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Panama Canal drought latest threat to Christmas supplies

Published Nov 28, 2023 12:46 Updated Nov 28, 2023 13:10
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© Reuters. Panama Canal drought latest threat to Christmas supplies

Proactive Investors - Christmas presents as well as dinners could be under threat due to the chaos affecting shipping in the Panama Canal.

Shoppers were warned yesterday that the torrential rain recently in Britain was affecting vegetable supplies, but now consumers have been told restrictions to the number of ships passing the canal might impact a range of other goods.

Panama is suffering its worst drought in seventy years, which has hit water levels in the canal and forced its operator, the Panama Canal Authority, to cut ships travelling through by 40% from normal traffic levels by the end of this week.

How much cargo can be carried is also being capped due to the low water level.

Around 6% of global shipping traffic goes through the canal with alternative routes avoiding the country taking between 10-25 days longer.

El Nino, the southern hemisphere weather pattern that stems from warmer water in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, is said to be the cause of the drought in Panama, though climate change is also believed to be playing a part.

UK retail body has already said that the cost of goods in shops might start to rise this year as stealth costs such as business rates, new regulations and higher staff costs feed through into costs.

Helen Dickinson, the BRC’s chief executive, said: "Combining these with the biggest rise to the National Living Wage on record will likely stall or even reverse progress made thus far on bringing down inflation, particularly in food."

A new YouGov (LON:YOU) poll, meanwhile, suggests people with children will be struggling to afford Christmas due to the cost-of-living pressures of the past two years.

YouGov’s research, which polled 2,000 people, suggested 40% will need credit to cover the cost of the holiday period.

Read more on Proactive Investors UK

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Panama Canal drought latest threat to Christmas supplies
 

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