A fuel tanker operated by Trafigura Group caught fire after being hit by a missile in the Red Sea in what Bloomberg called the most significant attack yet by Houthi rebels.
The Yemeni group claimed responsibility for the strike on the vessel, which was carrying naphtha fuel used to produce gasoline and plastics, leading Brent oil to trade higher.
Last week, maritime advisory firm Sea-Intelligence said disruptions to shipping from the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea have been more damaging to the supply chain than the early COVID-19 pandemic.
Supply chain data known in the industry as “vessel capacity” shows the second largest drop in recent years, surpassed only when the giant Ever Given cargo ship was stuck in the Suez Canal for six days during March 2021, which halted billions of dollars in trade.
“Firefighting equipment on board is being deployed to suppress and control the fire caused in one cargo tank on the starboard side,” a Trafigura spokesperson said in a statement to Bloomberg. “We remain in contact with the vessel and are monitoring the situation carefully. Military ships in the region are underway to provide assistance.”
As a result of the attacks, ships have been circumventing the area, adding time and cost to their routes.