$3.1 Billion Exposure from UK Ships in Strait of Hormuz, Says Russell Group

15 July 2019 | Blog Post

An event involving United Kingdom-flagged ships in the Strait of Hormuz could leave insurers with an exposure of $3.1 billion according to Russell Group.

This comes after the recent tensions in Britain and Iranian relations after armed Iranian boats tried to seize a British Oil Tanker in the Persian Gulf.

According to Russell Group analysis, there is $3.1 billion of goods on the UK-flagged ships – exports and imports – through the Strait of Hormuz annually. UK-flagged ships account for nearly 3% of all shipping trade volumes globally ($425 billion).

The tanker was stopped in the Strait of Hormuz by boats from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard. The dispute comes at a time of heightened tension in the Strait of Hormuz, with the US administration previously threatening a blockade. Such a move according to Russell Group analysis would disrupt $10 billion per week of global trade.

Oil prices hit a six-week high in response to the attacks, running at $67.65.

The US and its allies are committing a coalition of countries to enforce freedom of navigation in the region amid what the US administration is calling “renewed threats from Iran.”

Recent developments have forced a substantial increase in insurance costs for covering the tankers and their cargoes in a region that exports a 1/3 of all petroleum, according to analysts. Similarly, ship operators in the region are on high alert since the tanker attacks near Fujairah in May and June, according to Bloomberg.

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