Houthi attacks on vessels in the Red Sea and beyond have slashed Gulf of Aden arrivals by 71% since December, Clarksons Research has revealed.

The figure was 65% on 23 January, according to the research division of the UK shipbroker.

Overall Suez Canal transits are down 62%.

Managing director Steve Gordon said there were significant week-on-week declines for bulkers and tankers in the week to 4 February.

Crude tanker arrivals in the Gulf of Aden have been chopped by 47% versus 21% in the first half of January.

This a lower drop than other sectors, but the effect has grown over recent weeks, Gordon noted.

There have been noticeable increases in freight rates on Middle East to Europe runs for product tankers, whose arrivals are 55% lower, he said.

Clarksons Research said lump sums of $3.5m were being paid for LR2 cargoes in early December. This rose to $5m in early January and now stands at $8.5m.

Bulk carrier arrivals are down 48%, against 21% in the first half of last month, and no LNG carriers have arrived in the Gulf of Aden since 16 January.

Container ship transits have remained at very low levels, down 92%, with freight rates for the moment stabilising at levels two to three times higher than before the attacks began, Gordon said.

Longer routes not helping LPG carriers

Charter rates have increased more gradually and are now up 21% compared with the first half of December.

LPG carrier arrivals are practically zero, but rates have not been boosted due to low demand elsewhere.

By contrast, as ships route around South Africa, Cape of Good Hope tonnage arrivals are up 74% on the first half of December.

A total of 540 boxships have now been diverted there.

Clarksons Research estimates the disruption is adding 2.4% to global shipping demand in tonne-mile terms.

Container ship demand is up 8.6% alone, with product tankers on 5.6%.

The cost of moving a pair of shoes from Asia to Europe has increased from around $0.19 in November to $0.76 in mid-January.

The figure was $1.90 in the early 2022 post-Covid peak.