White House Sees Energy Market Risks From Suez Canal Shutdown

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The White House is concerned about the impact on global energy markets from a grounded container ship that’s blocking the Suez Canal, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

“We do see some potential impacts on energy markets,” she told reporters at a briefing on Friday.

Psaki described the Suez as a key international route for oil and said the administration is monitoring market conditions. Earlier, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council said the U.S. government had offered Egypt assistance removing the grounded ship, the Ever Given.

The Biden administration is “tracking the situation very closely,” Psaki said. “We’ve offered U.S. assistance to Egyptian authorities to help reopen the canal.” She said those discussions are continuing.

The blockage of the Suez Canal is wreaking havoc on global seaborne trade, raising the prospects of higher inflation with more ships ferrying cargoes and commodities forced to divert.

A special dredger has been deployed to free the vessel that has been stuck in the key waterway for days. Natural gas prices have increased and food supply chains may be affected if the blockage persists.

Two additional tugs will arrive at the Suez Canal by Sunday to assist in the refloating of the ship, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, technical manager for the vessel, said in a statement on Friday. An attempt to refloat the vessel earlier today was not successful, it added.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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