The Belgian port of Antwerp saw a sharp drop of 17.9 percent in dry bulk volumes as it handled 2.9 million tonnes of dry bulk cargo during the first quarter of 2016.
The decreased demand for coal resulted in a negative first quarter result in this sector, falling by 81.1 percent to 69,975 tonnes, while the volume of ore also declined by 33.9 percent to 465,796 tonnes, helping to push down the overall result for dry bulk.
On the other hand, the port saw a throughput of over 53.2 million tonnes of freight in the first three months of 2016, marking a 3.9 percent growth over the same period last year.
Antwerp handled over 2.4 million TEUs, representing a 4.6 percent rise compared to the first quarter a year earlier.
Conventional breakbulk also registered growth in comparison with last year, mostly driven by the volume of steel handled, which was up by 14.5 percent to 1.8 million tonnes. At the end of March, the total volume of conventional breakbulk stood at over 2.3 million tonnes, an increase of 2.4 percent.
The volume of liquid bulk handled jumped by 10.6 percent during the first quarter to 17.7 million tonnes, while oil derivatives surged by 17 percent amounting to 13.2 million tonnes for the same period.
On April 12, the port authorities of Montreal and Antwerp renewed their cooperative agreement during a joint trade mission in Montreal.
The first agreement, signed in March 2013, resulted in four trade missions to Montreal and Antwerp during which the ports exchanged information on sustainable development, land use, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union, global trends in the markets, and the development of port logistics zones.
“During our collaboration we have deepened trade relations, among other things, resulting in a network that greatly benefits both partners. Implementation of the CETA agreement will give rise to a new dimension in our cooperation,” For Luc Arnouts, Chief Commercial Officer and member of the Port of Antwerp’s Board of Directors, said.
Operated by the Montreal Port Authority (MPA), the port of Montreal handled 32 million tonnes of cargo and hosted 91,000 passengers and crewmembers at its cruise terminal in 2015.