Overall traffic through the Suez Canal eased in November. The largest component of this fall was a 2mn tons (11%) dip in southbound container traffic. Total revenues and vessels numbers for January-November 2012 are both down 2% on year ago levels. Last year’s revenues were the second highest on record after 2008 despite Egypt’s massive political upheavals.

Southbound crude volumes, at 900,000 b/d for the first 11 months of 2012, are up almost 70% on the same period in 2011. The key factor has been the rapid ramp-up of Libyan export volumes and the emergence of China as a key buyer. Increasing volumes of Caspian crude are also heading to Asia (see graph 1). But crude volumes in the key northbound direction continued to fall in November. Turkey is thought to be the only remaining Mediterranean buyer of Iranian crude after EU countries halted purchases in July; even Turkish purchases have been dwindling. (CONTINUED - 215 WORDS)