource: ICIS LNG Edge

According to ICIS LNG Edge ship-tracking data, there were some 112 west to east laden LNG tanker deliveries in 2020 that used the Suez Canal. The biggest single producer using this route was Russia’s Yamal LNG project. Deliveries from Russia, France, Belgium and the Netherlands should all be counted as Yamal cargoes, with the majority of Yamal cargoes transferring ship-to-ship in Europe before completing their onward voyage.

The US is the second biggest country using the Suez Canal in this direction, with some 34 cargoes taking the route in 2020.

Source: ICIS LNG EdgeSource: ICIS LNG Edge

Suez closure piles extra supply pressure on Europe chemicals
A Suez Canal-related force majeure by a European polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producer highlights the additional supply pressure chemical value chains are under following the six-day blockage of the route.

Spain’s PlastiVerd PET Riciclado said in a letter to customers that the Suez closure and other maritime logistics problems meant it could no longer source the raw materials it requires and would be forced to declare force majeure.

Analysis of the ICIS Supply & Demand database shows that many products are heavily dependent on Middle East imports as a percentage of total imports. Particularly vulnerable to disruption, with high volumes of imports, could be paraxylene (PX) (67% of total imports), methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) (60%), cyclohexane (CX) (51%), ethanolamines (47%), ethylene glycol (EG) (42%), polypropylene (PP) (40%), linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) (37%).

ICIS analyst viewpoint

Susan Mair - Europe PET

At the moment at least 25% of the European PET capacity seems to be having issues (likely more if we consider those still running are operating at reduced rates). All issues in PET are stemming from feedstock issues. The US is where this all began. MEG imports into Europe, paired with turnarounds in MEG at plants in Middle East meant MEG was tight. Then PTA force majeures in Europe added to the already significant feedstock problems for PET producers.

Before the Suez issue there were hopes that imports in April would help ease this situation but now we expect these imports to be delayed. Up until now in PET it has all been supply problems driving the spike in price as demand is not considered to be particularly strong at the moment.

However we are coming into the typically higher demand season for PET so this could impact the situation further. Around 1m tonnes/year of PET resin is also imported, with the majority coming from China, S Korea and India. As Q2 tends to be the quarter when most imports come in I would expect some imports will be delayed.

Michele Bossi - Europe PTA

I can confirm you that the one-week blockage of the Suez Canal has been impacting shipments from South Korea, the main PTA Asian exporter, to Europe.

European PTA supply is already extremely tight due to problems at PKN Orlen, Poland, and INEOS, Belgium. The delay of arrival of PTA imports in Europe is expected to make the supply even tighter. The delays could create a further tightening of availability of containers, pushing up freight costs and making imports from Asia more expensive.

Fergus Jensen - market reporter, Europe benzene

Europe benzene spot prices hit their highest levels in more than six years this week after an uptick in business ahead of the April contract price settlement.

The gains were supported by strong downstream demand and amid concerns over potential impacts from the Suez Canal blockage. Europe imports around 40,000 tonnes/month of styrene, much of it from Saudi Arabia and India, which passes through the Suez Canal.

Benzene supply in Europe has also been limited throughout the lockdowns period in Europe, as a result of lower demand for refined products for blending with gasoline. Inventories in early 2021 were also at low levels following reductions to imports and an increase in Asia prices in late 2020 that boosted exports.

Latest news and analysis 

Suez has lingering impact on Europe while Maersk suspends bookings
By: Will Beacham 2021/04/01 BARCELONA (ICIS)--Europe is suffering a lingering impact from the Suez Canal closure, with delays in deliveries of up to two weeks, while Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company has suspended short term bookings.

Although the canal reopened on 29 March after being blocked for six days by the Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships, it will take several days to clear the backlog of ships, which numbered 292 on 31 March, according to transport group Leth Agencies.

Although the canal is now open, there is also the possibility of further congestion at destination ports as a higher numbers of ships than usual arrive in the coming days.

GLM FOCUS: Suez and the aftermath for LNG shipping
By Hal Brown 01-Apr-21 16:25 LONDON (ICIS)--As the backlog of vessels continues to be cleared, LNG shipping can assess the impact of the week-long Suez Canal closure.

In a year that has already seen record high spot LNG prices and charter rates, extremely tight shipping, and delays through the Panama Canal, the Suez blockage posed another physical risk to the LNG supply chain, and one that was difficult to work around.

While the blockage will lead to some deliveries being delayed, it came at a time of seasonally-low gas demand.

US gas dips as new trading month begins
By Fauzeya Rahman 31-Mar-21 11:49 HOUSTON (ICIS)-- US natural gas prices started the week off with a slight gain on the last day of trading under the April front-month contract.

The Henry Hub benchmark then fell on 30 March, the first day of front-month trading under the May front-month contract.

Carbon, Suez block drive global gas spreads
By Christopher Rene 31-Mar-21 17:53 LONDON (ICIS)--European gas near curves continue to have a strong influence on the direction of Asian spot LNG prices with carbon volatility at the heart of the price movements.

Supply disruptions at the Suez Canal and cold weather forecasts have lent support to the European gas near curve.

Relatively low shipping costs enabled Europe to attract flexible LNG cargoes away from Asia, a trend that is likely to continue until summer cooling demand in Asia peaks in the third quarter.

Cold snap could support coal price strength as Suez blockage resolved
By David Battista 31-Mar-21 17:18 LONDON (ICIS)--The European Rotterdam coal benchmark gained value in the past sessions, as the Suez Canal blockage disrupted global supply chains, sending bullish sentiment across markets.

The strength could be sustained in the next sessions amid bullish power fundamentals in week 14.

GLM COMMENT: How can LNG work around issues like Suez?
By Alex Froley 31-Mar-21 16:38 LONDON (ICIS)--The dramatic blockage of the Suez Canal came in early spring, when key LNG buyers in Europe and east Asia, such as the UK, Spain, China and Japan, were all coming out of winter, with gas demand falling.

This meant the incident was not as serious as it would have been if it had happened in the highest demand periods of winter.

At the start of this year, the markets were already under stress from cold weather in Japan and China, and congestion in the Panama Canal triggered US LNG delivery delays to Asia.

Europe benzene spot prices hit highest in over six years after Suez jam
By Fergus Jensen 31-Mar-21 15:16 LONDON (ICIS)--Europe benzene spot prices hit their highest levels in more than six years this week after an uptick in business ahead of the April contract price settlement, and following a string of supply disruptions and high demand.

"Inventories are low and there is a big part that's psychology," a Europe-based trader said referring to the recent price spike. "Then a vessel gets stuck in the Suez and it's a perfect storm."

Suez closure piles extra supply pressure on Europe chemicals
By Will Beacham 30-Mar-21 16:35 BARCELONA (ICIS)--A Suez Canal-related force majeure by a European polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producer highlights the additional supply pressure chemical value chains are under following the six-day blockage of the route.

Spain’s PlastiVerd PET Riciclado said in a letter to customers that the Suez closure and other maritime logistics problems meant it could no longer source the raw materials it requires and would be forced to declare force majeure.

The Suez Canal reopened on 29 March after being blocked for six days by the Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships. It will take several days to clear the backlog of ships, which numbered 306 this morning, according to transport group Leth Agencies.

Europe epoxy bull run continues for April as supply concerns heighten on Suez disruption
By Heidi Finch 30-Mar-21 18:03 LONDON (ICIS)--Prolonged epoxy bullishness in Europe is ramping up for April, as supply security concerns heighten following the Suez Canal disruption.

However, concerns about possible demand changes ahead could shake up the bull run in the coming months.

Triple-digit rises have been mooted for April amid record high levels, as supply in Europe and globally is critically short exacerbated by the Suez Canal disruption and an intensification in bullish sentiment around the world.

Suez Canal reopening eases worries on Asian chemical shipment delays
By Nurluqman Suratman 30-Mar-21 14:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The reopening of the Suez Canal has brought relief to some Asian chemical markets but worries still linger over current shipments and how long the backlog of vessels waiting to transit the key waterway will be cleared.

Vessels began entering the Suez Canal late on Monday after a containership that had blocked passage since 23 March was dislodged.

Asia’s crude glycerine market sees tight global supply despite Suez Canal reopening
By Helen Yan 30-Mar-21 15:18 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s glycerine market continues to see support from tight global supply, despite the reopening of the Suez Canal, with crude glycerine shipments from Europe and Latin America under upward pressure.

“Asian demand for glycerine is stable, but due to the supply constraints in Europe and Latin America, spot offers of crude glycerine to Asia are rising,” a trader said.

Vessels begin entering the Suez Canal after containership dislodged
By Adam Yanelli 29-Mar-21 17:06 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Vessels began entering the Suez Canal late on Monday after a containership that had blocked passage since 23 March was dislodged, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said.

Massive container ship freed from blocking Suez Canal
By Morgan Condon 29-Mar-21 15:53 LONDON (ICIS)--The giant container ship lodged in the Suez Canal for almost a week has been cleared, according to maritime services company Leth Agencies.

The 400m-long Ever Given has been freed from the canal where it had been stuck since 23 March.

All traffic remains temporarily suspended, according to Leth, with a total of 367 vessels waiting in the area.

Crude eases on partial re-floating of giant ship blocking Suez Canal
By James Dennis 29-Mar-21 17:14 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Crude prices declined on Monday, falling by more than $1/bbl at one stage, following news that the giant container vessel blocking the Suez Canal for nearly a week has been partially refloated.

The Panama-flagged ship Ever Given ran aground the Suez Canal on 23 March.

As of early on 29 March, a total 367 vessels are waiting in the Suez Canal area, according to the maritime services company Leth Agencies.

VIDEO: Global Oil Outlook - Five factors to watch in week 13
By Sophie Udubasceanu

29-Mar-21 14:28

London (ICIS) --The global oil market closely eyed this week's OPEC+ meeting with expectations for the group to keep the deal unchanged. A bearish sentiment lingered as the Suez Canal blockage was close to being solved and mounting concerns over demand recovery encouraged selling. ICIS experts highlight the key five factors to watch in week 13.

PODCAST: Suez Canal blockage adds insult to injury for chemical markets already starved of supply
By Will Beacham 29-Mar-21 13:30 BARCELONA (ICIS)--The closure of the Suez Canal is heaping further pressure on chemical supply chains which are already suffering from product shortages amid strong demand.

  • Suez blockage adds to market woes caused by shipping container crisis; US, Europe and Middle East outages; semiconductor shortage
  • No sign of easing – supply more important than price
  • Cargoes stuck include base oils, methanol, purified terephthalic acid (PTA), polyethylene terephthalic (PET), monoethylene glycol (MEG), acetone and bisphenol A (BPA)
  • Pressure builds to make supply chains more robust
  • Global base oils markets dry; situation is critical
  • Chinese imports of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) collapse

MARKET COMMENT: European gas contracts sink on Ever Given refloating, mild weather
By Kaja Sillett 29-Mar-21 13:21 LONDON (ICIS)--Key European gas contracts moved down on Monday morning amid mild forecasts for the remainder of March and as resumption of traffic through the Suez Canal appeared a step closer.

According to the Suez Canal Authority, the Ever Given had been refloated after almost a week stuck sideways in the canal. Further efforts to reposition the vessel to clear passage through the waterway were set to be carried out during Monday’s high tide.

At least 16 LNG vessels were estimated by LNG Edge to be impacted by the blockage.

Manoeuvres to shift vessel from Suez Canal to continue at high tide
By Morgan Condon 29-Mar-21 12:47 LONDON (ICIS)--Progress is being made in clearing the Suez Canal, as efforts to shift the vessel blocking the key waterway continue.

Manoeuvres to clear the 400m Ever Given were expected to continue at 11:30 local time (10:30 BST) according to the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) when water levels reach 2m.

This will allow for “the full restoration of the vessel’s direction so it is positioned in the middle of the navigable waterway,” the SCA said in a statement on Monday.

Asia PTA bound for Europe faces delays amid Suez Canal blockage
By Samuel Wong 29-Mar-21 14:33 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s purified terephthalic acid (PTA) cargoes bound for Europe are facing delays due to the blockage at the Suez Canal for a week now.

South Korea exports to the bulk of its PTA to Europe, including Turkey, according to ICIS Supply & Demand. Most of these are under term contracts.

Despite potential delays in shipments, the northeast Asian country is unlikely to see a huge inventory build-up of PTA as domestic plants are due for turnarounds in April to May.

Giant ship blocking Suez Canal partially re-floated - reports
By Nurluqman Suratman 29-Mar-21 13:20 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The massive container ship wedged in the Suez Canal was partially re-floated on Monday, a week since it ran aground and blocked cargo movement in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, according to global maritime services firms.

In a post on Twitter by Inch Cape Shipping Services, the 400-metre ship Ever Given was "successfully re-floated" at 04:30 hours Egypt time (02:30 GMT) on Monday.

Suez Canal blockage continues as US, other nations offer help
By Adam Yanelli 26-Mar-21 17:31 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The latest attempt to dislodge a container ship blocking all traffic through the Suez Canal failed on Friday morning, as additional resources continue to be brought in to help.

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), technical manager of the Ever Given, said a specialised suction dredger that can shift 2,000cbm/hour of material arrived on Thursday, while two further heavy-duty tugboats are expected to arrive by Sunday.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said it has received offers of assistance from the US and other countries.

GAS OUTLOOK: Suez blockage to remain upside risk
By Thomas Rodgers 26-Mar-21 16:28 LONDON (ICIS)--Ongoing issues with LNG transport though the Suez Canal have potential to keep lifting European gas prices in week 13, although the impact will be limited by weaker demand.

On 23 March the container ship Ever Given ran aground in the waterway has blocked all ship traffic, preventing LNG cargoes passing in either direction.

The blockage has already had bullish impact on short-term European prices, particularly at the NBP as Britain was the likely destination of at least five Qatari cargoes transiting the canal, which now are expected to be delayed by around 10 days.

Suez Canal closure could affect Moroccan phosphates shipments
By Sylvia Traganida 26-Mar-21 16:02 LONDON (ICIS)--The closure of the Suez Canal could affect phosphates shipments in the region.

A trader said two cargoes from OCP in Morocco destined for Ethiopia are stuck, and also another vessel from Jordan to Brazil.

The Suez Canal is a very important passage for phosphates shipments, especially from North Africa and the Mediterranean to the East.

BASF product stuck in the Suez gridlock – CFO
By Tom Brown 26-Mar-21 15:46 LONDON (ICIS)--Several BASF containers are among the growing backlog of shipping traffic weight at the blocked Suez Canal, but no decision has been made on re-routing vessels, the company's chief financial officer said on Friday.

“There are several BASF containers stuck now in Suez, nothing that I would call a panic at this point in time,” said Germany-based BASF CFO Hans-Ulrich Engel.

The gridlock at the Suez has been growing ever since a 400m long container ship ran aground lengthways across the crucial trade route on Tuesday. Initial expectations of a speedy resolution are dissipating in the face of the logistical difficulties of unbeaching a vessel of over 200,000 tonnes.

Suez canal blockage triggers sulphur supply concerns
By Erica Sesay 26-Mar-21 13:31 LONDON (ICIS)--Sulphur market players are closely observing the blockage on the Suez Canal, as shipment delays − particularly between the Arab Gulf and north Africa – could ripple through the global market.

The Suez Canal has been blocked by Panama-flagged container vessel Ever Given, which got stuck in the southern end of the canal while making a turn on 23 March.

Morocco is one of the largest importers of feedstock sulphur, due to its huge phosphates fertilizers production.

UPDATE: LNG vessels avoid Suez Canal or wait as traffic jam builds
By Hal Brown 26-Mar-21 13:23 This article was updated to add Cool Voyager and Neo Energy to the list of vessels affected by the Suez Canal disruption. The movement of Al Mafyar was also updated, to show confirmation of the vessel's course via Cape of Good Hope.

LONDON (ICIS)--Ongoing closure of the Suez Canal is causing severe disruption to LNG vessel movements, with ships forced to loiter near the canal to wait to transit, or change course to take longer routes to their destinations.

ICIS analysis has identified 16 LNG vessels affected by the canal blockage.

Mideast petrochemical logistics woes to worsen on Suez Canal blockage
By Felicia Loo 26-Mar-21 12:33 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Logistical issues hounding petrochemical-rich Middle East may worsen amid the Suez Canal blockage, further limiting its ability to ship cargoes out of the region.

The global polymers market has been grappling with a shortage in availability of containers, resulting in a steep hike in freight costs since second half of last year.

This blockage of the Suez Canal - a key waterway for global trade - may further hamper container availability for polymers movement.

Suez Canal blockage triggers LNG vessel course changes
By Christopher Rene 25-Mar-21 18:11 LONDON (ICIS)--LNG vessel disruption continued on Thursday afternoon, London time, with the Ever Given container ship still blocking the Suez Canal.

Tugs continued efforts to move the vessel on Thursday afternoon, so far without success.

Traders reported various conversations with involved parties, with estimates for the clearing of the canal running up to one week, but no clear indication.

Carbon, Suez disruption impact global gas spreads
By Christopher Rene 25-Mar-21 16:31 LONDON (ICIS)--European gas near curves continue to have a strong influence on the direction of Asian spot LNG prices with carbon volatility at the heart of the price movements.

Supply disruptions at the Suez Canal and cold weather forecasts have also lent support to the European gas near curve.

Relatively low shipping costs have enabled Europe to attract flexible LNG cargoes away from Asia, a trend that is likely to continue until peak summer demand in the third quarter.

CRUDE SUMMARY: Suez Canal disruption likely to take several days to clear
By Andrew Putwain 25-Mar-21 15:45 Oil prices were down on Thursday. The container ship blocking the Suez Canal was still disrupting one of the world’s most vital trade routes. Wednesday, the blockage helped support crude prices though this has eased.

Efforts continue to refloat grounded containership blocking Suez Canal
By Adam Yanelli 25-Mar-21 14:02 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Efforts continue to refloat a container ship that ran aground in the Suez Canal on Tuesday, but navigation through the key global trade artery remains suspended and the blockage could last longer than originally expected.

ICIS ANALYST VIEW: LNG market impact of Suez Canal disruption
By Alex Froley 25-Mar-21 13:44  LONDON (ICIS)--Containership Ever Given remains grounded and blocking the Suez Canal, according to Leth Agencies, a company specialising in canal transits.

Tugboats and dredgers continue to try to refloat the vessel, but to no avail as of Thursday afternoon London time.

Traffic remains suspended with no new or projected changes, said Jacob Guldager, Leth’s business development director.

Suez blockage adds fuel to fire for tight chems markets, logistics
By Tom Brown 25-Mar-21 13:28 LONDON (ICIS)--The ongoing blockage of the Suez Canal after a container ship ran aground looks set to further tighten already-stretched chemicals value chains, while likely delivery delays continue to spiral with each hour the vessel remains aground.

Efforts to dislodge the 400m long container ship the Ever Given have been largely unsuccessful so far, with marine services firm GAC saying on Wednesday that the vessel had been refloated, citing feedback from the Suez Canal Authority, but remaining wedged lengthwise across the shipping lane.

The substantial disruption to a key trade route is likely to intensify tightness for beleaguered chemicals markets such as polyolefins, which have already seen supplies shorten and prices spike on the back of production outages and the continuing fallout from the US Gulf Coast polar storms.

MARKET COMMENT: weather, LNG disruptions lift European gas front months
By Alice Casagni 25-Mar-21 13:17 LONDON (ICIS)--Ongoing disruptions to the Suez Canal which could delay LNG arrivals to Europe and expectations of colder weather from the end of week 13 continued to support front-month contracts at the three most liquid European gas hubs on Thursday morning.

The bulls outbalanced weakness coming from falling carbon prices.

According to forecasts released by MetDesk on Thursday morning, temperatures are expected to turn cooler at the end of week 13 and remain between 1-2°C below the seasonal average in northwest Europe in week 14.

MARKET COMMENT: Northeast Asian LNG prices remain unchanged
By ICIS Editorial 25-Mar-21 10:02

  • Northeast Asia prices remain unchanged
  • Sakhalin Energy, IOC award tenders
  • Ichthys LNG issues sell tender
  • ADNOC seeks tonnage

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot Asian LNG prices for May and June deliveries into the four key northeast Asian markets held steady on 25 March, while prices for H2 April deliveries inched up, trade sources indicated.

On the other hand, DES India prices fell, tracking the price levels of a recent tender awarded by state-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) at around the $6.65/MMBtu level for an end-April delivery.

Suez Canal still blocked; some Asia petrochemical shipments face delays
By Nurluqman Suratman 25-Mar-21 08:04 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The Suez Canal remained closed on Thursday following grounding of a massive container vessel, with some petrochemical shipments between Asia and Europe facing some delays as the blockage is now on its third day.

Shippers in Europe have issued notifications to an India-based trader that synthetic rubber cargo shipments will be delayed for about seven days; while two vessels from Asia carrying 10,000 tonnes of vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) may not arrive on schedule in Europe.

Asia naphtha markets choppy on volatile crude; Suez Canal blockage
By Melanie Wee 25-Mar-21 07:10 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia naphtha prices fluctuated alongside global crude oil futures after a massive container tanker was left stranded in Egypt’s Suez Canal, which could pose delays to oil and product shipments.

At midday session in Asia, open-specification naphtha indicative values averaged at around $582.00/tonne CFR Japan (cost & freight) for prompt first-half May delivery, rising by nearly 3% from the previous close on 24 March.

Spot prices had fallen by 2% in only just the previous day’s session.

Suez blockage to extend another day; impact to Americas trade lanes likely to be minimal
By Adam Yanelli 24-Mar-21 22:44 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Efforts to remove the container vessel that became lodged in the Suez Canal were called off before dark on Wednesday due to high winds, leaving the key global trade artery blocked.

The amount of ship traffic that has built up during the incident is likely to delay deliveries of chemicals along the key east-west trading route by several days, according to a Mediterranean-based broker.

But shipping brokers in the Americas said the blockage would need to last for an extended length of time before it would affect trade lanes and shipping times in the Americas.

Egypt's Suez Canal blockage may pose delays to global shipments
By Nurluqman Suratman 24-Mar-21 06:19 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Egypt’s Suez Canal has been blocked by a massive container vessel, which ran aground the key waterway, and could cause some delays in global shipments of commodities.

The Panama-flagged container vessel Ever Given got stuck in the southern end of the canal while making a turn on Tuesday (5:40 GMT), according to vessel tracking websites.

At 03:25 GMT on Wednesday, the vessel was still stuck in the canal, which provides the shortest marine route between Europe and Asia, according to data from tracking website VesselFinders.

Image credit Xinhua/Shutterstock