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Asia and Middle East trade boost Santos port throughput

Asia and Middle East trade boost Santos port throughput

Santos: Growing trade with Asia and the Middle East gave the Brazilian port of Santos a new monthly throughput record: of 8.3m tons in August. "Worldwide-crisis-defying" record figures for August at South America's largest port - which handled 81.058m tons and 2.675m teu handled in 2008 - and a strong first eight months of 2008, are also the result of strong exports, particularly soya, petroleum sugar and orange juice, according to the port authority Codesp.

Soya exports, especially to China, have jumped significantly owing to problems in Argentina and also Brazilian soya producers preferring Santos to Paranagua in recent years. Soya exports now total 9.4M tons from January to the end of August, which is 12% higher than for the same period of 2008. For the year to date (to end of August) accumulated cargo throughput is 53.55M t, with exports up 15% and imports down 23.7%, in comparison to last year.

Carlos Kopitke, the commercial director for Codesp, told SAO, "The extra impetus of rising cargo loads to and from China, Asia in general, and the Middle East means we are now forecasting a rise of more than 1.6% over last year's annual total, which should give us between 82m and 83m tons. That is a significant achievement considering the poor start to the year and the difficult international trading conditions."

He did admit that general cargo and containers were likely to be down for the year, by around 15%, but even they were showing signs of picking up. They were down by close to 20% for the first six months of this year. The previous monthly record was held by July, 2008, when 7.99m tons of cargo passed through the port of Santos.

China is now the leading recipient of cargo from Santos, and is responsible for 11.3% of all exports from the Brazilian port, and China is also the second-largest exporter of cargo to Santos, with 14.3% of the volume, just behind the US, which caters for 18.6%. Japan comes in third with 9.3%.

Codesp figures show that as well as China, trade was growing also to India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea. In the Middle East strong growth was experienced to Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates, while traditional markets such as the US, Russia, Belgium, Spain, France and Germany were importing/exporting less cargo via Santos than in previous years.  [09/10/ 09]