By Fred Yaw Sarpong
Ghana’s maritime trade for the period from January to March, 2013 was over 4.7 million tons. This was made up of about 3.5 million tons of imports which is 74% of total trade, and 1.2 million tons of exports which is 26% of total trade.
The port of Tema handled over 76% of the total trade which was over 3.6 million tons while the port of Takoradi handled the remaining 1.1 million tons (24% of total trade) for the period.
Total transit cargoes that passed through the ports of Ghana for the period amounted to 173,551 ton. This was made up of 154,855 tons of imports and 18,696 tons of export.
The performance of 2013 first quarter show a decrease of over 4% in the total trade, compared to that of 2012. Total import for the period also decreased by 7% as compared to what was obtained for the same period in 2011. Total export however increased by 5% over the 2011 tonnage for the same period.
Meanwhile, the transit trade recorded a decrease 1 percent for the review period as against what was obtained in 2011.
However, total import for the first quarter of 2013 was over 3.5 million tons. This comprised of 1.6 million tons of liner items (or 47% of total import), 815,250 tons of dry bulk items (23%) and 1 million tons of liquid bulk items (30%).
Also, maritime import for the review period decreased by over 7% from what was obtained in the 2012 period. Both liner and dry bulk imports decreased by 18 and 28% respectively. However, liquid bulk also went down by 67% for the review period.
The total liner tonnage for the review period amounted to 1.6 million tons which was 18% less than the 2012 tonnage of 2 million.
The liner import trade for the review period was made up of items such as iron/steel/pipes/plates which amounted to 182,650 tons, processed foods (178,684 tons) and chemicals amounting to over 881,068 tons. Other items included tiles (94,795 tons), frozen meat and food (122,837 tons), machinery and equipment (68,894 tons), polythene raw materials (66,573 tons), bagged rice (43,663 tons) and bagged sugar (19,809 tons).
Total dry bulk import for the period amounted to 815,250 tons, a decrease of 28% from the 2012 tonnage.
Clinker was one of the major import item in this trade recording a figure of 431,708 tons. This was followed by Cement and Limestone which recorded 88,352 tons and 35,010 tons respectively. Bulk grains and Bagged rice also recorded 71,266 tons and 60,879 tons respectively for the review period.
The trade of Liquide Bulk import showed an overall increase of 67% from 629,211 tons in 2011 to over 1 million tons during the review period. The major items in this trade for the period inlcuded petroleum products (830,544 tons), crude oil (80,456 tons), LPG (59,500 tons) and bulk chemical (37,270 tons).
Most of the maritime import for the first quarter of 2013 came from the Far East and the North Continent ranges, with one recording over 1.0 million tons or 30% of total import while the other recorded a tonnage of over 767,760 tons (22% of total import).
The Africa and the Mediterranean ranges followed with 582,396 tons (17%) and 514,830 tons (15%) respectively. The Others range recorded over 346,120 tons or 10 percent of the toal import for the review period. The North America range followed with 152,090 tons (4%) and the United Kingdom range had 75,894 tons or 2 percent of total import.
The total export trade for the review period amounted to over 1.2 million tons. This was made up of over 484,789 tons of liner items or 39% of total export for the period, 699,721 tons (57 %) of dry bulk items and 52,006 tons (4%) of liquid bulk items.
Compared to the same period in 2012, the review period recorded a 5% increase in the total export trade. The 2013 dry bulk trade and the liquid bulk trade recorded 41% and 1% increases respectively over the 2012 tonnages while the liner trade declined by 23%.