Monday, January 19, 2009
Monday, 19 January 2009
Egypt earned $391.8 million in revenue from the Suez Canal in December, down from $426.3 million in December 2007 and from $419.8 million in November, the government said on Sunday. Economists have been watching Suez Canal revenues closely to see any effects from piracy off the Somali coast and the recession in major economies, which is expected to reduce the volume of trade between Asia and Europe.
Traffic and cargo fell in the last three months of 2008 as a result of the financial crisis, and shipping rates declined to around $18,000 a day from $163,000 before the crisis, according to the Suez Canal Authority.
The Canal authority said earlier in January that it would leave unchanged its transit tolls for 2009 despite its expectations that the global financial crisis will reduce traffic.
The canal is an important source of foreign currency for Egypt, along with tourism, oil and gas exports and remittances from Egyptians living abroad.
The number of vessels using the waterway was 1,560 in December, down from 1,815 in December 2007 and from 1,770 in November, the government said on its Information Portal website.