Business News of 2014-07-09

Maritime trade declines by 7% in first quarter

Cargo throughput at the country's twin-seaports witnessed a seven per cent decline in the first quarter of this year as compared to the same period last year.
Data from the Ghana Shippers' Authority (GSA) showed that cargo throughput, which measures the amount of goods passing through the Takoradi and Tema ports, slowed from 5.42 million metric tonnes in the first quarter of 2013 to 5.05 million metric tonnes in the first four months of this year.
The decline was occasioned by corresponding drops in total imports and exports over the period, the data showed.
While total imports into the country declined by eight per cent, slowing from 3.94 million metric tonnes in the first quarter of 2013 to 3.61 million metric tonnes in the same period this year, exports declined from 1.1 million tonnes in 2013 to 1.2 million tonnes in 2014, representing a seven per cent reduction.
Total transshipment and transit trade, however, witnessed a 17 per cent rise over the period. The data showed that it rose from 241,575 tonnes in the first quarter of last year to 287,781 tonnes in the period under review.
While transshipment focuses on cargo leaving the country's ports to other seaports and water-locked countries, transit trade in the maritime industry refers to the movement of goods from one port to a landlocked country.
Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger are the key destinations of Ghana's transit trade cargo while that of transhipments from the two ports are mostly destined for Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, Nigeria, Senegal and Cameroun, among others.
Direction of trade
The data showed that majority of the country's import trade originated from the Far East and the North Continent areas. The same applied to the exports, where about 610,059 metric tonnes, representing 53 per cent of the period's total, went to the Far East areas.
While 220,405 metric tonnes, representing 19 per cent of total export, went to the North Continent areas, about 170,096 metric tonnes, which represents 15 percentage points, were shipped to other areas.
With the imports, the data showed that about 1.3 million metric tonnes, representing 37 per cent of total import, went to the Far East and the North Continent areas.
Imports to the African countries amounted to 411,867 metric tonnes, representing 11 per cent of total import; the United Kingdom range had 296,950 tons, representing eight per cent, while the North America range recorded 81,984 metric tonnes, representing two per cent of the total import.
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