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Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Suez Canal transit fees to rise in May

Transiting the Suez Canal is about to get more expensive: The Suez Canal Authority will raise fees for ships transiting the waterway from the beginning of May, it announced yesterday. Vessels carrying crude and petroleum products will pay a 15% surcharge as of 1 May, up from the 5% currently, the authority said. The decision comes on the back of “significant growth in global trade, the improvement of ships' economics, the Suez Canal waterway development and the enhancement of the transit service," the authority said.

Also increasing: The tolls on laden and ballast liquefied petroleum gas tankers, chemical tankers and other liquid bulk tankers will be raised to 20% of normal dues, from 10% currently. The additional charges levied on laden and ballast dry bulk vessels will increase to 10% of normal transit dues, from 5% currently, while other vessels will have to pay surcharges of 14%, up from 7%.

The surcharges are “temporary” and revised or scrapped based on global shipping conditions, the SCA said.

The fee hikes come as public finances come under pressure from rising international commodity prices caused by the conflict in Ukraine. The government is having to find an extra EGP 15 bn to cover the heightened cost of wheat, while oil prices are way in excess of the level the Finance Ministry budgeted for.

The move will further increase Suez Canal revenues, which hit a record high of USD 6.3 bn last year.

Egypt has already hiked tolls once this year: The SCA raised fees by 6% for most ships at the start of February.

And other pandemic-era discounts have been phased out: Earlier this month, it removed a discount for LNG carriers amid rising natural gas prices.

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