A cargo ship is seen crossing through the New Suez Canal, Ismailia, Egypt. (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt’s Suez Canal reported a 3.4 percent drop in its revenues in 2020, the canal’s authority chairman Osama Rabie announced on Sunday.
In an official statement, Rabie said the canal’s revenues recorded $5.6 billion last year, down from $5.8 billion in 2019, which the chairman described as the “third highest annual revenue reported by the canal in its history.”
Rabie said that 18,829 vessels passed through the waterway in both directions in 2020 with an overall net tonnage of 1.17 billion, compared to 18,880 vessels with a tonnage of 1.21 billion in 2019.
He said the achieved revenues reflect the flexibility of the SCA in dealing with the coronavirus crisis, unlike other crises such as the collapse of oil prices in 2016, where revenues fell to $5 billion, and the global sovereign debt crisis in 2009, which pushed revenues down to $4.29 billion.
Rabie said that the flexible marketing and pricing policies adopted by the authority in 2020 attracted several shipping companies that had not passed through the canal before, without providing further details.
Egypt had stressed in early 2020 that traffic through its vital shipping route had not been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and that shipping was proceeding at normal rates.
The canal, which is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia, is one of Egypt's main sources of foreign currency.