Egypt’s Suez Canal revenues dropped 25 percent to $332.4 million in January, compared to $414.2 million in the same month last year, and were also down from $391.8 million in December, the government said on Sunday.
Economists have been watching Suez Canal revenues closely to see any effects from piracy off the Somali coast and the recession in major economies, which is expected to reduce the volume of trade between Asia and Europe.
The canal authority said earlier in January that it would leave unchanged its transit tolls for 2009 despite its expectations that the global financial crisis will reduce traffic.
The canal is an important source of foreign currency for Egypt, along with tourism, oil and gas exports and remittances from Egyptians living abroad.
The number of vessels using the waterway was 1,313 in January, down from 1,690 in January 2008 and from 1,560 in December, the government said on its website.