April 17 - The Port of Rotterdam posted a 7.2 percent year-on-year increase in throughput for the first quarter of 2015, but also witnessed a 17.1 percent drop in general cargo shipments compared with 2014.

While container throughput grew by 5.1 percent year-on-year, and liquid bulk throughput was up 14.7 percent in the first three months of 2015, dry bulk volumes fell by 5.1 percent and although breakbulk throughput was up 4.4 percent, the amount of general cargo handled, including project cargo, showed a significant decline.

Ro-ro traffic increased, however, by 10.6 percent year-on-year, which the Port of Rotterdam attributed to the growth in the British economy and strong UK currency.

Ore imports were down 6.8 percent as a result of a decrease in imports for the German steel industry, said the port, adding that more steel is being imported from China now. 

Despite some drops in volume, Port of Rotterdam Authority ceo Allard Castelein was pleased: "The port had a very strong first quarter. The positive trend in the handling of mineral oil products and LNG is striking."