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Panama Canal cargo volumes to fall in year ending 30 Sept

Panama Canal cargo volumes to fall in year ending 30 Sept
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator Jorge Quijano said the waterway was expecting a drop in cargo volume of 8m tonnes in fiscal year 2013.  “For this fiscal year, which runs from 1 October 2012 to 30 September  2013, we expect a decline of 8m tonnes from 330m tonnes we had forecast,” said Quijano.

The 2.4% decrease, is primarily due to the drought that has affected the United States, which has boosted the grain trade from Brazil that does not transit by the Panama Canal. Despite this, the administrator said he believes canal revenue will remain "within budget" thanks to an additional $32m that will enter its power generation business.

The ACP keeps talking to its customers about re-structuring the tolls for the expanded canal and had recent meetings in Panama with the World Shipping Council and expected to have proposals to put to public hearings early 2014, said Quijano,

Although some liners are creating news services from East Asia to the US East Coast bypassing the Panama Canal and using the Suez Canal, Quijano said the measure was to be expected until the waterway expansion could be completed. But Canal officials believe the new services are temporary until mid- 2015 when the first commercial transits of post-panamax vessels are expected to begin.

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