Trends In Bunker Traffic And Volumes In The Panama Canal.

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Since the imposition of traffic restrictions in the Panama Canal, there has been a notable decline in the number of ships calling for bunkers, yet an increase in the volume of fuel loaded per vessel. This trend is attributed to various factors, including the impact of El Nino-induced drought on canal operations and subsequent efforts to optimize ship transits.

Decline in Ship Traffic

The Panama Canal has experienced a 23.84% decrease in ships calling for bunkers since the implementation of traffic restrictions, primarily due to operational constraints resulting from a severe drought caused by El Nino.

Increased Fuel Load per Vessel

Despite the decrease in ship traffic, there has been an increase in the volume of fuel loaded per vessel, indicating a strategic adjustment by shipping companies to optimize their trips and minimize stops, thereby compensating for operational challenges.

Anticipated Recovery and Expansion

With the onset of the rainy season and anticipated improvements in canal operations, the Panama Canal Authority plans to increase daily transits and maximum draft limits for vessels. This expectation has already begun to stimulate bunker demand, signalling a potential recovery in shipping activity through the canal.

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Source: S&P Global