Maritime trade surges

Business News of Monday, 8 April 2013

Source: B&FT


Ghana recorded over 19.4 million tonnes of maritime trade at its two ports in Tema and Takoradi from January to December 2012, according to figures from the Ghana Shippers Authority.

This was made up of 15 million tonnes of imports and 4.4 million tonnes of exports. The figure represented an increase of 8 percent on the figures recorded within the operational period of 2011. The data showed that total imports were 9.7 percent more than what was obtained in the previous year, while total exports increased by over 4 percent.

The port of Tema handled over 77 percent of the total trade – representing 15 million tons – while the port of Takoradi handled the remaining 4.4 million tons, or 23 percent of total trade. Additionally, total transit trade for the review period amounted to 671,769 tonnes. This was a decrease of over 10 percent compared to the previous year.

The transit tonnage was made up of 592,626 tonnes of imports and 79,143 tonnes of exports. Total transit through the ports was 3 percent of total maritime trade. Imports comprised 6.7 million tonnes of liner items, representing 45 percent; while 4.1 million tonnes of dry bulk items, representing 28 percent was recorded; and 4.06 million tonnes of liquid bulk items made up of 27 percent was also recorded.

Data on the type of trade showed that liner import trade was made up of items such as iron, steel, pipes and plates, which amounted to over 792,990 tonnes; processed foods were 728,716 tonnes; and chemicals amounted to over 303,886 tonnes. Other items included tiles (254,800 tonnes), frozen meat and food (395,743 tonnes), machinery and equipment (851,196 tonnes), polythene raw materials (277,194 tonnes), and bagged rice (395,194 tonnes).

Major items like iron, steel, plates, pipes recorded over 5 percent decrease year-on-year, chemical over 13 percent decrease, and fertilizer over 61 percent decrease. Other items showing decreases in quantities imported were tiles (4 percent), bagged cement (over 56 percent), second-hand appliances (23 percent), and second-hand clothing (over 14 percent).

Items showing increases in the tonnages imported include machinery/equipment (over 150 percent), frozen meat/foods (21 percent), and processed food/beverages (13 percent). Among the dry bulk imports, clinker was the biggest item, recording over 1.84 million tonnes, an increase of nearly 29 percent over the previous year. This was followed by cement with 12 percent increase and bulk grains with 53.6 percent. Limestone and bulk-fertilizer imports dropped by over 22 percent and 7 percent respectively.

Petroleum products increased by 48 percent, while chemicals and bitumen increased by 39 percent and 32 percent respectively. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) saw an increase of 24 percent. Majority of the maritime imports came from the Far East, which accounted for 28 percent of the total. Africa accounted for 2.3 million tons or 16 percent.

Imports from North America recorded just over one million tonnes or close to seven percent of the total, and the UK recorded 281,790 tonnes, amounting to only 2 percent of the total. Export trade was made up of over 2.1 million tonnes of liner items, or 46 percent of the total, and 2.3 million tonnes (51 percent) of dry bulk items. The remaining 112,567 tonnes, or 3 percent, was made up of liquid bulk items.