Suez Canal Sees Record Northbound Oil Shipments

Suez canal data for the first 10 months of 2016 show a strong rise in northbound oil shipments – not surprising seeing that Europe has been a key battleground for rising Gulf exports. Crude is up 15% year on year, with diesel volumes more than doubling over the last two years. Earnings are down, however.

The Suez Canal authority has finally released transit data for the first time in six months. The country spent $8bn on completing an expansion of the route – allowing larger vessels and shorter transit times – in August 2015. Many observers put the hiatus in what had been monthly data down to official embarrassment over the fact that revenues were flat-to-down despite the investment.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, in lauding the expansion, said at the time that annual revenue could reach $13bn by 2023 (MEES, 31 July 2015).

The freshly-released January-October 2016 data do indeed show a modest fall in revenues to $4.20bn, down 3% year-on-year (see chart). This is not great news for cash-strapped Egypt, which could do with every penny it can get. However, in some ways it is a decent performance given the global economic headwinds. (CONTINUED - 1328 WORDS)


table Suez Canal Traffic (Mn Tons)