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Tidbits, Panama Canal, Brazil & China Futures, Rain Days Update 12/17/23


During times of normal ocean trade and normal weather, 38 to 40 vessels would transit the Panama Canal every day. Due to dry weather, that number was reduced to 32 ships in August. Further reductions have since been imposed. The Canal Authority stated in October that the daily passages through the Canal would be reduced in mid-January to 18 vessels per day.


The problem is all the locks are gravity filled with fresh water from Gatun Lake. About 52 million gallons of fresh water are used for every ship. When the rainfall decreases to the point it does not replace the fresh water used every day, the number of ships allowed to transit the Canal has to be reduced.  


Since the Chinese Communists now own and manage the Canal business (thank you to Jimmy Carter), ships loaded with high value cargo can afford to pay a bonus (bribe) to the Canal Authority to go to the front of the line. Therefore, a ship loaded with grain may, theoretically, never be allowed to transit the Canal.


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