Statistics from the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) indicates that total maritime trade from January to December 2010, amounted to more than 13.9 million metric tonnes.
This is made up of about 10.6 million metric tonnes of imports and 3.3 million tonnes of exports.
During the period under review, the port of Tema handled more than 75% of the country’s maritime trade, which is about 10.5 million metric tonnes, while the port of Takoradi handled the remaining 3.4 million metric tonnes, representing 25% of the total trade.
Comparing the 2010 performance with the previous year (2009), it shows an increase of about 16% in the total trade. The total import trade for the country is 19% more than what was obtained in the previous year.
While the total export trade also increased more than seven per cent over that of 2009 tonnage. The country’s ports also recorded a total transit trade for the period amounted to 504,023 metric tonnes.
This is about nine per cent more than what was recorded for 2009. This tonnage was made up of 480,782 tonnes of import and 23,241 metric tonnes of export, both of which are more than that of 2009.
GROWING IMPORT TRADE
Out of the total import (10.6 million metric tonnes), 4.68 million metric tonnes, 2.93 million metric tonnes, and 2.98 metric tonnes were obtained from liner, dry bulk, and liquid bulk items respectively.
All these items contributed to the more than 19% of the maritime import for the country. The same applied to the various types of import trade, with dry bulk increasing by nearly 50% and liquid bulk by 20%.
The liner import trade for 2010 comprised of items such as iron, steel, pipes and plates, which amounted to about 565,300 metric tonnes. While processed foods (517,900 metric tonnes) and chemicals amounting to about 334,900 metric tonnes.
Other items include tiles, frozen meat and food, machinery and equipment, polythene raw materials and bagged rice, all amounting to 254,800, 244,900 and 212,600, 211,890 and 209,600 metric tonnes respectively.
According to the data, there are increases in the quantities of liner items imported during the period, as compared with the previous year. There is an increase of nearly five per cent in the total liner import during the review period.
Major items like iron, steel, plates and pipes recorded more than 25% increase. Processed food/beverages increase by about 11%, while chemical recorded a 14% increase.
Other items showing increases in their quantity are tiles (over 17%), machinery and equipment (about 52%), polythene (over 32%) and second-hand clothing (over 43%).
Items showing decreases in the tonnage imported include rice (over 45%), bagged sugar (over 28%), bagged cement (over 71%), mining/smelting supplies (11%), textiles and yarn (about 40%), and vehicles (6%).
Furthermore, the country’s total export trade of 3.4 million metric tonnes is made up of over 1.7 million metric tonnes representing 50% of liner items, 1.6 million metric tonnes (over 49%) of dry bulk items and 16,621 metric tonnes or less than one per cent of liquid bulk items.
Compared with the previous year total tonnage, 2010 recorded over seven per cent increase in the export trade. The liner trade as well as the bulk trade recorded 12.7 % and 6.5% increases over the 2009’s tonnages while the liquid bulk trade recorded a decrease of more than 80%.
The liner export trade for 2010 was made up of cocoa beans which recorded a tonnage of 528,202 metric tonnes, depicting an increase of three percent over that of 2009.
Other items include cocoa products which contributed 174,548 metric tonnes, representing an increase of about 60% over the 2009 tonnage.
Whilst log timber contributed 217,748 metric tonnes (an increase of about 28% over that of 2009), sawn timber/lumber recorded 107,256 metric tonnes which amounted to an increase of eight percent.
MAJOR IMPORT TRADE ORIGINS
According to data, majority of the country’s maritime import for the 2010 originated from the Far East and the North Continent ranges, each of which recorded 3.1 million metric tonnes, making 29% and 2.49 million metric tonnes, indicating 24% respectively of the total import for the period.
The other range recorded over 1.6 million metric tonnes, showing about 16% of the import trade for the period followed by the Africa range with over 1.3 million metric tonnes (about 13%).
MAJOR EXPORT TRADE DESTINATIONS
The country’s 3.37 million metric tonnes of maritime export recorded for 2010 was shipped to various destinations in the world. Majority of the items exported went to the North Continent and the Far East ranges.
The North Continent range received a total of 1.16 million metric tonnes (34% of the total export) while the Far East range had a tonnage of 1.12 million metric tonnes, representing 33%.
Also, a total of 311,268 metric tonnes which amounted to nine percent was shipped to the Mediterranean Europe range followed the Africa range which recorded 150,574 metric tonnes (4.46%).
The others are the United Kingdom range with 100,112 metric tonnes (about 2.9%) and the North America range with 88,745 (2.6%). While, the others range received a total of 434,623 metric tonnes amounting to more than 12%.