ROTTERDAM's port throughput in the first quarter of 2014 stood at 109 million tonnes, down 0.2 per cent compared to the same period last year, however, the results were mixed with agribulk up the most at 69 per cent.
Also on the positive side, iron ore and scrap rose five per cent and coal by 15 per cent, other dry bulk cargo increased by 13 per cent, containers were up just one per cent to 30 million tonnes, roll on/roll off grew nine per cent, and other mixed cargo did nine per cent better.
Alternatively, crude oil volumes were down two per cent, mineral oil products fell 14 per cent, and other liquid bulk cargo was also 14 per cent lower.
Port authority CEO Allard Castelein said in a statement, "The falling tendency of the second half of 2013 continued initially, but thanks to a strong month in March, the throughput in the first three months nonetheless stayed almost the same.
"For the whole of 2014, I am counting on slight growth, but my attention will mainly be on structural developments that are putting the Port of Rotterdam under pressure.
"These include the over-capacity in the European refinery sector, the rapid rise in American shale gas that is putting investments in the European chemicals sector under pressure, and changes in the containers sector."
Container throughput remained flat at 2.9 million TEU, after deep-sea (supply from/shipment to Asia and North America) and the short-sea market improved. Transits to the Baltic Sea countries rose through diversion of transhipment cargo from other ports.
The total throughput of dry bulk cargo was up by 15 per cent to 23 million tonnes with the delivery of ore rising nine per cent.
Asian Shipper News