Ships Backlog Increases In Black Sea After Russia Fires Shots At Cargo Vessel

Merchant vessels on Monday continued to remain congested in the lanes around the waters of the Black Sea as the ports grappled with the issue of resolving backlogs amid rising concerns among shipping firms and insurers after a warship from Russia fired warning shots at a cargo ship.

Russia mentioned that its Vasily Bykov patrol vessel fired on the Palau-flagged vessel Şükrü Okan on Sunday after the captain refused to respond to a request to stop for an examination. Following an inspection, the ship continued the journey toward the port of Izmail in Ukraine along the Danube River, Russia stated.

Ships Backlog Increases In Black Sea
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On Monday, Kyiv condemned “provocative” Russian actions and called for some decisive countermeasures by the international community.

Sources associated with the insurance industry mentioned that the rates for additional war risk premiums were stable on Monday, even though there was a chance of a rise if a vessel was impaired or sunk.

The cost of a Black Sea war risk premium, renewed typically every seven days and in addition to the yearly insurance expenses, was estimated at tens of thousands of dollars for each voyage vessel.

At least 30 ships had dropped their anchors around Musura Bay of the Black Sea, which leads into a channel that links with Izmail further in the waterway, tracking data from analytics firm MarineTraffic reflected on Monday.

There were at least 20 vessels that were anchored leading up to Izmail. Besides, about 35 commercial vessels were waiting near the port of Constanta; more than 15 were observed last week, per MarineTraffic data. Many of these vessels reported their destination to port in Romania.

On Monday, Romania stated that it targeted doubling the month-on-month transit capacity of Ukraine’s grain to Constanta to four million tons in the next few months.

Sunday’s incident has cast a pall over the plans declared by Ukraine last week toward building a “humanitarian corridor” in the Black Sea for releasing cargo vessels trapped in Ukrainian ports since the war outbreak.

About 60 vessels are still estimated to be stuck in Ukraine’s ports, including Odesa, one of the three terminals that were a part of Turkey – and the UN-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative (abbreviated the BSGI) that Moscow exited.

Moscow mentioned that it would return to the grain deal if it received better terms for its exports of food and fertilizers. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish President, the biggest sponsor of the grain deal besides the UN, said that he earnestly hopes to persuade Russia’s President Putin to rejoin it at discussions planned this month.

Joseph Schulte was among the vessels that remained stuck in Odesa.

There are continuous efforts to do everything in power to enable the vessel to move, despite the permits and the variables involved, a spokesperson associated with the Schulte Group, the parent firm of the vessel’s German-based BSM, reported to Reuters on Monday. The situation stays complex.

Reuters: Daily Sabah, Reuters, The Print

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