Panama Canal Ends 2019 Fiscal Year With Record Tonnage

This article has been reprinted from the USDA Oct. 31 Grain Transportation Report.

On October 9, 2019, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced it ended its fiscal year (FY) 2019, which runs from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019, with more tonnage being moved through the canal than in the previous year—469 million Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) tons compared to 442 million tons registered a year earlier.

This a 6.2 percent increase over a year earlier and 4 percent more than the canal’s projection for FY 2019.

The container segment supplied the largest amount of cargo with 164.87 million tons, followed by: bulk carriers at 76.5 million tons, vehicle carrier or roll on roll off vessels at 53.1 million tons, chemical tankers at 44.3 million tons, liquefied natural gas vessels at 43 million tons, liquefied petroleum gas vessels at 37.8 million tons, crude product tankers at 22.6 million tons, and passenger vessels at 9.9 million tons.

Despite the tariff war with China, more soybeans transited the canal from the Atlantic Rim to the Pacific Rim during ACP’s recently concluded fiscal year, with 7.04 million metric tons (mmt) in 2019 compared to 5.39 mmt in 2018.