Ghana’s maritime trade surges

The country’s total maritime trade for the second quarter of this year recorded 4.36 million metric tonnes, a surge of 18 percent, according to Ghana Shippers Authority figures obtained by Business and Financial Times.

This was made up of 3.13 million metric tonnes of imports representing 72 percent, while exports amounted to 1.23 million metric tonnes representing 28 percent during the period.

A comparison of the figures to the previous quarter’s performance showed an increase of 18 percent in the total trade.

The port of Tema handled 79 percent of the total trade while the port of Takoradi handled the remaining 21 percent for the period.

According to the Authority, total transit cargo (import and export) for the period was 189,085 metric tonnes at the two seaports, representing a 4 percent increase.

On the import side, the Authority said the total liner trade amounted to over 1.26 million metric tonnes for the review period. This was 16 percent more than what was recorded for the same period in 2010.

The dry-bulk trade for the review period also recorded 33 percent more than the tonnage recorded for the same period of 2010, while the liquid bulk trade saw a 5 percent decrease from the 2010 period.

The Authority indicated that major import items in the liner trade included pharmaceuticals and medical supplies (153,469 metric tonnes), lubricating oil (136,844 metric tonnes), and processed food and beverages (91,544 metric tonnes).

Regarding dry-bulk trade, import items included alumina (1.26 million metric tonnes), fertiliser (204,423 metric tonnes), coke (162,937 metric tonnes), cement (37,655 metric tonnes), and clinker (11,743 metric tonnes).

The major liquid-bulk import items were petroleum products (27,399 metric tonnes) and other liquid-bulk (967,477 metric tonnes).

During the period, the majority of imports into Ghana came from the Far East range, amounting to 959,012 metric tonnes. This was 31 percent of total imports.

The Africa range contributed the next highest tonnage, amounting to 699,633 metric tonnes or 22 percent of total imports.

This was followed by the North Continent range with 528,429 metric tonnes, representing 17 percent of total imports.

The other ranges made up of the countries of South America, Australia, Jamaica, Lebanon and New Zealand came next with 400,654 metric tonnes, amounting to 13 percent of total imports.

The North America, Mediterranean Europe and United Kingdom ranges followed in that order with 9 percent, 7 percent and 1 percent respectively.

The Authority explained that export trade recorded an increase of 30 percent in the liner tonnage, from 519,014 metric tonnes in the 2010 period to 672,774 metric tonnes in 2011.

The dry-bulk export trade recorded an increase of 18 percent. The liquid-bulk export trade showed significant increase, moving from 7,600 metric tonnes in the 2010 period to 71,543 metric tonnes. This was an increase of over 800 percent above the 2010 tonnage.

On indications of the direction of maritime export trade for the review period, the Authority said over 38 percent of the export trade – amounting to 470,361 metric tonnes – was shipped to the Far East range.

The North Continent range received 421,425 metric tonnes representing 34 percent, followed by the other ranges with 140,994 metric tonnes or 11 percent.

The Mediterranean Europe, Africa and United Kingdom ranges registered seven percent, five percent and three percent respectively. The North America range had the least at two percent for the period.

The Authority indicated that major liner export items included cashew nuts which contributed nearly 32 percent or 213,127 metric tonnes, while cocoa beans recorded 157,813 metric tonnes representing 23 percent of the total liner export trade.

Cocoa products contributed seven percent, while metal scrap recorded six percent with timber logs and sawn timber each recording five percent.

In the dry-bulk export trade, major export items were manganese, 83 percent (412,025 metric tonnes); bauxite, 11 percent (55,976 metric tonnes); and sheanut, about 4 percent (19,213 metric tonnes).

The liquid-bulk items were mostly petroleum products amounting to 38,306 tonnes or about 54 percent, and other liquid-bulks at 46 percent.

The Shippers Authority told B&FT that a total of 189,085 metric tonnes was recorded for the transit trade (export and import). This was 60 percent more than was recorded in 2010 for the same period.

The transit export tonnage recorded for the period amounted to 33,815 tonnes, or 18 percent of the total transit trade, while transit import amounted to 155,270 tonnes.

Major countries whose transit trade passed through the seaports of Ghana include Burkina Faso which recorded the highest share of the total transit trade, amounting to 125,012 tonnes and representing 66 percent.

This was followed by Mali with 18,239 tonnes representing 10 percent, while Togo registered 12,104 tonnes or 6.40 percent, Niger with 11,704 tonnes or 6.19 percent, and Ivory Coast with 11, 474 tonnes or 6.07 percent.

This increase was a reflection of 14 percent and 31 percent increases in the import and export tonnages for the review period. Total transit tonnage also increased, by 60 percent during the period.

Source: B&FT

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