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Rotterdam cargo throughput up 1% in 2014

Throughput at the Port of Rotterdam, Europe's largest port, rose 1% to 445m tonnes in 2014, and the port expects similar growth in 2015.

Dry bulk and liquid bulk cargo throughputs both saw minor declines, while containers and breakbulk saw improvements over 2013.

Renovation of blast furnaces in Germany contributed to a 5.2% drop in ores and scrap to 34m tonnes, but agribulk and other dry bulk saw improvements of 9.2% and 4.9% to 11.2m tonnes and 12.8m tonnes respectively.

For liquid bulk cargoes crude oil was up 4.8% to 95.3m tonnes, but oil products and other liquid bulks both fell, by 8.1% and 7.4% to 75m tonnes and 30.8m tonnes respectively. Although small in scale, LNG made an improvement of 59.5% to 1.2m tonnes in 2014.

Economic recovery in the UK spurred an 8% rise in ro-ro cargo to 20m tonnes, while other general cargo, mostly consisting of building materials, was up 28.1% to 26m tonnes.

In teu terms container throughput was up 5.8% to 12.2m teu, an increase the port authority believes is a sign of the initial effects of upscaling in the shipping industry and an economic recovery in Europe.

The port expects growth of around 1% in 2015, led primarily by containers. Terminals on Maasvlakte II will be starting up in 2015, but extra capacity for growth will not be realised until 2016.

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