The revenue generated from Egypt’s Suez Canal has witnessed a 40 percent decline since the beginning of the year compared to the corresponding period in 2023.

This downturn is primarily attributed to the inability of the US-led alliance force to effectively counter Houthi attacks, leading to significant disruptions along this vital maritime passage.

According to reports from Reuters, Osama Rabie, the head of the Canal authority, says the dollar revenue along this crucial global crossing route has nearly halved.

The attacks on ships by Yemen’s Houthis have prompted major shippers to divert away from the Suez Canal, causing a notable impact on its financial performance.

During the period spanning January 1 to January 11, ship traffic through the canal decreased by 30 percent compared to the same period in the preceding year, as reported by the canal’s authorities.

The number of vessels transiting the Suez Canal has dropped from 777 in the equivalent period of 2023 to 544 in the current review period.

The Suez Canal holds paramount importance for Egypt, constituting a vital source of foreign currency and accounting for a significant 30 percent of the global shipping traffic connecting Europe and Asia.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, aligned with Iran, have been actively targeting commercial vessels in the Red Sea, expressing support for the Palestinian group Hamas in its conflict with Israel.

The resulting shift in shipping routes has led many shippers to opt for alternatives, such as navigating through the Cape of Good Hope.

In response, the United States initiated a new international mission aimed at patrolling the Red Sea to deter further attacks.

However, the alliance faced challenges with Spain and Italy withdrawing from the united forces led by the Americans.

Despite these obstacles, Suez Canal authorities express confidence that a substantial portion of goods will return to the canal once the issues related to Houthi attacks are successfully resolved.

gandae@businessdayafrica.org

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