Total Hong Kong Port cargo throughput in Q1 up 3% year-over-year to 64.5 million tonnes, inward port cargo flat at 35.9 million tonnes, outward cargo up 7% to 28.6 million tonnes: HKSAR

HONG KONG , June 7, 2012 (press release) – The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) today (June 7) released statistics on vessels, port cargo and containers for the first quarter of 2012.

In the first quarter of 2012, total port cargo throughput increased by 3% over a year earlier to 64.5 million tonnes.Within this total, inward port cargo recorded virtually no change at 35.9 million tonnes, while outward port cargo increased by 7% to 28.6 million tonnes.

On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison, total port cargo throughput decreased by 1% in the first quarter of 2012.Within this total, inward port cargo decreased by 2%, while outward port cargo recorded virtually no change.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 4% over ayear earlier to 44.9 million tonnes, while river cargo also rose by 1% to 19.7 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2012.

Within inward port cargo, imports decreased by 9% in the first quarter of 2012 compared with a year earlier to 16.6 million tonnes, while inward transhipment increased by 10% to 19.3 million tonnes.For outward port cargo, exports (including domestic exports and re-exports) and outward transhipment increased by 1% and 10% over a year earlier to 9.3 million tonnes and 19.3 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 first quarter of 2012 with the first quarter of 2011, double-digit increases were recorded in the tonnage of inward port cargo loaded in Vietnam (+20%), Malaysia (+14%) and the United States of America (+10%).On the other hand, a double-digit decrease was recorded in the tonnage of inward port cargo loaded in Singapore (-25%).Over the same period, double-digit increases were recorded in the tonnage of outward port cargo discharged in Thailand (+60%), Singapore (+46%), Vietnam (+30%), Malaysia (+20%), Indonesia (+17%) and the United States of America (+12%).On the other hand, a double-digit decrease was recorded in the tonnage of outward port cargo discharged in Taiwan (-23%).

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

Comparing the first quarter of 2012 with the first quarter of 2011, double-digit changes were recorded in inward port cargo of "stone, sand and gravel; metalliferous ores and metal scrap; and pulp and waste paper" (+15%), "bricks, ceramic tile and refractory construction materials" (+13%), "iron and steel" (-15%) and "petroleum, petroleum products and related materials; and coal, coke and briquettes" (-20%).As for outward port cargo, double-digit changes were recorded for "bricks, ceramic tile and refractory construction materials" (+15%) and "live animals chiefly for food and edible animal products" (-14%).

Containers

In the first quarter of 2012, the port of Hong Kong handled 5.7 million TEUs of containers, representing an increase of 4% over a year earlier.Within this total, laden containers increased by 7% to 4.9 million TEUs, while empty containers decreased by 8% to 0.8 million TEUs.Among laden containers, inward containers increased by 6% to 2.4 million TEUs, while outward containers also rose by 7% to 2.4 million TEUs.

On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison, laden container throughput increased by 2% in the first quarter of 2012.Within this total, inward and outward laden containers increased by 2% and 3% respectively.

Seaborne laden containers increased by 10% in the first quarter of 2012 over a year earlier to 3.7 million TEUs, while river laden containers decreased by 2% to 1.2 million TEUs.

Within inward laden containers, imports decreased by 4% to 0.7 million TEUs in the first quarter of 2012 compared with a year earlier, while inward transhipment increased by 11% to 1.7 million TEUs.For outward laden containers, exports decreased by 7% to 0.7 million TEUs, while outward transhipment increased by 13% to 1.8 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

Comparing the first quarter of 2012 with the first quarter of 2011, the number of ocean vessel arrivals decreased by 8% to 7 400, with the total capacity increasing by 2% to 104.0 million net registered tons.Over the same period, the number of river vessel arrivals decreased by 9% to 39 450, with the total capacity also decreasing by 4% to 25.1 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.

Further information

More detailed statistics on port cargo, containers and vessels are contained in the quarterly report "Hong Kong Shipping Statistics".

The January - March 2012 issue of the report will be available by the end of June.Users can download this publication free of charge at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/products_and_services/products/publications/statistical_report/external_trade/index_cd_B1020008_dt_detail.jsp).

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