A cargo ship is seen crossing through the New Suez Canal, Ismailia, Egypt, July 25, 2015 (Reuters)
Egypt’s revenues from the Suez Canal fell by $13.3 million in September, Reuters reported on Monday, citing official figures.
Revenues from the international waterway dropped to $448.8 million in September, compared to $462.1 million in August, a month which had itself witnessed a drop in revenues.
The Suez Canal is an important source of foreign currency for Egypt, whose foreign currency reserves fell to $16.335 billion at the end of September, barely enough to cover three months of imports.
The decline in August’s revenues was due to a slowdown in the global economy, particularly in China, and lower global consumption of oil, said Suez Canal Authority Head Moheb Mamish in a press statement on Sunday.
The September figure also represents a 4.4 percent drop compared to September 2014, when receipts totalled $469.7 million.
The Suez Canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia. President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated a $4 billion expansion of the canal on 6 August.
Egyptian authorities predicted that the expansion would boost annual revenues from the canal from $5.3 billion in 2014 to $13.2 billion in 2023, but experts said this was not in line with global trade growth forecasts.