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Rotterdam port volumes up 7.2% in Q1

Rotterdam port volumes up 7.2% in Q1
Liquid bulk and container volume increases more than balanced a decline in dry bulk throughput at the Port of Rotterdam in Q1, with total volumes rising 7.2%.

Coal and ores led an overall 5.1% decline in dry bulk to 21m tonnes, while liquid bulk volumes rose 14.7% to 56m tonnes as products and crude oil throughput grew significantly. LNG volumes were up 138% to 517,000 tonnes. For containers, throughput was up 7.6% in teu terms to 3.1m for the quarter, which represents a 5.1% increase by weight.

Allard Castelein, ceo of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, commented: "The positive trend in the handling of mineral oil products and LNG is striking. After declining last year, oil products are now experiencing a strong recovery. LNG throughput is even growing in triple figures and is really getting into its stride. Container throughput is also increasing sharply. Last year Rotterdam grew faster in this sector than rival ports. An increase of almost 8% combined with two new terminals on Maasvlakte 2 is generating a lot of confidence in the development of this sector in the coming years."

The improvement in liquid bulk cargoes was attributed to an increase in refinery margins on the back of a lower oil price. As more oil was refined, more was exported, particularly Russian fuel oil destined for Asia.

A decrease in activity in the German steel industry and a mild winter drove down ore and coal imports, and strong harvests in Europe led to a reduction in grain imports.

Container throughput improved despite delays and bottlenecks at some terminals. European economic improvement and relocation of transhipment cargoes help drive up the numbers, which the port expects will continue to grow as it sees the benefit of increasing ship sizes on the Asia-Europe trade.