Cairo, Egypt (AFP) – The Egyptian Suez Canal Authority announced, on Monday, a record revenue, as it generated $7 billion during the past fiscal year after a series of fee increases for ships transiting the vital waterway.
Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority, said that between July 2021 and June 2022 – Egypt’s fiscal year – about 1.32 billion tons of goods were shipped through the canal.
Income is more than a fifth higher than the previous fiscal year’s $5.8 billion in transit fees, the highest number ever recorded.
“Global crises have demonstrated the importance of the Suez Canal in ensuring the sustainability of global supply chains,” Rabie said on Monday.
The canal connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, and the canal accounts for nearly 10 percent of global maritime trade.
It is also a much-needed source of foreign currency for Egypt, which is battling crippling inflation and currency devaluation caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Securities and Commodities Authority has raised fees for transit ships, including fuel tankers, twice this year.
In April, the waterway recorded its highest-ever monthly revenue of $629 million, despite higher oil prices due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
As Egypt suffers from mounting economic pressures from the war, foreign exchange reserves fell by $5.5 billion between March and May to stand at $35.5 billion.
Rising global commodity prices helped push Egyptian inflation to a three-year high of 15.3 percent in June, according to official figures.
In late March, the Central Bank of Egypt allowed the value of the Egyptian pound to depreciate against the dollar, causing a loss of about 18 percent of its value overnight.
Cairo is scrambling to cushion the economic fallout, requesting a new loan from the International Monetary Fund and mobilizing billions of dollars in investment from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Egypt announced last week that it would receive $500 million from the World Bank.
Earlier this year, the SCA reported the channel’s highest annual revenue in a calendar year, generating $6.3 billion in 2021, despite the coronavirus pandemic and the six-day shutdown of the giant freighter Ever Given.