Suez Canal jam adds further delays to minor metals ex-China shipments

The recent “traffic jam” in the Suez Canal has added to the shipment delays affecting some minor metals whose markets are highly dependent on supplies out of China, and has already sent some prices to multi-year highs.

Transit through the pivotal Suez Canal shipping lane has been blocked by the large containership Ever Given since late on March 23, creating a traffic jam involving more than 100 vessels.
Although the Ever Given is now fully afloat, according to a statement issued by the Suez Canal Authority on Monday March 29, it will take another few weeks to clear the canal of the delayed traffic.
Meanwhile, German insurer Allianz said on March 26 that the blockage could cost global trade between $6 billion and $10 billion a week, and reduce annual trade growth by 0.2 to 0.4 percentage points.
The incident came at a time of surging freight rates and acute vessel shortages in the Asian markets.

The combination of fewer vessels on the water, an imbalance in trade flows to and from China, and competition between cargoes has been responsible for a rapid increase in...


Ewa Manthey

Cristina Belda

March 29, 2021

19:20 GMT