Antwerp steel throughput drops after nine months

Throughput of conventional breakbulk at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges in the first nine months of the year came to 7.8 million tonnes. Steel, which comprises the vast majority of this segment, and is handled mainly from Antwerp, dropped by 17.6% compared with the corresponding 2022 period, Kallanish learns from the port operator company.

Still, the company states that conventional breakbulk is holding up relatively well despite the weak economic climate, with throughput volumes in line with the pre-Covid period. It points out that 2022 was marked by a strong post-Covid recovery.

The dry bulk segment fell by 14.6% to 11.2mt, with throughput of fertilisers, the largest product group within the segment, down by 24.2% after nine months. Compared to the peak in 2022, coal throughput declined by 36%. By contrast, throughput of sand and gravel grew by 7.4%. Volumes of iron ore fell by as much as 70%, scrap by 5%, and non-ferrous ores by 2%.

The total throughput of Port of Antwerp-Bruges including liquid bulk and containers was 204.4mt, a drop of 6% compared to the same period last year.

Jacques Vandermeiren, chief executive of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, notes that the port’s throughput is falling by less than the average in the ports of the Hamburg-Le Havre range. “We are gaining market share, but we will have to face the fact that 2023 will not be a top year,” he says.

Christian Koehl Germany