Egypt’s Suez Canal revenue accomplished a record high of $7 billion in the financial year to 30 June, up 20.7% from the year before, the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Osama Rabea, reported on Monday.
A statement shared by the authority attributed this rise to an increase in cargoes and vessel numbers, with the total cargoes reaching a high of 1.32 million tonnes, up 10.9% from 2020 and 2021.
The number of vessels that were typically transiting the canal went up from 15.7% to 22,032.
The canal is the fastest shipping route that connects Asia to Europe and is one of the Egyptian government’s primary sources of foreign currency.
An attempt to expand the canal in 2015 led to a limited rise in revenue and a further expansion is yet to be completed by 2023.
The second expansion was declared after a cargo ship named the Ever Given was grounded in the canal in 2021, for six days, disrupting worldwide trade.
The SCA has reportedly hiked passage tolls for transiting vessels, such as fuel tankers, twice in one financial year.
In April 2022, the crucial waterway recorded its highest-ever monthly revenue of $629 million, despite the steep rise in oil prices following the war in Ukraine.
As Egypt reels under economic pressures owing to the war, foreign currency reserves dropped $5.5 billion between March and May 2022 to touch $35.5 billion.
Rapidly rising world commodity prices pushed Egyptian inflation to a three-year high of 15.3% in June, per official figures.
In March 2022, the Central Bank of Egypt permitted the Egyptian pound’s value to depreciate against that of the dollar, making it lose almost 18% of its value overnight.
Cairo has been striving to mitigate the economic fallout. It has also requested for a new loan from the International Monetary Fund and rallied investment worth billions of dollars from Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Last week, Egypt declared that it will be receiving about $500 million from the World Bank.
Earlier in 2022, the SCA observed the canal’s highest-ever annual revenue for one calendar year, netting 6.3 billion dollars in 2021, despite the ongoing pandemic and the blockage by the Ever Given.
References: France 24, Africa News, Reuters