CAIRO: Suez Canal revenues edged higher 2.2 percent during the first quarter of 2014, totaling U.S. $1.21 billion, compared to U.S. $1.18 billion in the corresponding period last year, Al-Mal newspaper reported.
According to Suez Canal Authority’s (SCA) report issued late Thursday, the canal revenues jumped to U.S. $441.9 million in March, marking an 8.5 percent increase, compared to U.S. $407.4 million in the same month last year.
In February, the revenues recorded the lowest monthly level within 4 years, dropping to U.S. $339.3 million, according to Reuters.
“Suez Canal revenues are expected to reach U.S. $5.5 billion as of the end of the current fiscal year,” Head of SCA Mohab Mamish announced last month during a meeting with the Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, Youm7 reported.
“This would be the highest record ever achieved,” said Mamish, noting that the revenues of the Suez Canal jumped four percent from July until February.
The canal is one of Egypt’s key sources of income, with ships moving through the canal providing about 10 percent of Egypt’s hard currency. Total revenues in May 2013 reached U.S. $438.1 million, and revenues from January to June 2013 reached U.S. $3.4 billion, according to the Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC).
The government had allocated 2 billion EGP (U.S. $287 million) for the start of the Suez Canal Development Project, expected to bring in new foreign direct investments to Egypt, Minister of Planning Ashraf al-Araby announced in Febraury.