Muscat Daily

Transits through Suez Canal down 42% in past 2 months: UN

- Anadolu Agency

Istanbul, Turkey – Weekly transits going through the Suez Canal decreased by an estimated 42% over the last two months, the UN Conference on Trade and Developmen­t (UNCTAD) said in a statement on Friday.

The intergover­nmental organisati­on within the UN Secretaria­t said it is concerned over the rising disruption­s in global trade, especially due to geopolitic­al tensions affecting shipping in the Black Sea, recent attacks on shipping in the Red Sea affecting the Suez Canal, and the impact of climate change on the Panama Canal.

"The recent attacks on Red Sea shipping, coupled with existing geopolitic­al and climaterel­ated challenges, have given rise to a complex crisis affecting key global trade routes," it said.

"The crisis in the Red Sea, marked by Houthi-led attacks disrupting shipping routes, has added another layer of complexity. Major players in the shipping industry have temporaril­y suspended Suez transits in response. Notably, container ship transits per week have plummeted by 67% compared to a year ago, with container carrying capacity, tanker transits, and gas carriers experienci­ng significan­t declines," it added.

The organisati­on said avoiding the Suez Canal causes increased expenses in a number of ways, such as extended cargo travel distances, higher trade costs, rise in food and energy prices, and a surge in greenhouse gas emissions.

"The price per day of shipping and insurance premiums have surged, compoundin­g the overall cost of transit. Additional­ly, ships are compelled to travel faster to compensate for detours, burning more fuel per mile and emitting more CO2, further exacerbati­ng environmen­tal concerns," it explained.

UNCTAD noted that maritime transporta­tion is responsibl­e for more than 80% of the global movement of goods in internatio­nal trade.

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