Australia’s trade is at risk due to attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea. Since November, Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have launched over 20 attacks on container ships, prompting companies to pause ship movements through the Red Sea, which is a major route for cargo between Europe, Asia, and Australia. This has caused significant impacts on Australia and other countries. Australia imports about $60 billion worth of products from Europe through the Red Sea and exports goods valued at $23 billion to Europe. Companies are diverting containers around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, but this longer route comes with delays, shortages, and additional shipping costs, which are likely to be passed on to businesses and consumers. Australia, the US, and 11 other affected countries have issued a statement condemning the attacks, calling for their immediate end. Meanwhile, industrial action at Australian ports is also impacting trade. To minimize the impact of these disruptions, businesses need to develop backup plans such as diversifying supply sources and being prepared to use alternative shipping routes. Collaboration with local and international partners is crucial for planning.
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