ISMAILIA: The Suez Canal last week earned its highest daily revenue since the 2008 financial crisis triggered a world trade slump, the canal authority said on Sunday, citing a recovering economy and canal improvements.
The canal is an important source of foreign currency for Egypt, along with tourism, oil and gas exports and remittances from Egyptians living abroad. As a major international shipping route, it is also seen as a barometer of global trade.
The canal earned $18.7 million as 65 ships passed through it carrying over 3 million tons of cargo on Friday, its biggest daily revenue since December 2008, the Suez Canal Authority said.
The authority this year allowed ships with draughts up to 66 feet (20 metres), which typically carry 220,000 tons of cargo, to enter the canal after it was deepened from 62 feet.
Revenue from the waterway fell in 2009 after the world economy slowed and pirates in the waters off Somalia pushed some ships to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, but the canal has seen a recovery this year in revenue and tonnage.
The canal brought in more than $4.5 billion in the year to June 30, 2010.