Panama Canal sees big drop in cross­ings

Jamaica Gleaner - - FINANCIAL GLEANER -

THE PANAMA Canal re­ported a 21 per cent drop in the num­ber of ships cross­ing the wa­ter­way in May amid the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, com­pared to pro­jec­tions for traf­fic. Just 937 ships used the canal last month, while there were 260 can­cel­la­tions of cross­ings, canal ad­min­is­tra­tor Ri­cau­rte Vásquez said Wed­nes­day. He said 119 of the can­cel­la­tions in­volved gi­ant LNG and LPG tankers that were to have car­ried liquefied gas, mostly from the United States to Asia. Cross­ings by cruise ships and car car­ri­ers also de­clined. The coro­n­avirus pan­demic has hurt in­ter­na­tional trade and eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity around the globe. Vásquez said re­cov­ery in traf­fic might be slow, but some an­a­lysts pre­dicted a more rapid re­bound. “It will be able to re­cover rapidly be­cause the world’s re­ac­ti­va­tion de­pends on the re­ac­ti­va­tion of trade,” said an­a­lyst José Isabel Blandón Sr. “And in the re­ac­ti­va­tion of trade, the United States needs Panama, China and South Amer­ica needs Panama, and Europe, too.”

AP

A cargo ship nav­i­gates through Panama Canal wa­ters in Gam­boa, Panama, on Wed­nes­day, June 17.

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