Suez Canal revenue rises to $424m in Dec
Cairo, January 10, 2013
Revenue from Egypt's Suez Canal - widely viewed as a barometer of world trade - rose 4 percent to $424.6 million in December compared to the previous month, the state information portal said on Thursday.
"There was a sustained weakness the past year on an annual basis which was a reflection of global slowdowns, especially trade between Asia and Europe and despite the increase in the transit fees," said Mohamed Abou Basha, economist at EFG-Hermes.
The canal's revenue in November was $407.7 million. In December 2011 it was $443.7 million. Last year, the Suez Canal Authority raised toll fees for all vessels passing through the strategic waterway by 3 percent starting March 2012, saying tariffs had not been changed for the previous three years.
The waterway is one of Egypt's main sources of foreign currency, alongside tourism, oil and gas exports and remittances from Egyptians living abroad.
"The Suez Canal is a stable source of foreign currency income for the country and the government. If you look across the past 3 or 4 years its annual revenue has been around $5 billion give or take a little," said Abou Basha.
"It is a very important trade route. Around 10-11 percent of global oil trade moves through the canal. It's a route that would be difficult to avoid," Abou Basha said. - Reuters