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Spanish ports post strong first half

Reports from Bilbao and Algeciras Bay come on the back of record results from Barcelona

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Following the Port of Barcelona’s report of a record H1 2018, provisional figures for the Port of Bilbao suggest an 11% hike in first half traffic, equivalent to 1.7M additional tonnes compared to the corresponding 2017 period. The overall volume of 17.6M tonnes is the highest growth posted since 2006.


Liquid bulk was up 10% and dry bulk by 18%, the latter driven by higher sulphate, sand, gravel and pet coke. General cargo grew by 10% overall, with breakbulk up 5% thanks to growth in steel products, machinery tools and paper. Container throughput was up 13%.


In total, there were 1,472 vessel calls, equivalent to an extra 86 vessels compared to 2017, while vessel size was up 7%.

Bilbao’s main markets remain the UK, China, Belgium and the Netherlands, while it retains strong export markets with the UK, Ireland and the US.


Meanwhile, like Barcelona, the Port of Algeciras has registered the best first half traffic figures in its history, during which it handled 53.8M tonnes, equivalent to growth of 9.6% year-on-year.


Liquid bulk, at 15.7M tonnes, performed best, posting growth of 16.8%. This was followed by general cargo, which increased 9.8% to 35.1M tonnes, of which 30M tonnes containerised. In unit terms, container traffic went up 8.4% to 2.3M TEU.


Cross Straits traffic to Morocco continued to grow, with HGV traffic increasing by 2.6% to 186,971 vehicles, of which 167,740 were carried on the Algeciras-Tánger Med route, where patronage went up 5%.


Bunkering volumes, in contrast, declined 18.2% to 1.2M tonnes, while dry bulk was down 11.1% to 861,541 tonnes.

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