Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/18/2013 -- Political uncertainty will continue to affect the Egyptian economy in 2013 as the country continues upon its rocky transitional period towards democracy. This uncertainty will, in turn, continue to affect the shipping sector as a worsening economic position will impact on the country's imports through the ports. Further, Egypt is struggling to maintain foreign reserves as foreign investment has dried up since the ouster of President Mubarak as investors wait to see what the future holds. In light of this, a Qatari plan to invest in a new industrial and ports complex near the Suez Canal will come as a relief to the sector. The presence of the waterway in Egyptian territory provides an important source of income in fees and associated businesses to the Egyptian economy; those ports expected to see strongest growth in 2013 are those located near to the canal, such as East Port Said.
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Headline Industry Data
- 2013 total tonnage throughput at El Dekheila is forecast to grow by 3.4% to 25.22mn tonnes, and to average 4.4% per annum to 2017.
- 2013 East Port Said container throughput growth forecast at 8.6% to reach 3.69mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), and to average 10.1% to 2017.
- 2013 Egyptian trade real growth forecast at 6.2%, and to average 7.6% over the medium term.
Key Industry Trends
Workers Resume Operations At Ain Al-Sokhna Terminal: Operations at the Ain Al-Sokhna Terminal in the Egyptian Port of Sokhna resumed in November following a strike. Reports claimed that more than 2,700 port workers started a strike on October 12, which had affected the country's economy. The workers were demanding the reinstatement of eight co-workers who were fired for disciplinary reasons.
Suez Canal's Revenue Up 4% In December 2012: Egypt's Suez Canal recorded a 4% month-on-month (m-o-m) increase in revenue to US$424.6mn in December 2012, compared with US$407.7mn in November 2012, reported Reuters, citing the state information portal. The canal's revenue stood at US$443.7mn in December 2011.
Egyptian Shipping Companies Braced For Cost Increases: Shipping companies in Egypt are expecting the cost of both shipping and insuring imports to increase. The prospective increase has been attributed to international credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's decision to downgrade Egypt's credit rating to a B-, down from its prior B rating.
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