Egypt: Suez Revenues in Free Fall

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will discuss the financial crisis with BRICS counterparts

Sameh Shoukry

Revenues from maritime shipping to and from the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal are down month-to-month, falling to $337.8 million in May compared to $648 million in the same month in 2023. The drop in revenue is related to continued attacks by Yemen’s Ansar Allah group (also known as the Houthis) in response to the war in the Gaza Strip. On June 8, the Houthis attacked two merchant ships off the coast of Aden. Last November, militias backed by Iran launched attacks on ships they believed were “inked to Israel, the United States, or Britain” crossing the Red Sea and Arabian Sea. Moreover, the Houthis said that “operations will continue until Tel Aviv stops attacks in Gaza.”

In order to keep at least part of the profits, the Suez Canal Authority decided to extend a number of benefits until the end of 2024 and reduced transit fees for ships and oil tankers by 15 to 75%. Egypt’s ongoing financial crisis will be the focus of a meeting of BRICS foreign ministers due to be held in Russia’s industrial city of Nizhny Novgorod on June 10 and 11.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry traveled to Russia to participate in the meeting. Egypt became a full member of BRICS on January 1, 2024. Shoukry is scheduled to deliver two speeches during the two sessions of the meeting: the first will focus on BRICS countries cooperation, as well as international and regional issues, while the second will focus on methods of cooperation with partner states. The Egyptian minister will also hold a series of bilateral meetings with counterparts from the member countries to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations and economic and financial cooperation, as well as exchange views and assessments on key international and regional issues, especially the war in Gaza.