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Port of Rotterdam reports decline in cargo volumes

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Dry Bulk,

For the first three quarters of 2015, cargo throughput at Port of Rotterdam was up by 5.4%, however cargo throughput in the same period this year fell by 1.9%.

The decrease was particularly strong in coal and iron ore.

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said: “Each of the different sectors in the port has its own dynamic. The 1.9% decrease is consequently the sum of a number of different developments. In 2016 as a whole, we hope to get near the total throughput achieved in the record year 2015.”

Last year, throughput in the port increased by 4.9%, to 466 million t. Castelein added: “Throughput figures only tell part of the story. For example, companies in the offshore sector are currently under pressure, and a number of businesses in the region recently announced large-scale layoffs.”

The volume of dry bulk handled at the port fell by 7.8%, to 60.3 million t.

Iron ore and scrap metal decreased by 8.5%. This is reported to be primarily due to growing pressure on the German steel industry due to the dumping of Chinese steel. The blast furnaces of Dillingen and Voest Alpine were temporarily put out of operation for maintenance.

Coal throughput fell by 10.3% – mainly as a result of the growth in the wind and solar power segments, reduction in stocks and a temporary halt of operations at a number of coal-fired plants.

The trend at Rotterdam is in line with expectations and with a similar decrease in neighbouring ports. In the Hamburg-Le Havre range, throughput in the first six months of 2016 fell by nearly 15%. The volume of agribulk handled in the port decreased by 1.5%. Other dry bulk was 4.7% lower than last year – mainly due to reduced demand from the metal and steel processing industries.

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