Shipments of steel, one of the main products handled at the port of Antwerp, saw a noticeable drop in the first half of the year, according to statistics issued by the port this week.
In January-June, trans-shipments of iron and steel were -33.1% lower than in the first six months of 2019. The overall group of bulk goods in total saw throughput fall by -29%, with inbound and outbound flows being affected to the same degree, the port says in a note.
Dry bulk shipments fell by -13.1% in the reporting period, largely due to declining loads of coal. This decrease is partly attributed to reduced demand from the steel industry, but also to the rise of green energy, and due to the base effect of a strong second quarter in 2019.
The year-on-year drop is attributed mainly to the overall economic slowdown and global trade issues adversely affecting goods flows in the conventional breakbulk sector. “The coronavirus effect only comes on top of it,” a port spokesman tells Kallanish.
June was the strongest month for steel shipments at the port. This, however, does not necessarily indicate a recent surge in imports or exports. “Figures change quickly, depending on if a big vessel comes in on the last day of one month or on the first of the next,” the spokesman explains.