Panama Canal sees cargo record despite US-China trade war

Friday, October 11, 2019

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PANAMA CITY, Panama (AFP) — A record 469 million tonnes of goods were transported through the Panama Canal since October last year, despite a trade war between the canal's main patrons, China and the United States, the waterway's administrators said Wednesday.

The new record beats that set in October 2018, when the canal saw 442 million tonnes of transported cargo.

During the latest fiscal year, from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019, the canal handled 469 million tonnes of cargo — a “record tonnage,” according to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), an autonomous government agency that runs the waterway.

The most important cargo comes from routes linking the US East Coast to Asia and Latin America.

An estimated five per cent of global maritime trade passes through the 50-mile (80-kilometer) canal linking the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Years of expansion work that finished in 2016 allowed the canal to handle a new generation of supersized cargo ships.

China and the US, the world's two biggest economies, have imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of bilateral trade in their conflict that began early last year, and which the International Monetary Fund says is slowing global growth.

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