Suez snarl seen halting $12.9 billion a day worth of ship traffic

A patrol boat is seen as ships passing through the Suez Canal arrive in Ismailia, Egypt, on March 24, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

CAIRO (BLOOMBERG) - A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows there's about US$9.6 billion (S$12.93 billion) worth of daily marine traffic halted by the massive container vessel that lodged in the Suez Canal earlier this week, blocking transit in both directions.

The figure is based off an assessment by Lloyd's List that suggests westbound traffic is worth around US$5.1 billion a day and eastbound traffic approximately US$4.5 billion.

The venerable journal concedes that these are "rough calculations", however.

There are about 185 vessels waiting to transit the waterway, data compiled by Bloomberg shows, while Lloyd's estimated 165.

So far, efforts by tugs and diggers to dislodge the Ever Given - the 400m-long vessel that became wedged in the canal on Tuesday (March 23) - have failed and work to refloat the ship has been suspended until Thursday morning in Egypt, shipping agent Inchcape said, citing the Suez Canal Authority.

The queue on Wednesday included 40 bulk carriers hauling commodities ranging from crops to dry goods like cement as well as vessels carrying oil, fuel and chemicals, Bloomberg data shows.

There were also eight ships carrying livestock, more than 30 general cargo vessels and a water tanker.

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