Shipping trade volumes have stabilised and trend is up
SHIPPING trade volumes between Ireland and key trade corridors have stabilised, with the amount of goods passing through ports here on an upward trend, according to data from the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO).
Releasing the latest figures yesterday, the IMDO said that in the first half of 2010 there was a "largely underlying positive trend" in shipping trade volumes.
It estimated that lift-on/lift-off export trades rose by 5pc in the first half of the year and that roll-on/roll-off export traffic was also up 5pc on an all-island basis.
Dry bulk volumes through ports in the Republic climbed 15pc compared to the first six months of 2009, according to the office.
"Part of this recovery is attributed to stronger domestic demand for grains, fertilisers and other agricultural products, while improved global demand for steel and other ore aggregates also pushed up volume throughput," said the IMDO.
Breakbulk volumes through ports in the Republic, which include construction-related products such as steel and timber, continued to decline, falling 11pc.
The IMDO statistics also showed that the overall rate of decline in import volumes has "eased sharply".
However, the organisation noted that the fall in import units over the past 24 months had reduced the supply of containers available to be used for the export of goods from Ireland.
"As a result, shipping lines have to reposition empty containers from the UK and continent, which in turn adds to the overall cost of the export box," noted the IMDO.