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In terms of a freight market, Yemen is of relatively little importance, but when chaos engulfs a country, shipping is always affected, especially if it imports some 90% of its food. The leading container lines have all stopped making direct calls to the two main ports of Aden and Hodeida, with shipping bodies warning that if the port comes under the control of anti-government rebels, trading vessels could come under fire from coalition forces. Of course, the country also sits at a critical juncture, at the entrance to the Red Sea and the approach to the Suez Canal. As yet however, the fighting has yet to cause any major disruptions to the Bab el-Mandeb straits that form the gateway to the Red Sea.

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