Panama Canal says LNG transits jump in fiscal 2021

The Panama Canal said LNG carrier transits rose 28.2 percent in the fiscal year ending September 31, boosted by higher US shipments to Asia.

In fiscal 2021, a total of 537 LNG vessels transited through the Neopanamax Locks, compared to 419 in the same period last year, the Panama Canal Authority said in a statement.

The Panama Canal closed its fiscal year 2021 with a record-breaking annual tonnage of 516.7 million Panama Canal tons, coming in 8.7 percent higher compared to the 2020 fiscal year.

LNG carriers registered a 31.4 percent increase in tonnage to 61 million Panama Canal tons, representing the largest gain across all segments, it said.

Also, LNG set new annual records for total tonnage and transits, in addition to monthly tonnage and transit records in January 2021, fueled by record winter temperatures in Asia.

More LNG terminals located in the Gulf Coast and the East Coast of the US expanded their operations, spurring an increase in exports shipped to Asia, it said.

“LNG is not only growing the fastest, but it has had its best year in terms of tonnage through the Canal,” said Ilya Espino de Marotta, deputy administrator of the Panama Canal.

“However, this year’s figures across segments demonstrate the canal can adapt and meet fluctuating market needs, as shown earlier this year, when we modified the Panama Canal reservation system to offer our customers additional booking options and flexibility,” she said.

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