(Reuters) – The blockade of the Suez Canal by one of the world's largest container vessels is likely to lead to losses worth hundreds of millions of euros for the reinsurance industry, said Fitch Ratings, although rescue teams managed to partially refloating the vessel on Monday.
The 400-meter-long Ever Ever crashed diagonally across the canal in strong winds early last Tuesday, blocking the way for hundreds of ships waiting to transit the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
This event will reduce the revenues of global reinsurers but should not significantly affect their credit profiles, while marine reinsurance rates will increase further, said the credit rating agency.
Shipping prices for oil-producing vessels almost doubled after the vessel became stuck and the blockade has disrupted global supply chains, threatening costly delays for companies already handling COVID-1
"The ultimate losses will point out how long it will take to save the company to release Ever Given completely and when normal shipping can resume, but Fitch estimates that losses could easily reach hundreds of millions of euros," says Fitch.
The owner And Ever Given's insurers are also claiming a total of millions of dollars even if the ship recovers quickly, industry sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
A large proportion of the losses are likely to be reinsured by a global panel of reinsurers, Fitch said. will increase the pressure on first-year revenues.
Global reinsurance companies are already on the brink of natural disasters such as winter storms in the United States and floods in Australia, as well as COVID-19 pandemic-related losses.