Wheat shipments through Suez Canal fall amid Houthi attacks in Red Sea

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Wheat shipments via the Suez Canal fell by almost 40 percent in the first half of January to 0.5 million metric tons due to attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the World Trade Organization said on Thursday on social media platform X.

The WTO data, based on a dashboard developed jointly by the International Grains Council (IGC) and the World Trade Organization, adds to signs of ship diversions following attacks on vessels by Iran-aligned Houthi militants in Yemen.

Earlier this week, shipping sources had said they expected some grain cargo diversions but that most would continue to risk passing through the Suez Canal which is the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

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In December, around 8 percent of wheat shipments from the European Union, Russia and Ukraine that would typically travel via the Suez Canal followed alternative routes, the WTO said.

That surged to around 42 percent in the first half of January, it said. Prior to the attacks, the share of alternative routes was only about 3 percent on average, it said.

However, it appeared that few if any shipments were being cancelled altogether. “The surging number of diversions appears to have had a limited impact to date on total deliveries,” the WTO said.

Read more:

Yemen humanitarian aid groups voice ‘grave concern’ over Red Sea escalation

WTO chief Okonjo-Iweala ‘less optimistic’ for world trade due to Red Sea strikes

Shipping giant Maersk says European weather, Red Sea disruption causing congestion

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