The amount of goods shipped through Rotterdam port in the Netherlands in 2012 grew by 1.7% to reach 442 million tonnes, the Rotterdam port authority announced on Friday.
The growth was mainly due to an increase in shipment of crude oil and oil products, President of the port of Rotterdam, Hans Smits, said in a statement.
"The port of Rotterdam is increasingly becoming a hub for global trade. This helps the port to continue to grow, as global trade generally develops faster than the Dutch and the European economies," he noted in a statement. "The most important cause is the increased oil product trade, due chiefly to the differences in the price of fuel oil in Europe and Asia. It is worthwhile, for instance, to ship Russian fuel oil via the port of Rotterdam to the Far East," he said.
Shipment of of crude oil increased by 6%, and mineral oil product by 12% this year. Shipment of naphtha, gas oil, diesel, kerosene and petrol also increased. A total of 214 million tonnes of liquid bulk was handled. This cargo segment thus represents half of the cargo throughput in the port of Rotterdam, said the statement.
LNG imports remained at a low level, because the prices in Asia are much higher, resulting in the product being transported to the Far East rather than to Europe.
In view of the prospects of the development of the Dutch and European, and especially the German economies, modest growth of around 2% is expected again for 2013, said Smits. This means that the throughput for next year will probably approach 450 million tonnes, he added.
Kuwait Petroleum Corp.has a large refinery at the port of Rotterdam.