Egypt's Suez Canal May Revenue Rises 1% Year on Year

By MarEx 2013-06-13 13:34:00

Revenue from Egypt's Suez Canal rose 1 percent in May from a year earlier to $438.1 million, driven by a rise in the total tonnage of oil and container cargo vessels passing through and by a rise in toll fees, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said.

In May 2012 revenue was $434.6 million, while in April 2013 it was $406.1 million.

The waterway is one of the country's main sources of foreign currency, along with tourism, oil and gas exports and remittances from Egyptians living abroad.

On May 1, Egypt raised the fees paid by ships passing through the Suez Canal to boost revenue as the economy struggles to head off a currency crisis.

Mahmoud Rizk, deputy-head of the department of planning and research at the SCA said there had been a rise in the oil and general container cargo vessel tonnage using the waterway.

The tonnage of oil tankers in May rose 22.5 percent year on year while the tonnage of cargo carriers rose 33 percent, he said.

"The rise in passage fees that were implemented at the start of May also contributed to the rise in revenues during the month of May," Rizk said.

He added that there has been a decline in liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments passing through the canal as more Qatari gas heads to Japan.

The country's Fukushima nuclear crisis of 2011 spurred its energy companies to scour the world for supplies. Japan now consumes a third of global LNG shipments.

Rizk said he expected a rebound in 2014 in natural gas shipments passing through the canal as Qatari gas exports to Europe and the United States resume.

Reporting by Shaimaa Fayed in Cairo and Yusri Mohamed in Ismailia; Editing by Anthony Barker (C) Reuters 2013.