Increasing tanker traffic through the Suez Canal

The carriage of petroleum products and gas has increased both south- and northbound through the Suez Canal since 2002. Crude oil northbound increased by 36% in 2006 over 2005, and fuel oil southbound increased by almost 80% to 13.3 m tonnes, with "motor spirits" increasing by 13%. The overall increase was 9% northbound and 44% southbound.


Of the 1,661 tankers that were reported to pass through the Canal northbound in 2006, 60% were below 50,000 dwt, 17% were 50,000 dwt to 100,000 dwt, 12% were 100,000 dwt to 200,000 dwt and 11% were VLCCs. A record number of 186 VLCCs passed through the Canal in 2006 up from 138 in 2005 and 152 in 2004. The number of transits of tankers 100,000 dwt to 200,000 dwt also increased by almost 10%, which means that the volume of trade increased in 2006 despite the number of tankers transits northbound having declined by some 10%.


The number of VLCC transits southbound in ballast has continuously declined from 242 in 2003 to 123 in 2006, possibly because VLCCs take on return cargoes.


Contact: Erik Ranheim