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Official data: Egypt’s Suez Canal revenues declined by 3.2% in 2016

The Suez Canal [file photo]

Egypt’s Suez Canal revenues has amounted to $5.005 billion in 2016, marking 3.2 per cent less than last year’s total revenues, during which revenues amounted to $5.175 billion, official data published by the Egyptian Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC) revealed on Thursday.

According to IDSC data, Suez Canal trade revenues slumped in December to register $414.4 million compared to $429.2 million during the same month of the previous year.

However, December’s receipts rose compared to the month before, when the revenue hit a 21-month low, recording $389.2 million.

Egyptian officials predicted Suez Canal revenues would increase following the inauguration of an additional lane to allow two-way traffic and works to deepen the main canal to allow the passage of larger vessels in August 2015, which cost upwards of around $4 billion.

Officials had claimed the new canal would double revenues to reach $13.2 billion in 2023.

In June, the Suez Canal Authority announced discount offers at rates ranging between 45 to 65 per cent for container ships sailing from ports on the East coast of the United States on their way to ports in South and South East Asia.

The Suez Canal is one of the main sources of foreign currency for a country that has struggled to overcome a crippling dollar shortage since an uprising in 2011 caused an exodus of foreign investors and tourists.

Although the Suez Canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia, traffic through the waterway linking the Mediterranean and Red Sea has been hit by fallout from the political instability as well as a slowdown in global trade and oil prices.

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