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Latin American port activity declines

Latin American port activity declines
Manzanillo, Mexico was among those achieving double-digit gains

ECLAC’s throughput ranking shows that the region’s ports grew by just 2%, far less than the respective 16% and 9% growth rates for the comparable periods in 2011 and 2012. In fact, it was the region’s weakest first half performance since 2009.

According to ECLAC, the world’s economic woes which are mainly attributable to the slowdown in the largest Asian economies, continue to affect foreign trade volumes in Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly container volumes.

ECLAC’s port rankings shows that the top 20 container ports in Latin America and the Caribbean – which account for 74% percent of regional throughput – posted practically zero growth in the first half of 2013 (-0.1%).

Among the few with double-digit gains were Manzanillo, Mexico and San Antonio, Chile (10%), Buenos Aires, Argentina (11%) and Montevideo, Uruguay (28%). Exceptionally high growth occurred at the Chilean ports of Coronel (96%) and Arica (47%) and the Brazilian ports of Chibatão (45%) and Sepetiba (18%). Countries with the highest container traffic growth rates were Uruguay (27.7%), Argentina 20.1%), El Salvador (19.6%) and Chile (11.6%).

The greatest declines occurred in Guatemala (-10.2%), Venezuela (-17.6%) and Costa Rica (-22.6%).