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Egypt Denies Suez Canal Navigation Suspension Amid Red Sea Tensions

Egypt refutes claims of a temporary suspension of navigation in the Suez Canal due to escalating tensions in the Red Sea’s Bab-el-Mandeb area, as stated by Chairman of Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA), Osama Rabie. He assures that navigation traffic in the canal is operating regularly in both directions, with 44 ships carrying a combined net tonnage of 2.3 million expected to cross on the upcoming Saturday. Rabie emphasizes the SCA’s commitment to maintaining open communication channels with shipping entities to support the global shipping community and ensure the resilience of global supply chains.

Despite recent tensions impacting ship traffic, he underscores the canal’s stability. Rabie notes a 30% decrease in ship traffic in 2024 compared to the same period in 2023, attributing it to Red Sea tensions. Additionally, the Suez Canal’s US dollar revenues have dropped by 40%, and loads have reduced by 41% between January 1 and 11, 2024, compared to the corresponding period in 2023.

The ongoing conflict involving Houthi rebels in Yemen, targeting commercial shipping in the Red Sea, has further heightened concerns. The Suez Canal, a vital global trade route responsible for 12% of international trade, remains a crucial source of foreign currency for Egypt amid these challenges.