Ukrainian authorities insist the country’s maritime export corridor remains open for business despite Tuesday’s deadly missile attack on a Liberian-flagged, Philippines-owned bulk carrier.
A Russian air-to-surface missile slammed into the bridge of the
Kmax Ruler post-panamax as it was entering the port of Yuzhny killing the pilot and injuring four others. Merchant shipping and insurers have been on edge about the security situation in the region ever since Russia pulled out of the United Nations-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative in July.
Bulk carriers, manned by innocent seafarers, represent the epitome of non-combatant vessels
Reuters is reporting that insurance premiums have risen to 3% of the value of the vessel from around 1% before the attack.
Desperate to keep exports flowing, Ukrainian deputy minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said yesterday that vessels were still coming in and out of the country on the alternative route the nation has established which hugs its coastline and that of Bulgaria and Romania to the south.
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The deputy prime minister also claimed that 3.3m tonnes of agricultural and metal products had been exported via the corridor since its initiation in August.
INTERCARGO, the global association of dry bulk owners, said yesterday it was “deeply saddened and concerned” to hear of the “appalling” missile attack’
“Bulk carriers, manned by innocent seafarers, represent the epitome of non-combatant vessels, and any assault on them is both reprehensible and inexcusable. It is imperative to underscore that merchant vessels, unrelated to the ongoing conflict, should not become pawns in any hostile engagement and it was fortunate this attack did not claim more lives,” INTERCARGO stressed.
Analysis by broker Braemar indicates a high proportion of overaged vessels involved in Ukraine’s Black Sea trades.
More than half of the vessels Braemar looked at in the Ukrainian trades were aged over 15 years, which compares with less than a quarter in the entire bulker fleet.