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Egypt’s Suez Canal shipping traffic unaffected by coronavirus – chief

Traffic in Egypt’s Suez Canal has so far been unaffected by the spread of the coronavirus, the chief of its authority said on Wednesday, citing a 4.6% increase year-on-year in the number of ships passing through.

The canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia and one of the Egyptian government’s main sources of foreign currency.

The container shipping industry, a bellwether for international trade, has been blown off course by the new virus, which brought parts of China to a standstill before spreading around the world, leading container lines to re-route cargoes and reduce calls to Chinese ports.

However, the number of ships passing through the canal in the first quarter of 2020 increased by 8.4% compared with the same period a year prior, Osama Rabie said.

Suez Canal revenues increased to $458.2 million in February compared with $433.9 million during the same month last year.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Momen Saeed Atallah; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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