Hong Kong's total port cargo exports increased by 1% to 70.6 million tonnes in Q4 2011 compared to last year; pulp and wastepaper imports fall 10% in same period

HONG KONG , March 13, 2012 (press release) – The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) today (March 8) released statistics on vessels, port cargo and containers for the fourth quarter of 2011.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, total port cargo throughput increased by 1% over a year earlier to 70.6 million tonnes. Within this total, inward port cargo decreased by 2% to 39.0 million tonnes, while outward port cargo rose by 5% to 31.6 million tonnes.

For 2011 as a whole, total port cargo throughput increased by 4% over a year earlier to 277.4 million tonnes. Within this total, inward and outward port cargo rose by 2% and 5% to 157.8 million tonnes and 119.6 million tonnes respectively.

On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison, total port cargo throughput decreased by 1% in the fourth quarter of 2011. Within this total, inward port cargo dropped by 4%, while outward port cargo rose by 3%. The seasonally adjusted series enables more meaningful shorter-term comparison to be made for discerning possible variations in trends.

Port cargo

Within port cargo, seaborne cargo increased by 5% over a year earlier to 49.5 million tonnes, while river cargo decreased by 8% to 21.0 million tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Within inward port cargo, imports decreased by 9% over a year earlier to 19.0 million tonnes, while inward transhipment increased by 6% to 20.0 million tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2011. For outward port cargo, exports (including domestic exports and re-exports) decreased by 2% over a year earlier to 10.7 million tonnes, while outward transhipment increased by 8% to 20.8 million tonnes.

Within port cargo, seaborne cargo rose by 7% in 2011 over 2010 to 194.9 million tonnes, while river cargo dropped by 4% to 82.5 million tonnes.

Within inward port cargo, imports decreased by 2% in 2011 over 2010 to 78.2 million tonnes, while inward transhipment increased by 7% to 79.6 million tonnes. For outward port cargo, exports and outward transhipment increased by 3% and 6% to 40.2 million tonnes and 79.4 million tonnes respectively.

The detailed port cargo statistics are summarised in Table 1.

The main countries/territories of loading for inward port cargo and countries/territories of discharge for outward port cargo are shown in Table 2 and Table 3 respectively.

Comparing the fourth quarter of 2011 with the fourth quarter of 2010, a double-digit increase was recorded in the tonnage of inward port cargo loaded in Vietnam (+49%). On the other hand, double-digit decreases were registered in the tonnage of inward port cargo loaded in Singapore (-30%) and Japan (-12%). Over the same period, double-digit increases were registered in the tonnage of outward port cargo discharged in Vietnam (+43%), Indonesia (+40%), Thailand (+38%), Korea (+28%), the Philippines (+23%) and Taiwan (+22%).

Comparing 2011 with 2010, double-digit increases were registered in the tonnage of inward port cargo loaded in Vietnam (+39%), Indonesia (+18%) and Korea (+10%). On the other hand, a double-digit decrease was recorded in the tonnage of inward port cargo loaded in Singapore (-16%). Over the same period, increases were registered in the tonnage of outward port cargo discharged in most main countries/territories of discharge, with the three most significant increases recorded for Indonesia (+43%), Vietnam (+32%) and Thailand (+28%).

The principal commodities for inward and outward port cargo are shown in Table 4 and Table 5.

Comparing the fourth quarter of 2011 with the fourth quarter of 2010, double-digit decreases were recorded in inward port cargo of "artificial resins and plastic materials" (-14%), "stone, sand and gravel; metalliferous ores and metal scrap; and pulp and waste paper" (-10%) and "iron and steel" (-10%). As for outward port cargo, double-digit increases were recorded for "live animals chiefly for food and edible animal products" (+35%) and "bricks, ceramic tile and refractory construction materials" (+10%).

Comparing 2011 with 2010, a double-digit increase was recorded in outward port cargo of "live animals chiefly for food and edible animal products" (+20%).

Containers

In the fourth quarter of 2011, the port of Hong Kong handled 6.2 million TEUs of containers, representing an increase of 2% over a year earlier. Within this total, laden containers increased by 2% to 5.2 million TEUs, while empty containers dropped by 2% to 0.9 million TEUs. Among laden containers, inward containers increased by 1% to 2.6 million TEUs, while outward containers also rose by 4% to 2.7 million TEUs.

In 2011, the port of Hong Kong handled 24.4 million TEUs of containers, representing an increase of 3% over 2010. Within this total, laden containers went up by 3% to 20.7 million TEUs, while empty containers recorded virtually no change at 3.7 million TEUs. Among laden containers, inward containers increased by 4% to 10.3 million TEUs, while outward containers also rose by 3% to 10.4 million TEUs.

On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison, laden container throughput increased by 2% in the fourth quarter of 2011. Within this total, inward and outward laden containers increased by 1% and 2% respectively.

Seaborne laden containers increased by 6% in the fourth quarter of 2011 over a year earlier to 4.0 million TEUs, while river laden containers decreased by 9% to 1.3 million TEUs.

Within inward laden containers, imports decreased by 11% in the fourth quarter of 2011 over a year earlier to 0.8 million TEUs, while inward transhipment increased by 7% to 1.8 million TEUs. For outward laden containers, exports dropped by 7% to 0.8 million TEUs, while outward transhipment rose by 9% to 1.9 million TEUs.

In 2011, seaborne laden containers increased by 7% over 2010 to 15.5 million TEUs, while river laden containers decreased by 5% to 5.2 million TEUs.

Within inward laden containers, imports decreased by 6% in 2011 over 2010 to 3.2 million TEUs, while inward transhipment increased by 9% to 7.1 million TEUs. For outward laden containers, exports decreased by 4% to 3.3 million TEUs, while outward transhipment increased by 7% to 7.1 million TEUs.

The detailed container statistics are summarised in Table 6.

Port cargo and laden container statistics are compiled from a sample of consignments listed in the cargo manifests supplied by shipping companies and agents to the C&SD.

Vessel arrivals

In the fourth quarter of 2011, the number of ocean vessel arrivals decreased by 4% over a year earlier to 8 120, with the total capacity increasing by 4% to 110.3 million net registered tons. Over the same period, the number of river vessel arrivals decreased by 8% over a year earlier to 42 280, with the total capacity also decreasing by 3% to 27.2 million net registered tons.

In 2011, the number of ocean vessel arrivals recorded virtually no change over 2010 at 32 490, with the total capacity increasing by 6% to 425.8 million net registered tons. Over the same period, the number of river vessel arrivals decreased by 4% over a year earlier to 172 180, with the total capacity also decreasing by 1% to 108.4 million net registered tons.

The statistics on vessel arrivals in Hong Kong are given in Table 7.

Vessel statistics are compiled by the Marine Department primarily from general declarations submitted by ship masters and authorised shipping agents. Pleasure vessels and fishing vessels plying exclusively within the river trade limits are excluded.

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