Containers, Cruises Boost Marseilles Fos

By MarEx 2014-10-23 10:51:00

Container throughput at leading French port Marseilles Fos reached 876,711 teu for the period January to September, an increase of 6% on the first nine months last year. 

The performance - driven by a 9% rise at the Fos 2XL deep sea terminals - was two points better than the trend at other French ports.  The port authority said this underlined continuing confidence from shippers in the port’s strategic location as a southern gateway to European markets.     

Container tonnage contributed 8.5 million tonnes to the general cargo total of 13.3MT, with the balance coming from 2.8MT of ro-ro traffic – down 7% - and just over 2MT in conventional trades (+2%). 

Overall cargo throughput improved from a 6% drop to the end of June to finish the nine months 3% down on 58.8MT.  The decrease of 1.9MT compared with last year was attributable to the continuing market changes in oil trades, which left liquid bulks 6% worse at 35.5MT. 

The liquid bulks total included 32.6MT in oil and oil products.  This was 7% down for the period but bettered the 13% first-half decline thanks to refined products rising 20% to 9.4MT.  Crude imports for national refineries fell 13% to 16.7MT, crude for pipeline delivery to southern Europe was down 7% on 1.9MT, LNG slid 28% to 3.2MT and LPG lost 2% with 1.4MT.  Elsewhere in the sector, liquid chemicals and agro-products rose 8% to 2.8MT.

Dry bulks edged up 1% to almost 10MT.  Raw materials for the steel industry were stable on 7.1MT after slipping in September, but this was compensated the same month by increases of 35-54% in coal, lime and cereals volumes. 

Passenger throughput fell 10% to 1.922 million despite cruise traffic continuing to soar.  September alone saw 64 cruise calls – up from 51 calls in September 2013 – which boosted cruise numbers by 7% to 951,000 for the nine months.  Ferry carryings fell 22% to 971,000, with 1.4% growth on North Africa services but a 32% drop in Corsica volumes following a summer dispute at operator SNCM.

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