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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - CAIRO — The stranded container ship blocking the Suez Canal for almost a week was refloated on Monday and is currently being secured, Inchcape Shipping Services said, raising hopes the busy waterway will soon be reopened.
The 400-meter (430-yard) long Ever Given was successfully refloated at 4.30 a.m. local time (0230 GMT) and was being secured, Inchcape, a global provider of marine services said on Twitter.
Video posted on social media appeared to show the ship's stern had swung around, opening space in the canal. Other footage, which could not be immediately verified by Reuters, included cheering and ships' horns sounding in celebration.
Ship-tracking service VesselFinder has changed the ship's status to under way on its website.
The Ever Given became jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in high winds early on Tuesday, halting shipping traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
At least 369 vessels were waiting to transit the canal, including dozens of container ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels, SCA Chairman Lt. Gen. Osama Rabie told Egypt's Extra News on Sunday.
Crude oil prices fell after news the ship had been refloated, with Brent crude down by $1 per barrel to $63.67. Shares of Taiwan-listed Evergreen Marine Corp — the vessel's lessor — rose 3.3 percent.
About 15 percent of world shipping traffic transits the Suez Canal, which is a key source of foreign currency revenue for Egypt. The current stoppage is costing the canal $14-$15 million a day.
Shipping rates for oil product tankers nearly doubled after the ship became stranded, and the blockage has disrupted global supply chains, threatening costly delays for companies already dealing with COVID-19 restrictions.
Some shippers had decided to reroute their cargoes around the Cape of Good Hope, adding about two weeks to journeys and extra fuel costs. — WAM
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