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Panama Canal Traffic Levels During the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Panama Canal traffic at pre-pandemic levels


Posted 29/03/2021

The Panama Canal will not benefit from the week-long blockage by Panama-flagged ship Ever Given says the Canal administrator Ricaurte Vásquez.

The Suez Canal Authority announced the "resumption of traffic" of the seaway, on  Monday which was obstructed after the container ship was stranded.

In a virtual press conference, Vásquez said that the impact on the volume of business of the Panama Canal "is going to be very marginal", because both routes serve different markets.

While Suez mainly serves merchandise originating in Asia and destined for Europe, the main route of the Panamanian highway is the one that connects Asia with the east coast of the United States.

Regarding the performance of the Panama Canal in its first fiscal semester, Vásquez said that it has been "excellent", with volumes that have remained at levels prior to the pandemic.

The effect of the pandemic was felt between March and June 2020, something that is not expected for this year because "the volume of trade that we are observing has grown dramatically compared to a situation of closed manufacturing and consumer markets."

With the progressive application of the vaccine, consumption should increase and therefore the need to move goods, which means that the Canal has positive prospects for all segments, with the exception of passenger ships, an industry that would take longer to completely recuperate.



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Panama port activity  beats pandemic - up 7.5%


Posted 01/05/2021

Port activity was one of the few sectors in the Panama economy that did not come to a standstill during the pandemic despite the measures adopted to control the spread of the coronavirus.

The port system, made up of six terminals, mobilized 2,900,435 TEU (unit equivalent to 20 feet long) during the first quarter, according to the preliminary registry of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP).

Compared to the first quarter of 2020, in the first three months of this year, there was a growth of 7.5% or 146,347 TEU. If it is related to the first quarter of 2019, the growth is almost 500,00. TEUs.

On the Atlantic side, the four port terminals reported positive figures: Colon Container Terminal of the Taiwanese Evergreen, mobilized 191 TEU with a growth of 5.9%; Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT) moved 712,030 TEUs or 5% growth in the first three months; while the port of Cristóbal, operated by Panama Ports Company, had 284,286 TEU or 3% growth; and Bocas Fruit, 31,372 TEU.

On the Pacific side, the Balboa port, which is also managed by the Panama Ports Company, handled 589,668 TEUs, or an increase of 24.4%. On the contrary, the port of PSA Panama International Terminal that operates in Rodman reported 282,077 TEU, a decrease of 6.1% in relation to the first quarter of last year.



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Panama Canal Traffic Levels During the Covid-19 Pandemic
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Canal transits benefit from Biden election


Posted 08/05/2021

The reduction of cruise ships transiting the Panama Canal has been offset by the transportation of grains and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

During the first semester of the fiscal year 2021, which runs from October 2020 to March 2021, the total revenues of the  Panama Canal Authority  (ACP)amounted to $1.938 billion, up $153.5 million from the previous period.

However, in the sale of electricity to the country's interconnected system there was a drop of $4.9 million, and the sale of drinking water to the National Aqueduct and Sewer Institute (Idaan) also had a decrease of $774,000.

The main segment of the Canal business continues to be that of container ships that pass through the new locks. In the first six months, the transits of 782 container ships or 40.9% of the neo-Panamax served were counted.

In the original locks, the highest growth was reported in dry bulk carriers, with 1,392 transits or 30.8% of the transits.

According to the ACP, the low temperatures during winter in the northern hemisphere and the reduction in trade tensions between China and the United States have caused unanticipated demands regarding the type and quantity of cargo that transits the Panama Canal.

The low temperatures caused an increase in the movement of LNG from the United States to Asia. In January of this year alone, 59 LNG vessels transited, in response to this situation.

The Biden effect
The easing of trade tensions between the United States and China, following the coming to power of Democrat Joe Biden in January, has led to a large movement of grains from North America to feed China's pig herd. This explains the great growth of this segment.

The administrator of the Canal, Ricaurte Vásquez said that all the efforts that have been made regarding the issue of water reflect that the environment is a priority for the Panama Canal.

"It is good to know that the United States is once again recognizing the term climate change, which was forbidden, since it was not being recognized as something true," he said.



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