Suez Canal revenue climbs 5%

21 de setembro de 2017

São Paulo – Revenue in Egypt’s Suez Canal reached USD 470.6 million in August, up 5.1% year-on-year, Suez Canal Authority chairman Mohab Mamish was quoted by Al Ahram daily this Thursday (21) as saying. Revenue also increased in August compared with June and July 2017.

The canal connecting the Mediterranean and Red seas is the fastest sea route between Europe and Asia. It’s also one of Egypt’s primary revenue sources, alongside tourism.

Stagnant international trade, however, had been taking away from its results. Nevertheless, a major expansion project that cost USD 8.2 billion was completed in 2015.

But the World Trade Organization (WTO) said this Thursday that global trade increased by 4.2% year-on-year in the first half, and it should keep climbing until the end of 2017. Trade is seen increasing by 3.6% during the whole year, up from a meager 1.3% in 2016, according to the WTO.

Al Ahram reported that 1,528 ships passed through the canal in August, up 4.5% from 1,462 ships in August 2016.

The Egypt Independent website, the English version of newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm (The Egyptian Today), cargo throughput stood at 91.5 million tons, up 4.2% year-on-year.

On the rebound

With tourism revenue dwindling since the Arab Spring in 2011, lackluster global trade levels and an exchange rate peg in place, Egypt struggled with scarce revenue.

Last year, however, it reached an agreement for a USD 12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and its Central Bank unpegged the currency, causing the Egyptian pound to drop. Foreign investment resumed and Egypt’s foreign exchange reserves were replenished.

Tourism is picking up again. The country welcomed 4.3 million visitors from January through July, up 54% year-on-year. Tourism industry turnover stood at USD 3.5 bn in H1, up 170% from H1 2016.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum