January cargo throughput at Marseilles-Fos reached 8.52 million tons for a 6 percent rise on January 2007, one of last yearâ€™s busiest months at the leading French port. The increase was driven by a return to growth in the oil and dry bulk sectors following a drop over the previous 12 months.
Oil volumes rose 7% to 5.7MT â€“ one of the best performances for two years â€“ after crude imports improved 13% to 3.9MT. Local refineries took 2.9MT (+11%) while the balance marked a 17% increase in pipeline deliveries to Germany and Switzerland, with German demand up by 30%.
Compared with last January, refined oil products were down 9% at 1MT and LNG traffic fell 12% to 0.36MT, but these totals still beat the monthly average for 2007. Meanwhile LPG throughput
soared 28% to 0.3MT.
Dry bulk traffic benefited from the re-opening of a local steelworks after a lengthy renovation shutdown, gaining 16% to 1.24MT.
General cargo totaled 1.34MT, down two points on the exceptional start to last year. Within this sector, container throughput was down 4% in both tonnage and unit terms at 0.77MT and 77,000 teu, although imports of almost 0.3MT on east-west trades via Fos were the highest since last September. Other general cargo included 0.31MT in ro-ro trades
(-5%) and 0.26MT in conventional traffic, a 9% rise prompted by imports of steel products.
Passenger throughput was 22% down on 61,000. Apart from 200 passengers on the portâ€™s first-ever January cruise call, the total was shared between Corsica and North Africa ferry carryings, which fell by 5% and 34% respectively, with services to Algeria notably affected by low-cost airline competition.