Statistics on vessels, port cargo and containers for the fourth quarter of 2012
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     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) today (March 8) released statistics on vessels, port cargo and containers for the fourth quarter of 2012.

     In the fourth quarter of 2012, total port cargo throughput decreased by 6% compared with a year earlier to 66.3 million tonnes. Within this total, inward and outward port cargo decreased by 4% and 9% to 37.6 million tonnes and 28.7 million tonnes respectively.

     For 2012 as a whole, total port cargo throughput decreased by 3% compared with a year earlier to 269.3 million tonnes. Within this total, inward and outward port cargo dropped by 2% and 4% to 154.7 million tonnes and 114.6 million tonnes respectively.

     On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison, total port cargo throughput decreased by 5% in the fourth quarter of 2012. Within this total, inward and outward port cargo dropped by 7% and 2% respectively. The seasonally adjusted series enables more meaningful shorter-term comparison to be made for discerning possible variations in trends.

Port cargo

     Within port cargo, seaborne cargo decreased by 7% compared with a year earlier to 45.8 million tonnes, while river cargo also decreased by 3% to 20.5 million tonnes in the fourth quarter of 2012.

     Within inward port cargo, imports and inward transhipment decreased by 5% and 2% in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with a year earlier to 17.9 million tonnes and 19.7 million tonnes respectively. For outward port cargo, both exports (including domestic exports and re-exports) and outward transhipment decreased by 9% compared with a year earlier to 9.7 million tonnes and 18.9 million tonnes respectively.

     Within port cargo, both seaborne cargo and river cargo dropped by 3% in 2012 compared with 2011 to 188.9 million tonnes and 80.4 million tonnes respectively.

     Within inward port cargo, imports decreased by 5% in 2012 compared with 2011 to 74.5 million tonnes, while inward transhipment increased by 1% to 80.2 million tonnes. For outward port cargo, exports and outward transhipment decreased by 9% and 2% to 36.7 million tonnes and 77.9 million tonnes respectively.

     The detailed port cargo statistics are summarised in Table 1.

     The main countries/territories of loading for inward port cargo and countries/territories of discharge for outward port cargo are shown in Table 2 and Table 3 respectively.

     Comparing the fourth quarter of 2012 with the fourth quarter of 2011, double-digit decreases were registered in the tonnage of inward port cargo loaded in Vietnam (-24%), Korea (-21%) and Malaysia (-10%). For outward port cargo, a double-digit increase was registered in the tonnage discharged in Singapore (+15%). On the other hand, double-digit decreases were recorded in the tonnage of outward port cargo discharged in Taiwan (-24%), Vietnam (-19%), Japan (-14%) and the United States of America (-10%).

     Comparing 2012 with 2011, a double-digit increase was registered in the tonnage of inward port cargo loaded in Vietnam (+12%). For outward port cargo, double-digit increases were registered in the tonnage discharged in Singapore (+35%), the Philippines (+13%) and Thailand (+10%). On the other hand, a double-digit decrease was recorded in the tonnage of outward port cargo discharged in Taiwan (-20%).

     The principal commodities for inward and outward port cargo are shown in Table 4 and Table 5.

     Comparing the fourth quarter of 2012 with the fourth quarter of 2011, double-digit changes were recorded in inward port cargo of "bricks, ceramic tile and refractory construction materials" (+20%) and "machinery" (-10%). As for outward port cargo, double-digit changes were recorded for "bricks, ceramic tile and refractory construction materials" (+12%), "machinery" (-10%), "iron and steel" (-23%) and "live animals chiefly for food and edible animal products" (-34%).

     Comparing 2012 with 2011, a double-digit increase was recorded in inward port cargo of "bricks, ceramic tile and refractory construction materials" (+17%). As for outward port cargo, double-digit changes were recorded for "bricks, ceramic tile and refractory construction materials" (+11%), "iron and steel" (-12%) and "live animals chiefly for food and edible animal products" (-20%).

Containers

     In the fourth quarter of 2012, the port of Hong Kong handled 5.6 million TEUs of containers, representing a decrease of 9% compared with a year earlier. Within this total, laden containers decreased by 9% to 4.8 million TEUs, while empty containers also dropped by 8% to 0.8 million TEUs. Among laden containers, inward containers decreased by 7% to 2.4 million TEUs, while outward containers also dropped by 11% to 2.4 million TEUs.

     In 2012, the port of Hong Kong handled 23.1 million TEUs of containers, representing a decrease of 5% compared with 2011. Within this total, laden containers decreased by 5% to 19.7 million TEUs, while empty containers also dropped by 6% to 3.5 million TEUs. Among laden containers, inward containers decreased by 5% to 9.8 million TEUs, while outward containers also dropped by 6% to 9.8 million TEUs.

     On a seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison, laden container throughput recorded virtually no change in the fourth quarter of 2012. Within this total, inward laden containers went up by 1%, while outward laden containers dropped by 1%.

     Seaborne and river laden containers decreased by 10% and 7% in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with a year earlier to 3.6 million TEUs and 1.2 million TEUs respectively.

     Within inward laden containers, imports and inward transhipment decreased by 9% and 6% in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with a year earlier to 0.7 million TEUs and 1.7 million TEUs respectively. For outward laden containers, exports and outward transhipment decreased by 12% and 11% to 0.7 million TEUs and 1.7 million TEUs respectively.

     In 2012, seaborne and river laden containers decreased by 4% and 7% compared with 2011 to 14.9 million TEUs and 4.8 million TEUs respectively.

     Within inward laden containers, imports and inward transhipment decreased by 12% and 1% in 2012 compared with 2011 to 2.8 million TEUs and 7.0 million TEUs respectively. For outward laden containers, exports and outward transhipment decreased by 11% and 3% to 2.9 million TEUs and 6.9 million TEUs respectively.

     The detailed container statistics are summarised in Table 6.

     Port cargo and laden container statistics are compiled from a sample of consignments listed in the cargo manifests supplied by shipping companies and agents to the C&SD.

Vessel arrivals

     Comparing the fourth quarter of 2012 with the fourth quarter of 2011, the number of ocean vessel arrivals decreased by 4% to 7 790, with the total capacity also decreasing by 6% to 103.6 million net registered tons. The number of river vessel arrivals decreased by 5% to 39 990, with the total capacity recording virtually no change at 27.3 million net registered tons.

     Comparing 2012 with 2011, the number of ocean vessel arrivals decreased by 6% to 30 700, with the total capacity also decreasing by 3% to 412.1 million net registered tons. The number of river vessel arrivals decreased by 7% to 160 160, with the total capacity also decreasing by 1% to 106.9 million net registered tons.

     The statistics on vessel arrivals in Hong Kong are given in Table 7.

     Vessel statistics are compiled by the Marine Department primarily from general declarations submitted by ship masters and authorised shipping agents. Pleasure vessels and fishing vessels plying exclusively within the river trade limits are excluded.

Further information

     More detailed statistics on port cargo, containers and vessels are contained in the quarterly report "Hong Kong Shipping Statistics".

     The October - December 2012 issue of the report will be available by the end of March. Users can download this publication free of charge at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp130.jsp?productCode=B1020008).

     Enquiries on port cargo and container statistics may be directed to the Shipping and Cargo Statistics Section of the C&SD (Tel: 2582 4889 or email: shipping@censtatd.gov.hk). For enquiries about vessel statistics, readers may contact the Statistics Section under the Planning, Development and Port Security Branch of the Marine Department (Tel: 2852 3661 or email: st-sec@mardep.gov.hk).

Ends/Friday, March 8, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:30

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