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The monthly container volume reached 1.9 million TEU
Friday, May 04, 2012, 14:51:09 Maritime Press chaser@mpress.co.kr
The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (Minister: Do-youp Kwon) of the Republic of Korea announced that in the first quarter of 2012, the total port cargo volume handled by trade ports nationwide reached 331.34 million tons, which is a 4.5% increase from the same period last year (317.18 million tons). The cargo volume for March 2012 was 113.54 million tons, which is a decrease of 0.5% from the same period last year (114.12 million tons).

When viewed by different ports, the first quarter of 2012 total port cargo volume can be analyzed as follows: the Busan Port, which saw an increase of exports in such areas as timber and textiles, had a volume increase of 8.7% year-on-year; the Ulsan Port, thanks to the increase of exports in such areas as oil and automobiles, had a volume increase of 5.7% year-on-year.

The Incheon Port, due to a decrease of exports and imports in areas including oil, had a volume decrease of 2.2% year-on-year, while the Pohang Port had also a decrease of 2.5% year-on-year owing to an import decrease in areas including bituminous coal.

As for different categories, oil, minerals, and automobiles, boosted by volume increases in exports and imports, increased by 3.4%, 12.1%, and 17.5%, respectively year-on-year, while bituminous coal and steel decreased by 5.4% and 4.1%, respectively year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the first quarter of 2012 container cargo volume increased by 6.9% year-on-year to record 5,391,000 TEU.

It was found that due to the anemic increase rate (15.1%→1.5%) of export and import cargo volumes caused by the decline of the Chinese economic growth rate and the global economic recession, the overall upward trajectory appears to have been hindered (13.0%→6.9%).

Meanwhile, the cargo volume in March, boosted by the increased handling of transshipment cargoes, increased by 3.5% compared to the same month last year to record 1,959,000 TEU, which is the highest monthly cargo handling volume ever.

As for the Busan Port, owing to a steady increase of transshipment cargoes, handled 4,089,000 TEU, a 9.6% increase year-on-year (the first quarter), aided by its monthly transshipment cargo handling volume of 708,000 TEU, the highest monthly figure since its opening.

The Gwangyang Port saw a decrease in both export and import cargoes (△0.7%) and transshipment cargoes (△17.9%), recording 526,000 TEU, a decrease of 3.4% year-on-year. The Incheon Port, on account of the decrease of trade volumes with China, also handled a slightly less amount (△0.7%) of cargoes, which came to be 452,000 TEU.

The first quarter container volume handled by the top ten ports in the world saw an increase of 6.1% year-on-year (42,940,000 TEU), recording 45,550,000 TEU.

The Busan Port maintained its status as the fifth biggest port in the world by narrowing its gap with the Shenzhen Port (1,305,000 TEU → 937,000 TEU), which had a decrease of 0.2% year-on-year (5,030,000 TEU handled). The Shanghai Port regained its number one status by handling 7,580,000 TEU.

The top seven Chinese ports, owing to the exacerbation of the European financial crisis that caused anemic export growth and the recession of its domestic economy, recorded the lowest first quarter growth rate of the past three years, marking a lower growth rate (5.6%) compared to that of the average of the top ten ports in the world (6.1%).
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