A ship carrying Iranian crude oil destined for processing in Greece grounded and suffered damage to her hull as a result of trying to avoid a collision with a grounded vessel ahead which had blocked the Suez Canal. During the grounding a quantity of the cargo escaped and as a result the vessel was delayed in proceeding on its journey, finally arriving at its destination 3 months later in December 2006.
The buyers claim comprised primarily of losses due to the fall in market value of the cargo as a result of the delay in delivery which they measured on the basis of when the products produced as a result of the processing should have been and were sold.
We were asked to provide our opinion and advice on whether there was any justification for the claims advanced by the buyer against the ship owner. In particular we were asked to advise on the sale prices, how the market for crude oil and refined oil products moved over the relevant period, the value of the claim based on the market value of the goods on the date they should have arrived and when they did arrive and whether the buyer suffered an actual loss, particular when hedging was taken into account.