This article is taken from the July 27 USDA Grain Transportation Report

Effective July 30, the Panama Canal will allow transits of only 32 vessels per day—10 vessels through the Neopanamax locks and 22 vessels through the Panamax locks (according to the Panama Canal Authority).

Although below the long-term daily average of 35-36 transits, the reduced number will resemble the Canal’s average of the last 2 months.

Last month, the Canal had announced new draft restrictions affecting both the Neopanamax and Panamax locks (Grain Transportation Report, June 22, 2023, first highlight).

However, after the region received much-needed rain, the new draft restrictions were postponed indefinitely.

Because of the rain, the current restriction of 44 feet for the Neopanamax locks stayed in place, and the Panamax locks continued their normal draft level of 39.5 feet.

There is no word yet from the Panama Canal Authority on what the next change to draft restrictions will be or when the Neopanamax locks’ normal draft level of 50 feet may be resumed.

Water levels in Gatún Lake—the water source for the Canal—are currently at 79.3 feet, which is 7 percent below the prior 5-year average and near record lows.