Maritime transport services, which mirror the performance of the trade sector, witnessed an improvement during the first four months of 2012 relative to the same period of last year, as reflected by the main indicators of the Port of Beirut which handles the bulk of the country’s import and export activity.
First, the goods at the Port, which include the tonnage of loaded and unloaded merchandise reached 2,257 thousand tons in the first four months of 2012, up by 9.5% from the first four months of 2011, period during which the indicator had recorded a yearly decline of 0.8%. The number of containers at the Port went up by 4.9% year-on-year to reach a total of 192,252 containers during the aforementioned period of 2012. This follows a yearly decline of 1.9% witnessed in the first four months of 2011. The mentioned number of containers encompasses all incoming and outgoing containers at the Port but not transshipments. As a matter of fact, the latter totaled 140,558 containers, down by 0.7% year-on-year from the first four months of 2011. As to the number of ships that used the Port of Beirut during the first four months of this year, it amounted to a total of 657 vessels, down by 7.3% on a yearly basis. Last year, transshipments recorded an increase of 38.6% annually while the number of ships using the Port had dropped by 6.3%.
Bank Audi – Lebanon Weekly Monitor