CAPE TOWN: SA’s bulk export volumes shot up 88.8% year on year in January 2018 to a record 25.4-million tonnes, data from the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) showed.
The exceptional increase was in part due to a carry-over from December as the ports authority said there was a backlog from the December vessels that were not invoiced, mainly due to customers not submitting cargo dues orders timeously. However, if you add December 2017 and January 2018 together and compare that with December 2016 and January 2017, then the increase is still a large 39.9%.
Bulk exports out of Richards Bay, which are mostly coal, saw a 28.6% jump to 9-million tonnes, while bulk exports out of Saldanha, which are mostly iron ore, saw a 176.8% surge to 14.8-million tonnes.
This may in part be due to the shift in the Lunar New Year from January in 2017 to February this year, so Chinese steel producers front-loaded their February iron ore and coal imports into January as steel production curbs, that were imposed during the winter months to ease pollution, will be lifted in February.