Yemen: Blockade of Ports Begins to Affect Shipping Activity

A Saudi Arabia-backed blockade of ports in Yemen is starting to affect shipping activity including the delivery and loading of oil and gas shipments, shipbrokers and traders in Singapore said.

The Grace Acacia, a Bahamas-flagged liquefied natural gas tanker, was scheduled to load cargo at the Balhaf LNG terminal on Friday, but the loading has been delayed and the tanker is currently anchored at the Fujairah port in the United Arab Emirates, a trader said.

The Yemen LNG plant has a capacity of 6.7 million tons a year and supplies a large portion its output to Asian markets. However, the impact on LNG prices could be limited due to existing excess supply in Asia, traders said.

Chinese oil traders have, meanwhile, been making enquiries in the Singapore spot market for alternative oil supplies, according to Singapore-based traders. Yemen’s oil exports are relatively small with China importing around 50,000 barrels a day in 2014, less than 1% of its total oil imports, while India imports only a handful of cargoes.

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