Stuck ship in Suez Canal could trigger another toilet paper shortage

By and , NewsRadio 1080 KRLD

Just when you thought it was safe to not stockpile the Charmin, along comes a massive cargo ship.

A 200,000-ton ship stuck in the Suez Canal could unleash another toilet paper shortage, similar to what we saw at the beginning of the pandemic.

Ever Given, the gigantic cargo ship owned by Evergreen Marine Corp., has been stuck in the important shipping channel for several days, and experts continue to search for a way to get it moving again.

Meanwhile, hundreds of other vessels are in a holding pattern behind the Ever Given, delaying billions of dollars in shipments of goods throughout the world.

Walter Schalka, CEO of the Brazilian wood pulp company Suzano SA, told Bloomberg News the jam could cause major disruptions in wood pulp shipments, a raw material used in toilet paper, and lead to low supplies of the sanitary product in stores.

Suzano produces one third of the world's supply of wood pulp and competition for shipping containers could delay their shipments by a month or more, the outlet reported.

In addition, the shipping data company Lloyd's List said the crisis is costing the world economy about $400 million per hour, per CNBC. analyst Patrick DeHaan told KRLD more than 15% of the world's oil passes through the Suez Canal, which separates Africa and Asia.

After declining this week, West Texas Intermediate Crude was up 4% at $61.00 a barrel at mid-morning Friday. DeHaan said if the incident in the canal continues to linger, international oil markets could tighten even more, along Europe would feel a greater impact than the U.S.

Meanwhile, gasoline prices have come down this week in North Texas. DeHaan said the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Europe played a role in lower oil prices, which have filtered down to the pump in several areas of the U.S. De

Haan spoke with KRLD's Chris Sommer.

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