Egypt Suez Canal revenue drops 13pc
Cairo, December 8, 2009
Revenue from Egypt's Suez Canal fell 13 percent to $365.5 million in November from $419.8 million a year ago, a state website showed, after oil traffic declined in a traditionally slow month for the waterway.
Canal revenue, a vital source of foreign currency in Egypt, has declined year-on-year every month since December last year, when faltering global trade slowed shipping traffic.
In the 12 months to November, revenue totalled $4.3 billion, compared to $5.4 billion in the 12 months to November 2008.
Revenue sank to $301.8 million in February this year, its lowest point in nearly three years, but has mostly registered monthly gains since then. Revenue was $398.9 million in October.
"Suez Canal revenues and traffic have been recovering since February 2009 ... as non-oil traffic and tonnage rose with the gradual rebound in global trade, and oil prices rose, rendering alternative routes more expensive," investment bank Beltone Financial said in a research note.
"We continue to expect revenues to total $5 billion in fiscal year 2009/10, up from $4.7 billion in fiscal year 2008/09."
The number of vessels moving through the waterway, which connects the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, dipped to 1,418 in November, down from 1,770 a year ago.
Revenue often dips in November, reflecting a seasonal fall in oil traffic and tonnage, the Beltone note added. - Reuters