File Photo: The Transit of ONE INNOVATION , the Newest Container Vessel all over the World Through the Suez Canal on its First Voyage. Photo courtesy of Suez Canal Authority.
Suez Canal revenues reached $6.2 billion during the period between July 2022 and March 2023, compared to nearly $5 billion a year earlier, according to the Balance of Payments performance in July/March.
As for the entire fiscal year, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Chairman Osama Rabie announced in June that the revenues had surged to $9.4 billion in FY 2022/23 up from $7 billion in the previous year.
Rabie added that the SCA is currently reviewing the canal's transit tariffs and will announce in October whether there will be any increases. Any changes would take effect in January 2024.
10 million tourists
Tourism was the second major factor boosting revenues after growing by 25.7 percent to $10.3 billion in the first nine months of FY 2022/2023 against $8.2 billion in the same period a year earlier.
The rise is due to a 26.8 percent increase in the number of tourist nights to 110.5 million nights, and a 32 percent rise in tourist arrivals to Egypt totalling 10 million.
Egypt has been working to ensure the recovery of the tourism industry, one of the country’s leading economic sectors, after hits from the coronavirus pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
The government expects record revenues by the end of this fiscal year given that Egypt received a record-breaking 1.35 million tourists in April.
Egyptian workers’ remittances drastically decreased by 26.1 percent to only $17.5 billion in the first three quarters of 2022/2023, down from $23.6 billion in the same period for the previous fiscal year.
Remittances are a major source of foreign currency for Egypt, a country already straining its foreign reserves.
The state-owned National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and Banque Misr are issuing two US dollar-denominated annual-yield certificates of deposit (CDs) in an attempt to attract more inflows into the country.
Another factor that curbed the improvement of the current account is the investment income payments that went up by $ 2.9 billion to register $ 14.7 billion up from $ 11.3 billion the year before. According to the CBE, the increase is due to interest payments on external debt and earnings on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Egypt.
FDI and oil
Egypt's trade deficit tumbled by 29.8 percent to only $23.6 billion. Petroleum exports decreased to $11.7 billion from $13 billion, while petroleum imports rose to $10 billion from around $9 billion.
Net inflows of FDI in Egypt increased to $7.9 billion against $7.3 billion in the previous year.
FDI inflow in the oil sector increased to register $4.2 billion (against $3.8 billion). FDI in non-oil sectors registered a net inflow of $8.9 billion.
It is worth noting that Egypt's current account deficit fell by 77.2 percent to around $1.8 billion during the first half (H1) of FY 2022/23, compared to about $7.8 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier.