June 20, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Egypt: Suez Canal revenues nearly halved in January due to Houthi attacks


A senior official said Egypt’s revenue from the Suez Canal fell by almost half in January 2024, after Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea caused major shipping companies to avoid the waterway, Bloomberg reported.

Revenues were about $428 million last month, compared with $804 million in the same period in 2023, Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie said on an Egyptian TV show on Friday evening (2.2.2024). According to him, the number of ships passing through the canal has decreased by 36%. The cut in the number of ships is the latest headache for the North African state, which was already grappling with its worst economic crisis in decades before war between Israel and Hamas broke out in October, threatening to disrupt trade and tourism.

Iran-backed Houthi militants in Yemen, who began attacking commercial shipping in response to the Gaza conflict, have not retreated even as the United States and allies launched airstrikes on Jan. 12 to contain them.

The Suez Canal, the shortest sea route between Asia and Europe, is Egypt’s main source of foreign currency and will generate about $10.25 billion in 2023. Before the violent incidents that forced companies such as AP Moller – Maersk A/S and Hapag-Lloyd AG to shut down traffic, the country was working to expand the waterway.

“This is the first time the Suez Canal has been involved in such a crisis,” Rabi said. “In the past, every month has been better than the previous one, and every year has been better than the previous ones.”

Egypt is close to reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund that could more than double the current $3 billion aid package and bring in other partners.



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