Suez Canal revenues hit all time record

by The Associated Press (APR)

Egypt’s Suez Canal said Sunday its annual revenues reached US$6.3 billion last year, the highest in the crucial waterway’s history.

Admiral Ossama Rabei, head of the Suez Canal Authority, said last year’s revenues rose 12.8 percent, compared to 2020, when the canal achieved $5.6 billion.

He said in a statement that 20,649 vessels flowed through the Suez Canal last year, an increase of 10 percent compared to 18,830 vessels in 2020.

About 10 percent of global trade, including seven percent of the world’s oil, flows through the Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean and Red seas. The canal, first opened in 1869, is source of national pride and foreign currency to Egypt.

The unprecedented 2021 revenues came as the shipping industry is still under pressure from two years of the coronavirus pandemic.

The canal, one of the world’s most vital waterways, was blocked for six days in March when a massive Panama-flagged container ship, the Ever Given, ran aground in the single-lane stretch of the waterway.

The canal authority had asked for compensation of $916 million, which was later lowered to $550 million. In addition to the money, local reports said the canal would also receive a tugboat.

The money was to cover the salvage operation, costs of stalled canal traffic, and lost transit fees for the week the Ever Given had blocked the canal.

The details of a settlement reached between the canal authority and the ship’s owner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., were not made public.