The conflict in Egypt is having a ripple effect in the markets. One area in particular that has watchers nervous is in shipping exchange traded funds (ETFs), which could suffer if transportation routes in the region get disrupted.
Egypt is a critical link for oil and gas logistics heading to Europe, Asia and the United States. Around 2 million barrels of oil and petroleum products, or around 4.5% of global oil supply and 14% of global liquefied natural gas trade, go through the Suez Canal area daily.
So, the fears that this link might be lost are certainly founded.
Clifford Krauss for The New York Times notes that Helima L. Croft, a director and geopolitical strategist at Barclays Capital, commented that the area could experience “attacks on employees of shipping companies and attempted attacks on vessels docked in ports if you see more violent demonstrations around the ports.”
Shippers, though, have a large enough fleet of supertankers that could transport oil around Africa, which would add 16 days’ time along with the added extra costs that come with the roundabout route, in the event of interruptions to Egyptian operations. [Transportation ETFs Poised for a Fall?]