From October 2014 through March 2015, cargo shipments in dry bulkers through the Panama Canal increased by 8 percent, equaling 66 million long tons in total, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said in a report.
During this time, the Panama Canal registered over 2,008 transits of dry bulkers, which is 257 more transits compared to the previous fiscal year. The surge in cargo traffic was driven mainly by grains, salt, minerals, metals and manufactures of iron and steel, the report shows.
Furthermore, dry bulkers moved nearly 50 percent of total Canal cargo and are the second leading vessel type transiting the waterway.
Grains, mainly shipped from the US, registered a record 32.8 million long tons, which correlates to an 8.5 percent increase.
In addition, transits of soybean and corn cargo tonnage continued increasing steadily; though, their increase was moderate compared to sorghum. Sorghum, which is used for industrial processes, including in the preparation of liquors and animal feed, saw an 85.5 percent increase in shipments compared to the same period in 2014.
Salt cargoes also reached record levels, registering 6.5 million long tons for the first six months of fiscal year 2015, an increase of 43.2 percent. Salt shipments originate mostly from Chile and the Pacific Coast of Mexico, and are bound for the United States.