People watch a ship sailing on the Suez Canal in Ismailia Province, Egypt, on Oct. 5, 2021. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)
CAIRO, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- The revenues of Egypt's Suez Canal reached 6.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, the highest in the canal's history, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Osama Rabie said on Sunday.
The waterway has also registered the largest annual net tonnages of 1.27 billion tons in 2021, compared to 1.17 billion tons in 2020, an increase of 8.5 percent, Rabie added in a statement.
The revenues of the Suez Canal during 2021 achieved a significant increase of 12.8 percent, said Rabie, noting that the revenues of the canal recorded 5.6 billion dollars in 2020.
A total of 20,694 ships passed through both directions of the canal, compared to the transit of 18,830 ships in 2020, an increase of ten percent.
The Egyptian official stressed that the records reflect the flexibility of the SCA in dealing with crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo taken on July 7, 2021 shows the Ever Given container ship sailing on the Great Bitter Lake in Ismailia Province, Egypt.(Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)
In November 2021, the SCA announced it will increase the toll fees for the ships transiting through the canal by six percent as of February 2022.
The Suez Canal is a major lifeline for global seaborne trade since it allows ships to travel between Europe and South Asia without navigating around Africa, thereby reducing the sea voyage distance between Europe and India by about 7,000 km.
Some 12 percent of the world trade volume passes through the man-made canal, which is a major source of hard currency in Egypt. ■