Revenues from the Suez Canal fell to $159 million in April 2001, down from $162.2 million in the month of March, reflecting a 1.97 percent decline, according to preliminary figures from the Suez Canal Authority. In April 2000 canal receipts reached $162.1 million.
From July to April 2001, the total number of ships passing through the canal reached 11,974, of which 9,679 where non-oil carrying vessels. This brought canal receipts to $1.624 billion for the 10 months period.
These figures indicate, nonetheless, a rise in vessel movement via Suez Canal over the past two years, and accordingly in canal revenues. In the corresponding term of 2000, only 11,342 bulk-carriers, oil and gas tankers, warships and passenger liners, passed through the canal, with revenue amounting to $1.556 billion.
The canal is currently operating at only half of its capacity, with around 40 ships passing through it daily, out of a potential capacity of 80. Patterns of world trade in which more vessels travel from the south to the north than vise versa, as well as underwater pipelines, undermine canal traffic, according to a recent in the Financial Times report.
In an attempt to promote the canal and revenues generated from it, its chairman, Ahmad Ali Fadhel, is considering restructuring passage fees. In addition, a new project costing more than $400 million was recently unveiled, in which the draught of the canal is to be lowered to 62 feet, thereby allowing for larger ships to pass through it. This project should be completed within the next decade.
The canal is one of the Egypt’s four major sources of hard currency income, along with oil, tourism and income from Egyptian laborers overseas. ― (MENA Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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