Ghana’s maritime import trade for 2016 hit 12.05 million metric tonnes whilst the volume of export trade was 5.55 million metric tonnes, the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) revealed on Monday.
The 2016 statistics affirms that the country’s seaborne trade is a true reflection of the basic structure of the Ghanaian economy, which is heavily imported dependent, CEO of the authority stated during a media encounter in Accra.
Dr Kofi Mbiah said the country imported 4.1 million metric tonness of liner cargo; 1.75 million metric tonnes of break bulk; 2.68 million metric tonnes of dry bulk cargo and 3.5 million metric tonnes of liquid bulk imports.
Dr Mbiah noted that a major performer during the period was the Liquid Bulk imports category with commodities like Crude Oil and Liquified Petroleum Gas recording substantial increases.
Statistics for the export trade was made up of 1.40 million metric tonnes of Liner items; 497,808 metric tonnes of Break Bulk items; 3.40 million metric tonnes of Dry Bulk and 239,881 metric tonnes of Liquid Bulk.
The Shippers Authority Chief Executive Officer noted that a major performer under the export trade was the Dry Bulk exports category with manganese and bauxite recording substantial increases.
He said with the new infrastructural developments at the port of Takoradi, the outlook for the increased export of bauxite and manganese look bright.
On the direction of maritime trade for 2016, Dr Mbiah said 2016 saw 33 percent of the total import seaborne trade of Ghana originated from the Far East region while a majority of the seaborne export went to the Far East and the North Continent ranges.
He explained that Imports from other African countries accounted for 27 per cent share of Ghana’s import trade – Imports from Africa were 3,245,502 metric tonnes, an increase of 1,178470 metric tonnes or 57 percent over the previous year’s figure of 2,067032 metrics.
Dr Mbiah said the major commodities imported from the Africa region which experienced significant increase were mostly Liquid Bulk commodities like Crude Oil, LPG and Petroleum Products.
“Liquid Bulk Imports from Africa showed an increase of 1,252,345 metric that’s 94 per cent over the previous year’s figure of 1,331,919 metrics,” he said.
On the export trade, the CEO of Ghana Shippers Authority explained that majority of the 5.55 million metric tonnes of seaborne export for 2016 went to the Far East and North Continent ranges; the Far East range received 65.5 per cent of total exports whilst the North Continent range received 14.7 percent.
He said the major commodity exported was Bauxite and Manganese.
Mr Fred Asiedu-Dartey, GSA Director of Public Affairs explained that the quarterly media engagement tagged: “The Shipping Quarter and Outlook,” seeks to serve as an industry-wide platform for engaging the media in providing timely, authentic and accurate information on the shipping industry to the populace”.
He said since its establishment four decades ago, the Authority had worked closely with other sectors of the industry in protecting and promoting the interests of Ghanaian shippers and ensured the provision of relevant logistics for the growth of shipping and trade in the country.
He said the authority would continue to uphold the need to educate and sensitise shippers, the business community and other relevant stakeholders in order to assist them to improve their knowledge and skills and also adopt best business practices, hence the quarterly media engagement.
Mr Asiedu-Dartey said the GSA is working closely with other stakeholders in the sector to ensure that the public is not misinformed.