Russian maritime traffic remains strong as sanctions take time to bite

Data from MarineTraffic, for example, a platform that shows the live location of ships around the world using these on-board tracking sys...


Data from MarineTraffic, for example, a platform that shows the live location of ships around the world using these on-board tracking systems, indicates that traffic from major Russian ports has declined after the invasion but did not fall. The number of container ships, tankers and bulk carriers – the three main types of ships that transport energy and consumer products – arriving and leaving Russian ports fell by around 23% in March and April compared to the previous year.

“The reality is that the sanctions haven’t been that hard to get around,” said Georgios Hatzimanolis, who analyzes global shipping for MarineTraffic.

Monitoring by Lloyd’s List Intelligence, a maritime information service, shows similar trends. The number of bulk carriers, which carry bulk cargo such as grain, coal and fertilizers, which left Russian ports within five weeks of the invasion fell by only 6% compared to the period of five weeks before the invasion, according to the service.

In the weeks following the invasion, Russia’s trade with China and Japan was broadly stable, while the number of bulk carriers bound for South Korea, Egypt and Turkey actually increased, according to their data.

“There’s still a lot of two-way traffic,” said Sebastian Villyn, risk and compliance data manager at Lloyd’s List Intelligence. “We haven’t really seen a drop.”

These figures contrast somewhat with statements by world leaders, who have emphasized the crippling nature of the sanctions. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said Thursday the Russian economy was “absolutely shaken,” pointing to estimates that it would face a 10% contraction this year and double-digit inflation.

Earlier this week, Yellen said the Treasury Department was continuing to deliberate whether to extend an exemption in its sanctions that allowed US financial institutions and investors to continue processing Russian bond payments. Speaking at a Senate hearing, she said officials were actively working to determine the “consequences and fallout” of the license expiring on May 25, which would likely result in the company’s first default. Russia on its foreign debt for more than a century.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Russian maritime traffic remains strong as sanctions take time to bite
Russian maritime traffic remains strong as sanctions take time to bite
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