The trade pulse maintained by the United States and China, which has intensified in recent days, could reduce the income of the Panama Canal by up to 60 million dollars, given that both world powers are its main clients, the Panama Canal administration reported today.
"We could be seeing in its entirety an impact of 50 or 60 million dollars on the projections we have for next year. The canal is not going to be in the red, (it is) in the black, but we could not reach those projections," said the administrator of the interoceanic route, Jorge Luis Quijano.
The canal estimates that it will end this fiscal year, which runs from September 30, 2017 to October 1, 2018, with revenues of $ 3,037.5 million and estimated revenues for fiscal year 2019 of $ 3,239.5 million.
Quijano explained that the tariff war between the United States and China could have an impact on container traffic, the main business of the canal, but it could also be felt in other segments such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). .
"We are a link in a very long chain of logistics, and with these tensions between the first user of the canal, which is the United States, and the second, which is China, the canal is concerned," he said.
The trade war intensified on Monday when the new tariff rounds announced by both powers came into force.
The last levies imposed by the United States on Chinese imports are 10 percent and have a value of $200,000 million, while the tariffs of between 50 and 10 percent of Beijing to US imports involve $60,000 million.
"We still have not felt the impact, that is the reality. The canal is going to close with very good numbers this year (...) but we hope that this (the commercial war) will at some point become normalized," said the administrator of the interoceanic route.
The United States, who built the route at the beginning of the last century and managed it until December 31, 1999, is the first user of the canal, followed by China.
Around 6 percent of the world trade passes through the canal and more than 140 maritime routes and 1,700 ports are connected in 160 different countries.
June marked the two years since the opening of the new locks, which were built to help the so-called Neopanamax ships cross, with the capacity to carry up to 14,000 containers.