The port of Rotterdam handled 112.4 million tonnes of freight during the third quarter of 2019. This means a total of 353.5 million tonnes has been transhipped up to the end of the third quarter. Compared with the previous year, this represents a 1% increase in cargo handling. Volume growth was mainly driven by containers, crude oil, LNG and biomass. There was a reduction in the transhipment of coal and mineral oil products.
Allard Castelein, Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO: ‘In the third quarter we again saw healthy growth in terms of containers, one of the Port Authority’s strategic spearheads.
What is worrying, however, is that the relationship between the world’s major trading blocs remains strained, as does the continuing uncertainty about the introduction of trade tariffs after Brexit.’ A total of 55.9 million tonnes of dry bulk was transhipped up to the end of the third quarter. That is a fall of 1.4% compared to last year.
Iron ore transhipment grew by 2% to the end of the third quarter. This growth mainly took place during the first six months of the year. The faltering economy in Germany has led to less transhipment in recent months.
Steel companies were hesitant about replenishing stocks. The main reason for this is the downturn in car production. Transhipment of energy coal fell sharply after a strong start in 2019, caused by the low price of coal at the time.
This downturn was due to the sharply declining share of coal and lignite in German power generation and due to maintenance work at the Maasvlakte power stations. Biomass continued to grow strongly (+84%) as a result of increased co-firing in coal-fired power stations.
Transhipment of agricultural bulk remained virtually unchanged from last year. By the end of the third quarter, the transhipment of liquid bulk totalled 159.5 million tonnes. This was almost equal to last year’s volume.
The transhipment of crude oil was above last year’s level in all three quarters, an increase of 2.8%. There was more supply because the refineries in Rotterdam and Antwerp - which are supplied through Rotterdam - increased production after the investments made in plants over recent years.
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