Rotterdam port turnover drops sharply
Transshipment of goods in the port of Rotterdam is down 13.4 percent compared to 2008.
Transshipment of all goods and products through the Rotterdam port amounted to 185 million tons in the first six months of 2009, a drop of 13.4 per cent compared to the first six months of 2008, the port said in a report released on Wednesday.
The decline, which is blamed on the economic crisis, is more severe than in the first quarter of this year, when it was only 11 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008. According to port director Hans Smits the drop was "not unexpected".
The big culprit is the decline of worldwide steel production. Six of the fifteen blast furnaces in Germany have shut down, leading to a 60 percent drop in transshipment of ore and scrap metal to 8 million tons in Rotterdam.
Container traffic too is down, 15 percent to almost 47 million tons.
For all of 2009, Rotterdam port is expecting transshipment to fall 12 percent, substantially more than the 6 to 10 percent predicted in April.
Smits said he expected the drop to stabilise during the second half of 2009, and trade to pick up again in 2010. "We seem to have reached the bottom."