Recovery on horizon as port's exports rise 10.7pc
THE volume of exports sent through Dublin Port is increasing almost three times as fast as the volume of imports.
The encouraging balance of trade data is revealed in new figures for the capital's port, which accounts for almost half of Ireland's total trade.
The volume of exports going through Dublin Port in February was 10.7pc up on the levels a year earlier, while the volume of imports was up just 3.7pc.
"Our growth will be dependent on exports so trends in Dublin Port. . . are an important barometer in assessing economic recovery," said Friends First economist Jim Power.
The overall volume of the port's goods throughput was up 6.4pc in February, marking the third successive monthly rise in trade after a largely stagnant fourth quarter last year.
Dublin Port chief financial officer, Michael Sheary, attributed the rise in trade levels to improved consumer sentiment, improved competitiveness, a stronger euro and "renewed growth in the economies of our main trading partners".
If these factors continue to "work in our favour", activity at Dublin Port could be running at 28 million tonnes a year by the second half of 2010, a level that's just 10pc behind the port's historic high of 31 million a year, Mr Sheary added.
His comments were echoed by Dublin Port chief executive Enda Connellan, who stressed the port's commitment to driving "further efficiencies" and maintaining its "low cost base".
The data comes days after the NCB Purchasing Managers Index showed a sharp rise in March's manufacturing levels, when output grew at its fastest pace since June 2006.
Dublin Port's figures also showed a 5.8pc rise in ferry passengers in February, a trend at odds with recent double-digit falls in Dublin Airport's passenger numbers.