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Suez Canal blockage costs $9.6bn in trade per day

The Floatation Works of the Grounding Vessel in the Suez Canal on 25 March 2021 [Suez Canal Media Center]
The Floatation Works of the Grounding Vessel in the Suez Canal on 25 March 2021 [Suez Canal Media Center]

According to a financial estimate issued by a prominent banking institution, the blockade of the Suez Canal could result in losses of $9.6 billion in trade each day; or $400 million per hour.

According to Lloyd's List calculations, westbound traffic travelling through the vital waterway is worth about $5.1 billion per day and eastbound traffic roughly $4.5 billion.

According to navigation data collected by Bloomberg, 185 vessels are currently waiting to cross the canal.

Among these ships, 27 tankers are carrying around 1.9 million tonnes of crude oil.

The Egyptian authorities have announced that they are considering paying compensation to stalled ships due to the accident.

Ranjith Raja, head of Refinitiv Oil and Shipping Research for the Middle East and North African market, expects the traffic jam resulting from the accident to continue potentially for weeks.

READ: The Alaska talks between China and the US have repercussions for the Gulf and the Suez Canal

Locomotives and excavators have so far failed to remove the wedged vessel since last Tuesday, increasing the possibility of prolonging the blockade of the canal.

Nick Sloane, the engineer who led the salvage operation to recover the Italian ship Costa Concordia in 2012, anticipated that the best chance to move the ship would be on Sunday or Monday when the tide reaches its peak.

The international expert added that the process of floating the ship is not easy, and that the tide will add 46 centimetres of depth, which will allow more room for moving Ever Given.

The grounded vessel is 400 metres long and 59 metres wide and has a capacity of over 20,388 containers.

About 12 per cent of the world's trade volume passes through the Suez Canal, presenting a major source of hard currency in Egypt.

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