July 21, 2024 | 12:30


The Port of Bilbao registers an 11% increase in merchandise traffic

The Port of Bilbao registers an 11% increase in merchandise traffic

Jeickson Sulbaran

June 25, 2024 | 4:30 pm

Merchandise traffic in the Port of Bilbao has grown by 11,1% in the first five months of the year, exceeding 14,9 million tons

çThe Port of Bilbao has moved almost 14,9 million tons of merchandise between January and May of this year, which is 11,1% more than in the same period last year. This growth is significantly above average of the ports of the State, which register an increase of 3,5%. The key to the positive cycle of the Biscay port lies in liquid bulk, whose traffic has grown by 17,4% in the first five months of the year. This increase is mainly due to the activity of Petronor and the Bahía de Bizkaia regasification plant.

Liquid bulk drives growth, while solids and general merchandise show more moderate growth

The intense activity in the field of hydrocarbons has compensated for the more moderate evolution in solid bulk, which has increased by only 3,2%. On the other hand, the movement of general merchandise has shown a flat behavior, with a slight decrease of 0,1% at the start of the year. Regarding the movement of containers, a drop of 5,4% has been recorded, especially highlighting the reduction in transit with origin or destination in the State, which has been reduced by less than half compared to the same period last year. .

The Port of Bilbao registers an 11% increase in merchandise traffic

If the Port of Bilbao maintains the current rate of movement of goods, which is 2,98 million tons per month, could break its record at the end of the year. So far, the best year was 2018, with 35,5 million tons. Exceeding these figures would mean that port activity would return to levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant a 17% reduction in traffic.

Downward trend in the Port of Pasaia, which is accentuated in May

In contrast, the downward trend in traffic at the Port of Pasaia has been accentuated in May, accumulating a drop of 7,3%. The steel industry, the main merchandise managed in Pasaia, has experienced one of the smallest losses, with a reduction of 1,5%. However, automobile traffic, the second largest category, has decreased by 7,7%.

Evolution of port traffic in the Spanish State driven by hydrocarbons

At the national level, activity related to hydrocarbons has boosted port traffic as a whole, despite the more moderate growth of the rest of merchandise movements. Solid bulk has grown by 3,2% until May, while container traffic has decreased by 5,4%. General merchandise has shown a flat performance, with a slight decrease of 0,1%.

In the State as a whole, ports of general interest have moved a total of 2024 million tons between January and May 226, which represents an increase of 3,5% compared to the same period of the previous year. This growth has been driven by traffic diverted due to the Red Sea crisis, which has increased goods in Spanish ports, especially in container and transit movements, unlike Bilbao.

The Port of Bilbao is emerging as one of the main drivers of maritime trade in the Cantabrian Sea, consolidating its position and showing a solid recovery after the pandemic.

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