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CAIRO: Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority announced Sunday an all-time revenue record for April, earning $629 million following a series of toll hikes for vessels transiting the vital waterway.

Connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, the canal accounts for roughly 10 percent of global maritime trade and is one of Egypt’s main sources of foreign currency revenues.

Despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent rise in oil prices, a record number 114.5 million tonnes of cargo moved through the canal in April, a statement said.

This earned state coffers $629 million in transit fees, or 13.6 percent more than April 2021 and the highest monthly figure ever recorded, Suez Canal Authority chief Osama Rabie said in a statement.

The SCA has hiked passage tolls for transiting vessels, including fuel tankers, twice this year.

The April earnings come as Egypt’s economy has been hard hit by the fallout from the war in Ukraine.

Foreign reserves fell to $37 billion in March, from $40 billion the previous month, according to the central bank.

The Egyptian pound lost 18 percent of its value against the dollar in March, while inflation hit 12.1 percent in March amid soaring food and oil prices due to the Ukraine war.

Under pressure, Egypt is currently in talks with the International Monetary Fund for a new loan.

Since 2016, the IMF has approved three loans totalling $20 billion for Egypt, where a third of the 103-million population live in poverty.

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