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Focus on Panama

Panama Canal revenues up 14.9% in 2023 despite transit restrictions

Photo: ACP Ricaurte Vasquez, Panama Canal Administrator
In 2023 the Panama Canal’s revenues increased by 14.9% to $4.97 billion despite handling less cargo due to draught and transits restrictions caused by drought.

While revenues were Panama Canal only 511.1 million PC/UMS tonnes moved during Fiscal Year 2023 (October 1, 2022-September 30, 2023), compared to 518.5 million PC/UMS tonnes moved in FY2022, according to Panama Canal officials.

While the canal continues to face water shortages due to climate change resulting in transit restrictions it expects revenues to rise a further 2.7% in FY2024.

The ACP forecasts revenues for Fiscal Year 2024 will be 74.56% from tolls, 23,21% from other maritime services revenues, 1.05% from electricity sales, 0.73% from potable water sales and 0.45% from other items.

The prospect of an increase in budgeted revenues comes from the tolls system implemented in January 2023, ending in 2024, although an impact on revenues is also expected due to transit and draught restrictions that have been in place for months.

The new toll structure started in January 2023 and will end in 2025.

Canal Administrator Ricaurte Vásquez said Panama needs more water for its people and the canal. The ACP has studied this for years and ACP suggests making the canal’s water sources with an additional reservoir. However, this needs action from the government and lawmakers, which the authority says will help 55% of the people, industry, and shipping.

It says the canal’s role is vital for global trade and Panama’s economy.