09 July 2012 22:59 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical tanker arrivals in June on the Houston Ship Channel almost doubled year on year, according to data made available on Monday, continuing the surge of chemicals and refined products moving on the waterway.
The number of chemical ships that entered the Houston Ship Channel in June totalled 122, up by 91% compared with 64 in June 2011, according to data from the Greater Houston Port Bureau (GHPB), which tracks ship movements on the channel.
The bureau's arrival data is a measure of overall ship traffic on the Houston waterway.
During the first six months of the year, chemical tanker arrivals on the Houston channel increased by 92% compared with the same period of 2011, according to the GHPB data.
Shipping sources have attributed the rise to the type of chemicals being exported and also to refinery shutdowns earlier this year.
Tom Marian, general counsel at Buffalo Marine in Houston and a columnist for the GHPB’s monthly publication, said there were 30 fewer chemical tanker arrivals in June than in May.
“I think it’s cooling off,” Marian said.
Economic predictions for reduced activity should bring fewer chemical tanker arrivals in the last two quarters of the year than in the first half of 2012, Marian added.
“It will be flat at best for the rest of the year,” Marian said.
The rise in chemical tanker arrivals showed bigger gains than any other vessel category from January through June.
Crude tanker traffic, which accounts for the greatest number of vessels, declined almost 18% in the first six months, to 1,546 tankers this year compared with 1,874 tankers in the first six months of 2011, according to the GHPB data.
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