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Red sea attacks: a limited impact on inflation in France, according to Asterès

The increase in the price of maritime freight remains, for the moment, insignificant despite the rise in risks on the Suez Canal route.

Reading Time : 1 minut(s) - | Updated on 13-01-2024 18:19 | Published on 12-01-2024 14:40 

Over the past few weeks, attacks on ships in the Red Sea have been multiplying. This phenomenon is particularly sensitive as it involves the route many cargo ships take to deliver to Europe through the Suez Canal. As such, concerns are growing regarding a potential price surge that could follow due to the increased risk and significant detour ships may wish to take to avoid the area.

According to the Asterès economic research institute, the Houthi attacks have had a marginal effect on inflation in France so far. The rise in maritime freight costs due to these attacks, as well as their impact on import prices and the consumer price index, would amount to an inflation increase of a maximum 0.07 point by 2024, according to analysts. However, these forecasts from Asterès are more optimistic than those from other economic research institutes, which foresee potentially ten times higher inflationary impact.

Despite the Houthi attacks, maritime traffic in the Suez Canal is not completely paralyzed. Although missiles launched from Yemen at commercial ships in the Red Sea have reduced traffic in the canal by around 14%, this strategic route is still used by many ships. Unlike the global paralysis of value chains seen in 2021, due to high demand for goods and Chinese ports under lockdown, the rise in maritime freight prices is much lower this time.

Finally, contrary to initial fears, oil prices have not been impacted by the attacks in the Red Sea. On the contrary, the price of a barrel of Brent, which had exceeded 90 dollars in September 2023, has been below 80 dollars since December.

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