LatinNews Daily - 31 May 2024

In brief: Panama Canal loosens vessel draft limits

*The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has issued a new advisory stating that, effective today (31 May), it will raise the maximum authorised vessel draft to 45 feet. According to the ACP, the adjustment, which was initially due to take effect on 15 June, is being "implemented earlier due to the expected onset of the rainy season in the Panama Canal Watershed and the current and projected levels of Gatún Lake [which feeds the Canal] over the coming weeks". According to the ACP, as of 16 May, the number of daily transits in the Panamax locks rose from 17 to 24. It adds that as of 1 June, the number of daily transits in the Neopanamax locks is due to rise to eight, up from seven, which in turn will increase the total number of vessel transits per day to 32. According to the ACP since 26 May, the water levels of Gatún and the Alhajuela lake, which also feeds the Canal, "have, for the first time in 2024, risen above those recorded on the same date in 2023, due to the onset of the rainy season".

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