Update 2 (May 16) – Shipping industry news site Tradewinds reports that Ince Shipping has confirmed its ship was hit by a missile.
Update 1 – Reuters reported Sunday that it was unable to confirm whether the explosion was caused by a missile or something else, like equipment that overheated. See the story here: Explosion Damages Ship Carrying Wheat to Yemen)
May 14 – By Cagan Koc, Isis Almeida and Anatoly Medetsky (Bloomberg) — A ship carrying Russian wheat to Yemen was hit by a missile last week near its destination, highlighting the risk of supplying a market that’s embroiled in a conflict.
The missile exploded Thursday inside the hold of the Ince Inebolu, which was carrying about 50,000 metric tons of wheat and anchored 70 miles (113 kilometers) off the coast of Yemen, according to Istanbul-based Ince Shipping Group, the vessel owner. The captain reported no casualties and the wheat wasn’t damaged. It’s unclear who fired the missile.
Ince Shipping said the ship was ordered by a Saudi naval vessel to head to the Saudi port of Jizan following the attack, and it’s currently outside the Red Sea port, ship-tracking data on Bloomberg show. Yemen’s Fahem Group is the buyer of the Russian cargo, Ince said.
Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting rebels, was the seventh-biggest buyer of Russian wheat in February, according to the Moscow-based National Association of Exporters of Agriculture Products. The Middle Eastern country accounted for about 4 percent of Russia’s 3.2 million tons of wheat exports that month.
The Ince Inebolu vessel was carrying grain from the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, according to Ince Shipping. The company isn’t sure when the grain can now be delivered, and the cargo needs to unloaded before the ship can be taken for repairs, it said.
© 2018 Bloomberg L.P