Mar Rosso

So oil changes course with danger in the Red Sea

Oil appears to be bracing for a disruption to shipping in the southern Red Sea, where Houthi militants have been attacking merchant ships for months in response to Israel's war on Gaza.
According to shipowners, brokers and traders as reported by Bloomberg, oil and fuel tanker charters – which for some ships are arranged up to a month in advance – reveal that an increasing number of vessels are now being chartered for routes that will avoid the danger zone.
The most observed raw material of the moment is therefore already sailing in other waters, far from the dangerous Red Sea and with all the risks of repercussions, also in Europe and Italy, on prices and supply of crude oil.
read also Red Sea crisis, what is (really) happening in 3 points Oil, change of course: Red Sea avoided, what happens? According to rumors from those who work in the sector, tankers normally used to move fuel cargoes are increasingly being used to sail to Asia instead of Europe.
At the same time, several shipments of Iraqi crude have been booked onto tankers that will circle thousands of miles around Africa.
The Danish owner of the Torm tanker said in a statement that there had been an increase in trips to Asia to transport refined fuels.
That has helped push earnings on relatively large so-called tankers from $35,000 a day to $60,000 a day in the past week.
Additionally, there has also been a significant volume of Iraqi crude cargoes booked to sail from the Persian Gulf to Europe around Africa, according to people involved in the market.
Some are opting for smaller cargoes on larger ships to make travel convenient, one of the people said.
Although crude oil flows from the Persian Gulf to Europe are less common than those to Asia, the changes in shipments still reveal owners' attitudes toward transit through the Red Sea: It is too unsafe to move goods through, and crude, in this stretch of sea.
read also What is happening to the oil tankers in the Red Sea? How much oil is there in the Middle East? The focus on Middle Eastern oil reminds us that this area of the world is truly strategic for the raw material.
Between pipelines and refining activities, the nations surrounding the Suez Canal, the Strait of Bab al-Mandeb and the Strait of Hormuz are crucial players in the world's crude oil supply.
To understand how much oil passes through the Red Sea, a map from ISPI experts is useful: the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea are fundamental for the supply of fuel and by adding the percentages of oil that pass through the Suez Canal, the Strait of Bab al-Mandeb and the Strait respectively of Hormuz we get that as much as 47% of global crude oil travels in this area to reach the emerging powers and nations of the world.
Important players such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt are under special observation in this complex and dangerous context of the Israel-Hamas war and the naval conflict in the Red Sea.
However, even the smallest – and unstable – Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen can change the balance of oil trade in a situation of expanded war.

Author: Hermes A.I.

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