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Marseille Fos repeats Q1 cargo result

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Port of Marseille

Port of Marseille

Port news from Marseille Fos

Marseille Fos repeats Q1 cargo result              

Leading French port Marseille Fos handled 20.17 million tonnes of cargo from January to March in a near identical repeat of last year’s first-quarter result.  

General cargo rose 1% to 4.49MT led by container growth at Fos, which gained 3% for 263, 038 teu.  However, total box volumes slipped 3% to 304, 664 teu – and by 1% to 2.93MT in tonnage terms – after a difficult start to the year at Marseille, where container traffic fell 27% to 41, 626 teu.  Added to conventional trades dropping 8% on 0.56MT, general cargo activity at Marseille ended 3% down despite ro-ro traffic rising 13% to 1MT.  Ro-ro throughput included 45, 688 trailers – up by 12% – and 51, 492 import/export vehicles, a 35% increase.

Marseille welcomed two developments in March.  CMA CGM launched a new intra-Mediterranean container service, while Korean vessel Morning Caroline from Eukor Car Carriers made the first call at the Med Europe terminal on a monthly rotation linking the US, the Middle East and Singapore.              

Liquid bulks were stable on 12.36MT, driven by oil and gas throughput of 11.51MT.  Crude imports rose 3% to 7.45MT – with refineries continuing to take advantage of low barrel prices – and included 144, 000T delivered in March from Kharg Island after the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran.  Refined products fell 21% to 2.19MT, reflecting a drop in both imports and exports.  In contrast, LNG soared 57% to 1.18MT with strong import/export recoveries due to lower demand in Asia coupled with rising demand in Europe.  LPG exports also rose but overall throughput was 6% down on 0.68MT.  Liquid chemicals and agro-products gained 2% for 0.86MT, helped by strong exports of MTBE, benzene and vinyl chloride and a 41% rise in imports of castor and sunflower oils.

Dry bulks dipped 3% to 3.3MT, mainly because a slump in steel industry activity saw imports of raw materials down by 8% on 2.2MT.  Despite a rise in cereals exports, agro-bulks felt the loss of sugar imports after last year’s closure of a sugar refinery and fell 4% to 0.18MT.  Other bulks improved 8% for 0.96MT, notably due to higher imports of peat and fertiliser.

Passenger throughput started the year at half-pace, down 13% on a total of 269, 000.  Cruise numbers fell 16% to 150, 000 – with 41 calls as against 48 in Q1 last year – including 55, 000 home port passengers.  Ferry carryings on the North Africa and more seasonal Corsica services fell 8% to 119, 000.

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