October’s result marked a $400,000 rise on September, and brings total revenues for the waterway for the first ten months of 2008 to $4.57bn.

This results in another year of record revenues for the canal, following the $4.6bn figure in 2007, and comes despite a slump in global shipping due to the economic downturn.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA), which manages the waterway, increased its tariffs in April to take advantage of the boom at the time.

Since then, however, the global economic collapse has forced the authority to cut fees for ships to encourage them to use the canal.

The canal authority is also considering reducing its tariffs to maintain traffic volumes (MEED 24:10:08).