Net tonnage at Egypt's Suez Canal falls, vessel numbers unchanged in May
Suez Canal net tonnage falls, vessel numbers unchanged in May: Cargo shipped through the Suez Canal fell by nearly 10% y-o-y in May (to 94.8 tonnes from 104.9 tonnes in May 2019) as global trade tanked due to the covid-19 pandemic, Suez Canal Authority head Osama Rabie said. Despite the decline in revenue-generating net tonnage, only one fewer vessel passed through the waterway, which Rabie attributed to “flexible marketing and pricing policies.” The authority last month slashed fees for container ships passing through the canal by up to 75% in a bid to keep traffic flowing.
The fall in tonnage put a 12% y-o-y dent in the canal’s revenues during the month, Rabie told Al Arabiya (watch, runtime 5:58). The SCA charges shippers based on net tonnage and vessel size, according to its website. Revenues increased by 3.2% y-o-y in 1Q2020 to USD 1.43 bn, SCA spokesman George Safwat told Amwal Al Ghad in April. Receipts during the first quarter showed an 8.5% growth in net tonnage. Other than Suez Canal receipts — which stands to drop in the second quarter due to the global economic slowdown — the covid-19 pandemic is also putting pressure on other key sources of foreign currency including tourism, foreign portfolio investment, and remittances from Egyptians living abroad.