WASHINGTON: The Suez Canal recorded revenues of $5.175bn in 2015, which is a 5.3% decline from the previous year in which revenues were recorded at $5.465bn. This decline is mainly due to the decline of international currencies against the dollar, which is used by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) in the collection of revenues, since it depends on a Special Drawing Rights (SDR) mechanism launched by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
It includes four currencies: the UD dollar, the Chinese Yuan, the eEuro, and the British Sterling Pound. SDR unit declined by 7.9% to record $1.40 compared to $1.52 during 2014.
The head of the Suez Canal Authority, Mohab Mamish, said traffic in the Suez Canal witnessed a notable increase in the number of transiting vessels in 2015: 17,483 vessels compared to 17,148 vessels during the corresponding period of 2014. This increase comes despite the fluctuations in the global economy and the decline in oil prices during 2015.
Payloads also increased by 3.7% to $998.7m net tonnes in 2015 compared to 962.7m net tonnes in 2014, an increase of 36m net tonnes. The Suez Canal revenues in the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) unit increased by 2.7% in 2015 to 3.6875bn SDR compared to 3.5907bn SDR in 2014, an increase of 96.8bn SDR.
Revenue in Egyptian pounds in 2015 also increased by 3.0% to EGP 39.7691bn compared to EGP 38.6193bn in 2014, an increase of EGP 1.1498bn. In 2015, revenues in Euros rose by 13.2%, valued at €4.666bn compared to €4.121bn in 2014, marking an increase of €544.7m.
The Suez Canal Authority has depended on SDR as a pricing unit for passage fees since the inauguration of Suez Canal for navigation in 1975. The decision to use SDR was to hedge against fluctuations in international currency exchange rates to preserve toll fees.
The IMF announced the value of SDR in accordance with the currencies exchange rate, which are daily announced in the London Stock Exchange. The currencies are the US dollar, Euro, Sterling Pound, and Japanese Yen while the Chinese Yuan will be added on the first of October 2016.