Reign of BarsbayCyprus
Barsbay pursued an economic policy of establishing state monopolies over the lucrative trade with Europe, particularly regarding spices, to the chagrin of the civilian merchants of the sultanate. Moreover, Barsbay compelled Red Sea traders to offload their goods at the Mamluk-held Hejazi port of Jeddah rather than the Yemeni port of Aden in order to derive the most financial benefit from the Red Sea transit route to Europe. Barsbay also undertook efforts to better protect the caravan routes to the Hejaz from Bedouin raids and the Egyptian Mediterranean coast from Catalan and Genoese piracy.
With regards to European pirates, he launched campaigns against Cyprus in 1425–1426, during which the island's king was taken captive, because of his alleged assistance to the pirates; the large ransoms paid to the Mamluks by the Cypriots allowed them to mint new gold coinage for the first time since the 14th century. Barsbay's efforts at monopolization and trade protection were meant to offset the severe financial losses of the sultanate's agricultural sector due to the frequent recurring plagues that took a heavy toll on the farmers.