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Dunkerque Port surpasses 50 million t record  

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Dry Bulk,

Dunkerque Port has reported that annual traffic for 2017 was over 50.4 million t, an increase of 3% compared with 2016.

Whilst figures for general cargoes were down 9% overall, with a tonnage of 20.55 million t being handled, port traffic in 2017 was helped significantly by its handling of heavy bulks, with the port loading and unloading 24.55 million t of such materials, an increase of 11%.

ArcelorMittal's Dunkerque factory operated at full power, after the shutdowns for maintenance of Blast Furnace 2 (BF2) in 2015 and then Blast Furnace 4 (BF4) in 2016. According to Dunkerque Port, ore also benefitted from the high volumes of transhipment at the Western Bulk Terminal for the group's other steelworks, setting a new record with a tonnage of 14.5 million t, a rise of 24%. Coal traffic recovered a good level of activity with 6 million t, up 11%. Grain experienced contrasting results. Imports set a new record with more than 350 000 t and growth of 31%. However, as for all French ports, exports were affected by the very poor harvest in 2016 and the delay in shipments of the 2017 harvest. Export traffic was limited to 950 000 t, a drop of 63% compared with 2016. The traffic in "small" solid bulks performed very well at 2.8 million t, an increase of 28%.

According to the Port, after several difficult years, liquid bulks are now benefitting from the opening of the LNG terminal. Petroleum products again climbed 3% to a tonnage of 3.4 million t. Gas comprises industrial gas and LNG. Total traffic reached 1.3 million t, soaring by 230% over 2016. The LNG terminal completed its first year of operation and recorded 866 000 t of LNG. Other liquid bulks were down 26% to 0.4 million t.

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