Maritime trade with Russia has fallen 58% since the invasion of Ukraine began 22 days ago, new data from financial data provider Refinitiv reveals as images emerge of empty shelves in many cities of the largest country in the world.
Sanctions are clearly working and the dangers inherent in approaching the war zone – with five merchant ships under fire in the war so far – have ensured that Russia has been massively cut off from global maritime trade in recent weeks.
The decline in ship calls is also being felt away from the conflict. Baltic Sea ports like St. Petersburg, responsible for a third of Russia’s nautical trade, now have 65% fewer ships calling, according to calculations by investment bank UBS. Pacific ports like Vladivostok have seen their volumes drop 52% since the war began on February 24.
Behavioral data from the Israeli maritime artificial intelligence platform Windward clearly indicates a decrease in the number of tankers calling at Russia.
Windward data released yesterday shows that crude oil carriers departing from Russia are no longer calling in Europe, Asia and North America.
The only line that rises is for “unknown” destinations – representing ships that have not yet arrived at their destination (see table below). This indicates that there are still about 46 million barrels of Russian oil en route to a destination outside of Russia, according to Windward.
“It may have taken a while, but the US energy ban and the European flag ban are definitely going into effect, causing great confusion for those on the water,” he said. suggested an update from Windward.
A new report from British consultancy Drewry has predicted that the Russian invasion of Ukraine will impact seafarers’ availability to crew the world’s merchant fleet, particularly for officers where supply has tightened, which leads to rising wage inflation and rising boat operating costs.
In terms of officers, the combined supply from Russia and Ukraine is around 13% of the global supply according to Drewry’s statistics, while for ratings it is 8%.
Liquid and gas bulk trades are the most exposed to the probable drop in the availability of Russian and Ukrainian crews. This, combined with rising marine insurance premiums, will drive up the costs of operating ships, Drewry warned.
For all the news on how the invasion of Ukraine is affecting global shipping, check out Splash’s dedicated site blanket here.