Suez Canal traffic resumes after cargo ship is refloated

The Ever Given, the massive container ship that became wedged in the Suez Canal and cut off traffic in the vital waterway for almost a week, has been refloated, authorities said Monday. CNBC's Dan Murphy reports. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi

The giant container ship blocking the Suez Canal was partially refloated early Monday, days after the vessel got stuck and brought a vital global trade route to a standstill.

The Suez Canal Authority said the ship, known as the Ever Given, has “responded to the pulling and towing maneuvers.” It added that the ship’s course has been corrected by 80% and further maneuvers will resume when the water level rises later in the day.

Brent crude futures fluctuated Monday before trading 0.9% higher at $65.18 per barrel while U.S. crude traded up 0.7% at $61.42 per barrel around midday.

It remains unclear what the condition of the stranded ship is and when the canal would be open to traffic. The canal authority said maritime traffic will resume once the vessel is fully floated and directed to the lakes area — a wider section of the canal — for technical inspection.

The statement followed an earlier tweet by maritime services company Inchcape, which said the Ever Given was refloated and being secured.

The Ever Given is one of the largest container ships in the world. It is a 220,000-ton mega ship nearly a quarter-mile long with a 20,000 container capacity. It became diagonally stuck Tuesday after running aground while entering the Suez Canal from the Red Sea.

The ship completely blocked the canal, which is home to as much as 12% of the world’s seaborne trade, and caused a traffic jam with hundreds of ships waiting to enter the Suez.

Maritime data showed at least 10 tankers and container ships changing course to avoid the logjam at the canal. Among them are at least two U.S. ships carrying natural gas for Cheniere and Shell/BG Group.

The crisis, now in its sixth day, has added to anxieties over the global supply chain, which had already been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Each day of blockage disrupts more than $9 billion worth of goods, according to Lloyd’s List, translating to about $400 million per hour.

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