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Irish port traffic falls 2% in closing months of 2016

Irish Maritime Development Office figures show drop in coal imports and other traffic

Lift-on lift-off business, that is cargo vessels carrying goods in containers, was up 5 per cent in Irish ports.

Business in the Republic’s ports dipped in the final three months of last year, according to the latest figures.

The Irish Maritime Development Office’s (IMDO) index for the last quarter of 2016 shows that trade was 2 per cent lower than during the same three months the previous year.

A halving of coal imports and a 9 per cent drop in animal feed traffic meant that overall bulk traffic through the Republic’s ports fell 7 per cent during the period. When Northern Ireland is included, the fall was 4 per cent.

Ferry and container business increased in line with the economy. Roll-on roll-off traffic, largely trucks and other vehicles carrying goods on ferries between the Republic, UK and some ports on the continent, rose 7 per cent during the last three months of 2016.

The IMDO states that about 80 per cent of this business is with the UK. As a result, the office says that the numbers provide a good indication of both nations’ economic performance.

Lift-on lift-off, that is cargo vessels carrying goods in containers, was up 5 per cent. This business grew 6 per cent overall in 2016, according to the IMDO.