Watching the World: The Suez Canal and oil trade

The Suez Canal Authority announced record income last week, saying it had earned close to $4 billion in transit fees for the first time since nationalization of the waterway in 1956.Led by a 16% rise in the number of oil tankers paying transit fees over the year, the SCA's receipts rocketed to $3.8 billion in 2004. That's an increase of 45%, or $1.2 billion, over the preceding year.Increased business from oil trade is very much on the mind of the Egyptians who now run the canal. "We are very sensitive to everything around us," said SCA Chairman Ahmed Aly Fadel, speaking at a recent press conference. He is particularly sensitive to the oil industry.Price effectFadel says the canal...

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