The traffic of vessels through the Suez Canal last month continued the growth that began in March, follows from the data published by the Canal Administration.
The number of ships that crossed the canal in May exceeded the indicator of the same month last year by 5.7% and amounted to 1484. In April, 1,449 vessels (+ 4%) passed through the channel, and in March 1524 (+ 4.8%).
Container carriers accounted for 32% of total traffic through the channel, compared with 34% a year earlier; From the point of view of tonnage, their share in May was 56%, 3 points less than in May 2016. The number of container ships grew 0.6% to 477, their net tonnage by 2% to 49.7 million tonnes. Actual volumes of container cargo transported through the channel on services in the south direction amounted to 19.6 million tons (+ 3%), in the northern – 20.5 million tons (+ 1.3%).
The highest growth rates were recorded in the bulk carrier segment. The number of bulk carriers passing through the canal increased by 33.5%, to 263 units. For comparison, in April the growth was 28%, in March – 22%. From the point of view of net tonnage, the growth in this segment of traffic was 34%, to 9.2 million tonnes.
The demand for the transit of ships through the Suez Canal declined for most of last year and the first months of this year. By the end of 2016, the total number of vessels that passed through the channel was reduced to 16.8 thousand, compared to 17.5 thousand a year earlier. The decline continued in the first months of 2017: traffic for January and February amounted to 2,655 ships, compared to 2,724 for the same period in 2016.