Bimco does not see the Red Sea crisis ending any time soon.

The shipping industry group believes the attacks from Houthi militants and shipping’s subsequent flight away from the region will be responsible for as much as 80% of tanker demand this year.

While this will keep rates strong, Bimco warned markets could weaken if the situation is resolved in 2025.

“Houthis continue to attack ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and there is no end to the conflict in sight,” a Bimco analysis of the tanker sector said.

The analysis assumed the disruptions would persist through the end of the year, boosting average sailing distances by 7% for crude tankers and 4% for product tankers, adding to already boosted tonne-miles thanks to sanctions on Russia’s oil industry.

Combined, the two factors are forecast to boost crude tanker demand by 10.2% versus 2022 levels, keeping pace with cargo volume increases.

Product tankers, meanwhile, will outpace cargo volume growth of 2.2% with estimated demand increases of 6.4%.

But Bimco expects demand growth to slow in 2025, assuming ships get back to transiting the Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and Suez Canal.

That would coincide with a 1.2% uptick in the global crude tanker fleet and 4.7% growth in the product tanker fleet.

The group predicts should that come to pass, 2025 tonne-mile demand will dip as much as 4.5% for crude tankers and 4% for product tankers.

Yemeni Houthi militants began attacking shipping in earnest late last year.

By December, many shipowners had announced they were avoiding the region, fearful their ships could be boarded, struck with missiles or attacked by drones.

More recently, the Houthis have begun claiming swathes of attacks, many of which go unconfirmed.

On Wednesday, the group claimed to have attacked six ships.

But only Eastern Mediterranean Maritime’s 82,300-dwt bulker Laax (built 2012) was independently confirmed, having been struck with missiles on Tuesday.

On Monday, similar claims were made regarding attacks on MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Clearlake and Minerva Marine vessels. Similarly, the attacks were unconfirmed.