Suez Canal revenues rose 15.4 per cent in January 2010 to $383.6m from $332.4m the previous year, according to the Suez Canal Authority which operates the waterway.

In December 2009, the canal recorded revenues of $390m, the smallest year-on-year drop since November 2008.

The number of transit ships passing through the canal dropped to 1,418 in January, compared with 1,452 a month earlier.

The canal is one of Egypt’s main sources of foreign currency along with petroleum exports, tourism and remittances from Egyptians living overseas.

Total revenues for the first half of the fiscal year 2009-10 reached $2.3bn, compared to $2.7bn during the same period the year before.

Local investment bank EFG-Hermes says revenues at the waterway will rise 2.9 per cent year-on-year to $4.9bn in the first half of 2010 (MEED 13:1:10).