Warnings issued of dangers facing Europe due to Red Sea tensions


Published: 2024-01-16 15:53

Last Updated: 2024-06-22 08:42

Warnings issued of dangers facing Europe due to Red Sea tensions
Warnings issued of dangers facing Europe due to Red Sea tensions

The administration of the Belgian port of Antwerp has warned of the risks facing global trade and the economy amid tensions in the Red Sea, which have affected international navigation.

The port administration stated that the heightened situation in the Red Sea could lead to a 60 percent increase in the cost of maritime shipping from Asia to Europe and a 20 percent rise in insurance prices.

They highlighted that the average delay in cargo delivery is currently between seven to 10 days, with navigation through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait taking longer. While the port of Antwerp has not faced serious issues due to tensions in the Red Sea, disruptions in port operations could occur in the near future due to delayed ship arrivals.

Earlier, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, indicated that a significant portion of goods delivered via the Red Sea is destined for Europe.

He warned that the prolonged blockade of the shipping route through the Red Sea would lead to increased shipping costs. Borrell emphasized that the Red Sea serves as a global route for transporting goods, representing about 10 percent of global maritime shipping and 20 percent of global consumer goods and container shipping.

He proposed the creation of a European naval mission in the Red Sea to ensure navigation safety.

Experts warn that the rise in shipping costs could contribute to price increases in the European Union, affecting inflation and potentially undermining the efforts of the European Central Bank to lower rates. According to Eurostat, annual inflation in the Eurozone accelerated to 2.9 percent in the past year, up from 2.4 percent in November 2023. Inflation in the Eurozone is currently above the targeted level of 2 percent.