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Suez Canal northbound traffic resumes after bulk carrier runs aground


Coral Crystal faced engine trouble, briefly shut the key chokepoint

Suez Canal is a strategic route for commodities and global trade

Ever Given incident in March caused huge trade disruptions

The Suez Canal faced a brief interruption to northbound traffic flows on Sept. 9 after a bulk carrier ran aground in the key waterway, according to shipping sources.

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The Panama-flagged Coral Crystal faced engine trouble and was grounded at 11:14 am local time (0914 GMT) and refloated at 12:35 pm, shipping agent Leth Agencies said in a statement.

The incident did not affect southbound traffic as vessels were able to pass and convoys in both directions are now proceeding as normal, sources added.

This comes around six months after the giant container vessel Ever Given ran aground, blocking the canal for almost a week and severely disrupting global trade.

The closure of the Suez Canal in late-Match resulted in a logjam of almost 400 ships -- including crude, product and chemical tankers, dry bulk carriers and container vessels -- waiting to transit the waterway from both sides.

Representatives at Iino Marine Service, which owns the Coral Crystal, were not available for comment.

The Suez Canal Authority, or SCA, could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Suez Canal is one of the world's most critical commodity chokepoints, connecting the Red Sea with the Mediterranean. Almost 10% of total seaborne oil trade and 8% of global LNG trade passes through the waterway, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.

The Container Rate 1 North Asia-North Continent was assessed at $17,500/forty foot-equivalent unit on Sept. 9, S&P Global Platts data showed.

A strategic route for crude oil, petroleum products and LNG shipments, the 120-mile canal connects the Red Sea with the Mediterranean and sees more than 18,000 ships transit each year, according to the SCA.

Before the pandemic hit trade flows, the canal transported some 5 million b/d of crude and oil products and 31 million mt of LNG in 2019, according to Platts Analytics.