Suez Canal Reports a Record $7B in Earnings for 2021-22

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The Suez Canal accommodates all kinds of vessels, including carriers (USN file image)

Published Jul 9, 2022 1:21 AM by The Maritime Executive

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has reported an all-time revenue record earnings amounting to $7 billion for the 2021-2022 fiscal year following a series of transit fee hikes for vessels transiting the waterway.

SCA announced that the busy international maritime passageway has continued to demonstrate its importance in facilitating global trade, even during challenging times. Some 1.3 billion tonnes of cargo transited through the canal in 2021-22, generating $7 billion in transit fees for Egypt - the highest recorded revenue in the history of the canal. The revenue represented a 20.7 percent increase from the previous year, when earnings stood at $5.7 billion.

“Global crises have proven the importance of the Suez Canal to ensuring the sustainability of global supply chains,” said Lieutenant-General Osama Rabie, SCA's chairman.  

The record earnings for the Egyptian fiscal year - running from July 2021 and June 2022 - came after the SCA hiked transit fees for vessels, including oil-laden tankers, passing through Suez Canal.

In March the SCA increased the surcharge transit fees for oil-laden and petroleum products-laden tankers to 15 percent, up from five percent. Surcharge fees for chemical tankers and other liquid bulk tankers were hiked to 20 percent from 10 percent, while laden and ballast dry bulk vessels surcharges rose to 10 percent. Vessels carrying vehicles, general cargo, and heavy lift vessels, as well as multi-purpose vessels, saw a surcharge of 14 percent - up from seven percent. 

SCA cited the need to increase the transit fees due to the significant growth in global trade and the ongoing expansion project on the waterway, which will enhance transit service. The canal handless about 12 percent of global trade, including seven percent of the world’s oil, and last year's Ever Given fiasco showed that widening its southern reaches could be beneficial for smooth traffic flow. The six-day shutdown of the canal caused substantial revenue losses for one of Egypt’s main sources of foreign currency earnings.

The SCA's canal expansion project includes expanding and deepening the southern area of the Suez Canal. It also involves the widening and deepening of nearly 20 miles of the canal, a development that will increase navigational safety.

Earlier this year, the SCA reported the canal's highest annual revenue for a calendar year, netting $6.3 billion in 2021 - despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ever Given shutdown.