Trade Indicator

Apr 22, 2011 (LBO) – Container volumes through Sri Lanka’s main port have maintained rapid growth so far this year with government data showing increasing domestic as well as transhipment cargo as local and regional trade rebounds. The number of ships calling at Colombo port has also increased after falling in 2010 compared with the year before, central bank data showed.

Total containers handled by the port in February 2011 rose 10.7 percent to 336,724 TEUs or twenty – foot equivalent container units from the year before with growth in January – February 2011 up 11.8 percent to 706,936 TEUs.

Transhipment traffic, the port’s main business of relaying cargo to and from smaller ports in the Indian sub-continent, grew 12 percent in February 2011 to 253,788 TEUs from a year ago.

The numbers reflected faster economic and trade growth especially in India which accounts for almost two-thirds of the port’s transhipment cargo.

The number of domestic import and export containers handled by Colombo port rose 9.2 percent to 75,334 TEUs in February 2011 from the previous year as the island economy recovered after a 30-year ethnic war which ended in may 2009.

Sri Lanka’s economy grew 8.0 percent during 2010 and is forecas