While the amount of cargo handled in the port of Rotterdam decreased by 11.9% to 283 million tonnes in the first nine months of this year certain bulk liquid products were up.
The throughput of petroleum products (petrol, diesel, kerosene, fuel oil) grew strongly, by 21% to 54 million tonnes.
Traders continue to keep and build up stockpiles with a view to future price increases.
In addition, the fact that less use was made of refining capacity means that more of these products were imported.
Other liquid bulk decreased by 19% to 22 million tonnes. There was a slight improvement compared to the second quarter due to a small increase in chemical production.
The amounts of biofuels and palm oil imported lagged behind 2008.
The import of crude oil decreased by 7% to 72 million tonnes. A lower demand for petroleum products and smaller refinery margins are pushing down production capacity. This is further influenced by large-scale maintenance.
There is still a hefty decrease in terms of percentages, but the trend curve has started turning slightly upwards again since July, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Hans Smits, comments.
On balance, this means a stabilisation in throughput. This corresponds to expectations from halfway through the year, according to which the prognosis for the whole year is a decrease in throughput of approximately 10%.