Nov 05, 2012 (LBO) – Ships calling at Sri Lanka’s ports fell by 38 to 350 in August 2012 from a year earlier and domestic container handling fell sharply as the economy slowed amid a trade contraction, but transshipment volumes were steady, official data shows. In August 83,974 containers (twenty foot equivalent units) were handled for domestic activities down 9.8 percent from a year earlier, data released by the Central Bank showed. In the eight months to August total containers were up 2.6 percent to 697,451 TEUs.
Sri Lanka’s economy is expected to grow 6.7 percent in 2012 down from 8.4 percent in 2011, and external trade has contracted with both exports and imports slowing.
The island hit a balance of payments crisis after large volumes of central bank accommodated credit was taken to manipulate energy prices.
Bulk cargo discharged fell 2.8 percent to 93,988 tonnes in August from a year earlier but volumes up to August were up 3.4 percent to 26,666,984 metric tonnes.
Bulk cargo loaded in August was barely changed at 2,239,412 tonnes, while volumes up to August were down just 0.2 percent to 17,062,609 metric tonnes. Total bulk cargo handled fell 1.7 percent but during the eight months to August volumes were up 2.0 percent.