Suez Canal Reports Record Revenues and Increases in Transits
Despite the high-profile incident that disrupted transits for six days in March, the Suez Canal Authority reported strong results over the past fiscal, year reflecting the surge in global trade. It reported that increases in global shipping contributed to record financial results for the year as well as growth in the number of vessels passing through the Canal in the first half of 2021.
Lieutenant-General Osama Rabie, head of the Suez Canal Authority, said that the navigation statistics during the first half of 2021 “recorded a remarkable increase in the number and tonnage of ships transiting the canal. The flexible marketing and pricing policies pursued by the authority succeeded in maintaining the rates of ships crossing the canal.”
From January to June 2021, a total of 9,763 ships transited the canal, including the time while the canal was blocked by the Ever Given and some ships made the decision to divert due to the uncertainty at the canal. The number of transits rose by more than two percent, or an increase of 217 ships, from the 9,546 ships that sailed through the canal in the first half of 2020.
The size of vessel using the canal also increased, in part reflecting shipowners introduction of new, larger vessels, especially containerships. The net tonnage transiting the canal during the first half of this year increased by 3.8 percent, or a difference of 22.4 million tons. A total of 610.1 million tons, passed through the Suez compared to 587.7 million tons during 2020.
The head of the authority stressed that the revenues of the Suez Canal, despite the various challenges, recorded the highest annual revenue in the history of the canal. Revenues reached $5.84 billion dollars, increasing more than two percent from the $5.72 billion during the 2019/2020 fiscal year. During the first half of 2021, the canal experienced a strong surge with revenues increasing 8.6 percent or a difference of $237 million. Total revenues in the six-month period were approximately $3 billion compared to $2.76 billion in the first six months of 2020.
The head of the authority cited their flexible policies as contributing to attracting 2,519 ships, representing $620.1 million in revenue during the first half of 2021. The incentives offered by the authority helped to attract the ships. In particular, transits by LNG carriers increased a quarter in the first half of 2021, while containerships were up nearly 10 percent. Car carrier volumes increased by 27.8 percent, and dry bulk vessels increased by five percent so far in 2021.