Port of Antwerp Sees Drop in Dry Bulk Volumes

The Belgian port of Antwerp continued its negative streak in dry bulk volumes as it recorded a drop of 14.7% to 6 million tonnes in dry bulk for the first half of the year.

As the declining demand for coal continued during the past quarter, the coal volumes were down by 55% to 372,714 tonnes over the full six months, while the decline of ore volume by 18.9% further pushed the six-monthly result for dry bulk into negative figures.

The volume of conventional breakbulk was also down, by 1.7%, to 4,7 million tonnes, despite an increase of 12.3% in volume of steel.

However, Antwerp’s total freight volume was at 108,3 million tonnes in the first six months of this year, 3.6% more than in the same period last year.

The container volume in TEU expanded by 4.4% while liquid bulk grew even more, by 8.4%, confirming its position as a leading source of growth in the port of Antwerp.

The first half year also saw significantly more ultra-large container carriers calling at Antwerp. Whereas the total after the first six months of 2015 stood at 146, this year the equivalent figure was 242, up by 66%. The growth in the category of 13,000 TEU or more was at 78%.

The container volume in tonnes expanded during the first six months by 3.9%, finishing at 59,7 million tonnes. This corresponds to a handling volume of over 5 million TEU, up 4.4%.

Antwerp’s liquid bulk volume rose during the first six months by 8.4% to 35,4 million tonnes, while the port’s oil derivatives’ volume came to 26,2 million tonnes, representing a jump of 13.9%.