The flow of goods through the Panama Canal hits a record | Invest News


PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – The Panama Canal transported more than half a billion tonnes of cargo in the past year, the canal’s top official said on Thursday, setting a record for the world’s main waterway as international trade resumed.

Ricaurte Vasquez, the administrator of the Panama Canal Authority, told reporters at a webcast press conference that 516.7 million tonnes of cargo had passed through the century-old waterway during the fiscal year 2021, which ended in September.

“It has been an exceptional year,” he said, noting that it was the first time that the canal transported more than 500 million tonnes of cargo during the 12-month period.

Conveyed on huge freighters across the 50-mile (80 km) Transoceanic Canal, FY2021 transport accounts for around 3.5% of global maritime trade, dominated by grains and petroleum products like crude oil and gasoline.

Vasquez explained that the new record was fueled by larger ships carrying more containers, as well as strong growth in the transport of liquefied natural gas or LNG to Asia.

Fiscal year 2022, which began earlier this month, is expected to see even more goods transported through the canal, around 535 million tonnes, Vasquez added.

(Reporting by Elida Moreno; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Sam Holmes)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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