Trade volumes at South Korean ports topped 800 million tons in the first six months of this year, helped by 2.2 percent on-year growth in container throughput.
According to data released by Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries on Tuesday, Korean ports handled a total of 801.01 million tons of cargoes in the first half of this year, up 0.7 percent from a year ago. Of the total, foreign loads accounted for 699.84 million tons and domestic loads 101.18 million tons.
Cargo throughput at Busan Port and Gwangyang Port grew 4.3 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively, over the same period, while cargoes handled at Incheon Port contracted 5.7 percent and Pyeongtaek-Dangjin Port 3.3 percent.
By product, chemical traffic jumped 12.6 percent and steel 12.3 percent over the cited period, whereas bituminous coal traffic retreated 8.4 percent and ore 1.5 percent.
Container throughput for the January-June period reached 14.49 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), up 2.2 percent from a year ago. Exports and imports gained 0.9 percent on year to 8.31 million TEUs on growth in trade volume to and from China, the United States, and Japan. Transshipment volume was 6.06 million TEUs, up 4.6 percent on year.
Gwangyang Port handled 1.24 million TEUs of containers, up 7.9 percent on year, while Incheon Port 1.51 million TEUs, down 0.8 percent.
The country’s non-container traffic for the first half was 522.12 million tons, down 1.3 percent from the same period last year. Throughput at Gwangyang Port rose 3.6 percent on year with increased oil and gas traffic. Incheon Port saw its non-container throughput sink 9.9 percent against a year earlier due to a fall in oil imports and domestic sand traffic.
By product, chemical and steel shipments soared 23.5 percent and 12.2 percent, respectively, from a year ago. Bituminous coal traffic contracted 8.3 percent.
By Choi Hee-seok and Cho Jeehyun
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