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Panama Canal foresees its income falling after shipping limited due to a drought

The canal implemented a measure Sunday capping the number of ships passing through its locks daily to a maximum of 32, compared to 36 to 38 under normal operation

A cargo ship sails through the Panama Canal.
A cargo ship sails through the Panama Canal.Carlos Lemos (EFE)

The managers of the Panama Canal said they expect income from the waterway to drop after authorities were forced to limit the number of ships passing through each to 32 due to a lack of rainfall.

Ricaurte Vásquez, the canal’s administrator, said Thursday that income in 2024 could drop by as much as $200 million because of the drought.

The canal implemented a measure Sunday capping the number of ships passing through its locks daily to a maximum of 32, compared to 36 to 38 under normal operation.

Not enough rain has fallen to feed the watershed system of rivers and brooks that fill lakes, whose waters in turn fill the locks.

The watershed also supplies freshwater to Panama City, home to about half the country’s population of 4 million.

The canal had expected to earn about $4.9 billion in fees next year before the measures were announced.

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