Decline in volume of Republic's shipping traffic
THE VOLUME of port and shipping traffic through the Republic of Ireland declined in the second three months of 2012, according to figures released yesterday by the Irish Maritime Development Office.
The figures show that one in five principal freight segments had growth over the second quarter, while all other segments declined compared to the same period last year. In the first half of 2012, exports declined by 2 per cent, while imports fell by 4 per cent.
Roll-on/roll-off traffic declined in the Republic by 4 per cent in the second quarter. The majority of Ro/Ro freight from Ireland is destined for Britain. The British economy contracted between April and June with marked declines in its construction and manufacturing sectors. The liquid/tanker bulk market was the only one to increase with a growth of 28 per cent due to the large volumes of crude oil being shipped at Bantry’s oil storage facilities. This more accurately reflects domestic demand for petroleum products. Dry bulk volumes through Irish ports fell 6 per cent during the second quarter of 2012 and by 3 per cent for the first six months of 2012 with a notable fall in coal imports and aggregates, however, other products in this sector such as animal feed and other agricultural products continued to perform well.
Break bulk volumes continued to decline into quarter two, by 3 per cent with no rise in demand for construction-related materials. Traffic data to mid-year shows that for the first six months break bulk traffic declined by 7 per cent.
Glenn Murphy, spokesman for IMDO, said the outlook for the remainder of 2012 is flat with no significant uplift expected. “Manufacturing orders across Europe show little signs of imminent improvement as the euro zone’s debt crisis threatens some of Europe’s major economies.”