Port of Rotterdam first-half crude oil imports fall 8%

17 August 2011 19:30  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Imports of crude oil through the port of Rotterdam fell 8% year on year in the first six months of 2011 amid weak refining margins, lower demand and overhauls at major European refineries, the port authority said on Wednesday.

Rotterdam crude imports from January to June were 46.2m tonnes, approaching “the low end of the historical spread”, the port authority said.

Four of the ten larger European refineries that purchase crude oil via Rotterdam underwent major overhauls in the first half of the year, the authority added in explaining the decline.

Rotterdam's overall first-half incoming and outgoing liquid bulk throughput fell 7% year on year to 97m tonnes.

Throughput of mineral oil products fell 9% year on year to 35m tonnes in the first six months amid weak demand.

“In general there was no large demand for products such as gas oil/diesel, kerosene and fuel oil,” the authority said.

An exception to the downward trend in liquid bulk was chemical feedstock naphtha, which saw a 20% year-on-year increase in first-half throughput. In addition, methanol and benzene throughputs also rose, the agency said.

“The chemical industry is performing well and remains stable,” the authority said.

Overall first-half cargos handled by the port saw only “light growth” of 1%, to 215m tonnes. Incoming cargos rose 2% year on year to 153.5m tonnes while outgoing cargos fell 1% to 61.5m tonnes.

Read Paul Hodges’ Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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