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Suez Canal blocked after container ship runs aground: sources

London — The Suez Canal, one of the world's most critical commodity chokepoints, has been blocked after a container ship ran aground March 23, several shipping sources told S&P Global Platts.

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"A container ship enroute from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean ran aground ... in the Suez Canal at about 0740 hours local time (0840 GMT) this morning [March 23]. The vessel suffered a blackout while transiting in a northerly direction," shipping and logistics company GAC said in its latest port update.

This caused a halting of all shipments and by late afternoon, flow on both the northbound and southbound directions were blocked, sources said.

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Sources said the container ship has been identified as the Ever Given. It has a capacity of 20,000 twenty-foot equivalent units and is sailing under a Panama flag,

The ship continues to remain anchored at the southern end of the Suez Canal, according to cFlow, Platts trade-flow software.

The Suez Canal connects the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea and is a key waterway in international trade. It is a strategic route for crude oil, petroleum products, and LNG shipments.

Almost 10% of total seaborne oil trade and 8% of global LNG trade passes through the Suez Canal, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.