Panama Canal Will Need Rest of Year to Recover From Drought

(Bloomberg) -- The Panama Canal will need at least the rest of this year to fully recover from the 2023 drought that depleted water levels, choked vessel traffic and cost shippers millions of dollars.

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La Niña is expected to usher in ample rains in a matter of weeks, providing relief after record dryness afflicted the key transit channel in 2023, said Argelis Moreno Lopez, senior forecast and market analysis specialist in the Panama Canal Authority’s strategic planning division. The moisture deficit is so severe that it will take months of precipitation to rectify, she added.

Read More: Panama Canal Averts Crisis for Now — at Cost to Drinking Water

“By the end of April, rain is going to begin and we’re going to have a lot,” Lopez said Tuesday during the Port of the Future conference at the University of Houston. “That will reverse the situation and go back to normal at the end of the year or next year.”

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