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Antwerp Port throughput rises in first quarter

THROUGHPUT at the Port of Antwerp rose 3.4% in the first quarter to 46.1m tonnes as improved container traffic offset a decline in conventional/breakbulk cargo. Container traffic increased 6.1% to 2m teu in the first three months of the year. The Deurganck container dock saw soaring growth with volumes climbing 39.2%. The port loaded 4.3m tonnes of conventional/breakbulk cargo, down 13.3% compared with the same period a year earlier. Last year was exceptional due to large amounts of iron and steel products imported from China and India, but this trend hasn’t extended into this year as steel volumes fell by 11.6% in the first quarter, the Belgian port said. But the port expects this trade to again boom in the next few months. Fruit volumes fell by 3.8% to 324,698 tonnes. Ro-ro increased by 6.4% to 1.1m tonnes, with cars especially strong with a 10.2% rise to 236,457 units. Liquid bulk stood at 9.7m tonnes. Chemicals and crude oil were star performers, rising 9.4% and 15.2% respectively. Oil derivatives were down. Antwerp said traders did not expect any further increase in oil prices so they were not building in extra stock as they did last year. Dry bulk increased 8.3% to 6.7m tonnes, largely due to higher volumes of coal and ore.

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