Panama, March 13, 2001. Panama Canal traffic and tolls revenues were up for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2001 (October1, 2000 to January 31, 2001), reported Panama Canal Administrator Alberto Aleman Zubieta Wednesday during a regular Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Board of Directors meeting in Panama City.

The Panama Canal generated $202.4 million in tolls revenue during the period, $2 million above budget and $9 million more than tolls collected during the same period in fiscal year 2000. The upward trend was also visible in total transit numbers, with tankers and container cargo primarily responsible for the increase. During this fiscal period, 4,160 oceangoing vessel transits were registered, bringing the average to 33.8 daily transits—a 3.2 percent increase over the total transits recorded during the same period in fiscal year 2000.

Panamax vessel traffic also grew during this period, rising 7.8 percent from the previous fiscal year to a total of 1,569 transits. Cargo tonnage through the Canal registered 66.4 million long tons this fiscal period—a 3.6 percent increase over the tonnage registered during the first four months of fiscal year 2000.

The principal commodities responsible for the increase in cargo were petroleum products, containerized cargo, fertilizer, refrigerated products, machinery and equipment, metals, minerals, and lumber products.

Containerized cargo rose 12.2 percent over last fiscal year’s first quarter, registering a record high of 11.6 million long tons. A total of 743 container vessels transited the waterway from October 2000 through January 2001, representing an increase of 76 ships compared to the same period in fiscal year 2000. Container cargo vessel traffic alone generated $53.7 million in tolls revenue, $9 million more than last year’s figures.