21-04-2018

Port of Rotterdam quarterly volume up 6.1pc to 3.5 million TEU

CONTAINER volume through Rotterdam in the first quarter increased 6.1 per cent year on year in to 3.5 million TEU, port authorities announced.

"We are seeing more measured growth after the significant growth last year, and this is in accordance with expectations," said Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO Allard Castelein.

Box volume was up 4.6 per cent by weight to 35.9 million tonnes. New connections with the eastern Med also resulted in an increase in shortsea throughput by 6.9 per cent to 700,000 TEU.

But total cargo fell 1.2 per cent year on year in dry bulk and crude oil sectors to 117.8 million tonnes. Declines hit coal, iron ore, scrap and crude oil.

Throughput in LNG was up 210 per cent year on year 700,000 tonnes, with a record 500,000 tonnes in February.

Liquid bulk volume was constant, up 0.5 per cent to 55.9 million tonnes. Within this segment, less crude oil (-4.5 per cent; 25.4 million tonnes) was transported than in the first quarter of last year, largely the result of exceptionally high throughput last year.

Dry bulk fell overall 13.6 per cent to 18.8 million tonnes with iron ore, scrap and coal being the main commodities. Iron ore and scrap fell 9.3 per cent to 7.1 million tonnes, and coal plunged 19 per cent to 6.5 million tonnes.

Coal fell because of the falling demand from power plants after last year's closure of older generators in Germany and the Netherlands.

Agricultural bulk throughput fell 8.2 per cent to 2.6 million tonnes because of a poor soya harvest in Argentina. Mineral purchasers demand fell 20 per cent.

The total throughput in the breakbulk segment, including ro-ro, fell 4.7 per cent to 7.2 million tonnes. Ro-ro traffic increased 0.8 per cent to 5.8 million tonnes compared with the first quarter of last year, partly because of an expansion of ro-ro vessel handling capacity at one of the Rotterdam terminals.

The throughput of other cargo was significantly lower than the high level of the first quarter of 2017, down 22.2 per cent to 1.4 million tonnes as the additional throughput of steel in the form of slabs stopped again this year.

This flow last year was a consequence of blast furnace renovations in Germany, resulting in a temporary return in steel production. During the last period, almost no wind turbine foundations were loaded for positioning in offshore wind farms, but this is expected to increase in the second quarter.

Source: Schednet

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