Panama Canal toll revenue shrinking this fiscal year due to drought

FILE PHOTO: Cargo vessels transit through the Panama Canal, on the outskirts of Panama City

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - The Panama Canal's toll revenues have dipped by about $100 million per month since last October, the canal's administrator said on Wednesday, adding that if the trend continues reduced income from tolls could total some $700 million by around April.

The falling revenue stems from drought conditions that have forced the canal's managers to impose shipping restrictions on the more than century-old waterway, a key global trade route linking the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

The canal's fiscal year begins in October, and runs through September.

Canal Administrator Ricaurte Vasquez described the continued trend of falling toll revenue in coming months as "possible," in comments to reporters at a press conference.

He added that the waterway expects to nonetheless meet targets set out in its budget for income for the fiscal year, in part due to a recent toll increase that have come into effect.

(Reporting by Elida Moreno; Editing by Sarah Morland and David Alire Garcia)